Now I have been almost a week back in Norway. Most of the time has been at office and to try to catch up with old friends, but I have also had some time to reflect on how things are in Norway compared with what I’m now “used to” from India. I think it is important to really try to think through things in order to see the differences. Here are some of the observations I have made.
Manners of children: It has been a bit funny watching my brother and niece during dinners. The niece is three years old (or well, she will turn three day after tomorrow). She absolutely knows how to eat with knife and fork, but as children on that age, she sometimes refuses to do what she is being told. And it was a bit funny hearing my brother tell her in clear language: Aurora! Use your fork and eat properly!” What had she done? Well she had used her hand, actually her right hand, only. What would Indian parents have said in the same situation? Maybe they would have praised the kid for eating properly?
Smoking at the streets: I don’t have any stats about the percentage of smokers in Norway compared with in India. But I can tell you that on most places you can never see people smoking at the streets, when they are waiting for the bus or the train or so. I’m not even sure if it is legal to smoke at places like a train station in India. Every morning in Norway I have to take the bus to the office. When I come there quite early, I see a lot