Norway

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Kingdom of Norway
Kongeriket Norge (Bokmål)
Kongeriket Noreg (Nynorsk)
Motto: Royal: Alt for Norge
("Everything for Norway")
1814 Eidsvoll oath: Enig og tro til Dovre faller
("United and loyal until the mountains of Dovre crumble")
Anthem: Ja, vi elsker dette landet
("Yes, we love this country")

Royal anthemKongesangen
("The King's Song")
Location of  Norway  (dark green)on the European continent  (dark grey)  —  [Legend]
Location of  Norway  (dark green)

on the European continent  (dark grey)  —  [Legend]

Capital
and largest city
Oslo
59°56′N 10°41′E / 59.933°N 10.683°E / 59.933; 10.683
Official languages Norwegian (Bokmål and Nynorsk)
Recognised regional languages Northern Sami, Lule Sami, Kven and Southern Sami
Ethnic groups 81% Norwegians,[1] 2% Sami,[2] 17% other[1]
Demonym Norwegian
Government Unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy
 -  King King Harald V
 -  Prime Minister Erna Solberg (H)
 -  President of the Storting Olemic Thommessen (H)
 -  Chief Justice Tore Schei
 -  Current coalition Conservative Coalition
Legislature Storting
Establishment
 -  Unification 872 
 -  Constitution 17 May 1814 
 -  Dissolution of union with Sweden 7 June 1905 
 -  Restoration from German occupation 8 May 1945 
Area
 -  Total 385,170 km2 (67th1)
148,721 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 6.03
Population
 -  2014 estimate 5,154,700 (116th)
 -  2001 census 4,858,200
 -  Density 13.26/km2 (213th)
34.35/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2010 estimate
 -  Total $255.285 billion[3]
 -  Per capita $52,012[3]
GDP (nominal) 2010 estimate
 -  Total $414.462 billion[3]
 -  Per capita $84,443[3]
Gini (2000) 25.8
low · 5th
HDI (2013) Increase 0.955[4]
very high · 1st
Currency Norwegian krone (NOK)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 -  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Date format dd.mm.yyyy
Drives on the right
Calling code 47
Internet TLD .no2
1. Includes Svalbard and Jan Mayen. (Without these two areas, the area of Norway is 323,802 km2, placing it 67th in the world.[5])
2. Two more TLDs have been assigned, but to date not used: .sj for Svalbard and Jan Mayen; .bv for Bouvet Island.
3. This percentage is for the mainland and also includes glaciers[6]

Norway is a country in the north of Europe. It is the western part of the Scandinavian peninsula. The mainland of Norway is surrounded by a coast on the west side and borders Russia, Finland,and Sweden to the east. The coast touches the Oslofjord, Skagerrak, and the North Sea.

The Kingdom of Norway has been independent since 1905. Its head of state is now King Harald V. The national day is May 17, which celebrates Norway's constitution of 1814. The parliament is called Stortinget and its members are elected by the people every 4 years.

About 5 million people live in Norway. The capital, is the city of Oslo. It is also the largest city, with a population of over 530,000. Other major cities are Bergen with 230,000 people and Trondheim with 150,000; both have been the Norwegian capital in earlier years.[7]

Norwegian is the national language. There are two official written versions of Norwegian called Bokmål and Nynorsk. Many Sami individuals are native speakers of one of the Sami languages. Nord-samisk is also an official language in a number of kommuner. ( Each kommune has a mayor. )

History[change | change source]

Major pieces of Norwegian history include :

  • The battle of Hafrsfjord ( 872 A.D. ), resulted in small kingdoms becoming one, larger kingdom, ruled by Harald I of Norway which is Harald the First.
  • In 1349 half of the Norwegian people died, getting sick from the bubonic plague. The last of the Norwegian kings died in 1387.
  • The union with Denmark : Norway was the weaker part of the union with Denmark, which lasted until 1814 when Norway tried to get free. The Norwegian constitution was written in 1814 and signed on May 17th that year. However, Denmark, on the losing side of the Napoleon wars, lost Norway to Sweden, on the winning side. Norway could not escape the much greater military force of Sweden, and formally entered into union with Sweden in November 1814.
  • The union with Sweden : It lasted until June 7th, 1905 when Norway finally became a separate nation again.
  • In 1905 Prince Carl of Denmark was elected King of Norway and he became King Haakon VII, and his wife, Princess Maud, became Queen Maud. Their son, Prince Alexander of Denmark, became Crown Prince Olav and followed after his father as King Olav V in 1957. Olav and his wife, Crown Princess Märtha, had three children; Princess Ragnhild, Princess Astrid and Prince Harald (later Crown Prince Harald and in 1991 he followed his father as King Harald V).

King Harald is the first king born in Norway in over 600 years. He has two children; Princess Märtha Louise and Crown Prince Haakon Magnus.

In World War I Norway was neutral and served as a trading nation. Norway tried to stay neutral in World War II, but was occupied by German forces from 9 April 1940 to 8 May 1945.

Government[change | change source]

Ministry of Defence[change | change source]

The Government has Norwegian soldiers working in Afghanistan, together with soldiers from other countries that belong to NATO. The Norwegian parachute regiment known for being very good. The Norwegian head of defense is called Grete Faremo.

Economy[change | change source]

Exports include : natural gas, oil, hydroelectric power, and fish. Other natural resources are agriculture, forests, and minerals.

The Government collects much money from various sources, and has policies intended to spread this wealth among Norwegians. This spread of wealth, is done both directly and indirectly.

Ethnicity[change | change source]

Most people in Norway are ethnic Norwegians. They speak a language that is related to German and early English. Swedish and Danish are so close to Norwegian that most Norwegians understand them. Across Norway, many different dialects are spoken. Norwegians disagree on how to make one correct written language. Therefore, there are two standard languages, Bokmål and Nynorsk. Nynorsk is used in writing in most of the western areas and in the central mountains. Bokmål is written by most people in the rest of the country.

A native population of Norway, the Sami people, has its home in the northern parts of the country. Their language is not at all related to Norwegian. In some parishes in the far north, they make up the majority of people. Many Sami now live outside the Sami homeland, mostly in Oslo and other big cities. Earlier, Sami people were forced to speak Norwegian in school. Now Sami is taught as the first language in school for Sami children, and Norwegian is the first foreign language.

Many immigrants have come to Norway in the last 30–40 years. They mostly live in and around Oslo, and in the other big cities. Many immigrants come from nearby countries, like Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Poland and Russia. There are also many from countries far away, such as Pakistan, Somalia, Iraq and Vietnam.

Traditionally, all Norwegians were Lutherans, a variety of the Protestant faith. Still, more than 80% of Norwegians are Lutherans. Other important faiths include Islam, other Protestant groups and Catholicism.

Tourism[change | change source]

Among tourists to Norway, more come from Germany than from any other country. There are also many Swedes, Danes, British, Dutch and Italians visiting Norway. The Swedes and Danes often come in winter to go skiing. The others mainly come in summer.

Organizations associated with the Government of Norway[change | change source]

Media[change | change source]

The largest newspapers in Norway are BT Bergens Tidende, VG Verdens Gang, Aftenposten and Dagbladet. BT is the only newspaper that focuses around Bergen. The three last is national and international.

Norwegian culture[change | change source]

Norwegian culture can be compared to English culture in the way that it is considered a bad thing to show off, as opposed to the US, where this is more acceptable. This is a big aspect of Norwegian culture, and it is related to the philosophy of egalitarianism. Because of this, people will understate things, for example if a Norwegian says something is good or nice, it usually means that it's really great.

Norway also has a rich cultural history, going all the way back to the age of the Vikings, and up to today with several writers and painters. The most famous Norwegian cultural person is probably Henrik Ibsen who wrote several plays and novels, and they often upset people because he challenged popular attitudes such as the role of women. Other famous writers include Knut Hamsun, Jonas Lie, Amalie Skram and more recently, Jens Bjørneboe. Famous painters and musicians includes Evard Munch, Theodor Kittelsen, Ole Bull and Edvard Grieg.


Norwegian Politics[change | change source]

In Norway power is shared between three branches: The justice sector, the government and the parliament. Norway also has a king, Harald 5, but he does not have any real power and acts as a symbol and ambassador. This form of government is called a constitutional monarchy. Elections are held every four years, and the winner of the election is the party or coalition which gets the most votes and seats in the parliament. After the elections are done, the winner(s) work together to find out who should be prime minister, as well as other ministrial posts.

Here is a short summary of the biggest political parties in Norway, from left to right on the political axis:

  • Red: A revolutionary socialist party which works for equality of income, labour rights, a controlled economy and feminism.
  • Socialist Left Party: The party is not very radical and is very concerned with environmental issues as well as education. The party is traditionally regarded as the "teacher's party" because of their focus on learning and school. One might call SV more of a social democratic party than a socialist party, since their socialist views have faded over the years. They were a lot more radical in the 70's and 80's and the name has stuck.
  • Norwegian Labour Party: The Labour Party is the biggest party in Norway. They work for a strong economy with a few regulations on private businesses, and are traditionally the party for workers, securing labour rights and the welfare state.
  • Centre Party: The Centre Party used to be known as the farmer's party, but they no longer use this name, but still they are mostly popular in the countryside and other rural regions, since they work for the environment and protection of Norwegian farmers. For example, meat from foreign countries costs more so that people will buy from Norwegian farmers. This is called protectionism.
  • Liberal Party: Even though it is called Left, it is actually a social liberal party and they belong to the centre-right side of Norwegian politics, their influence have faded over the years and at the 2009 elections they almost got thrown out of the parliament because they barely won enough seats. They work for liberal rights like freedom of speech, gender equality and they are also concerned with environment. Because of this they support using public transport. [1]
  • Conservative Party: The flagship of the right politics in Norwegian politics, it is a conservative party and is the second biggest party in Norway, they work for a free market, liberal rights and equality of opportunity. They are more friendly towards private businesses and support economic growth by making taxes smaller, so that more people can start businesses.
  • Progress Party: Usually shortened to FrP in Norwegian, the Progress Party is a right-side party in Norway and works for stronger immigration laws, a free market and tough penalties for crimes. They have been accused of discriminating foreigners and their left-side opponents often call them racists or egoists. They also support private schools and flat taxes.

Currently the Conservative Party and the Progress Party are working together in a coalition government, after getting elected in the 2013 elections.

Related pages[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

Coordinates: 60°23′N 5°20′E / 60.38°N 5.34°E / 60.38; 5.34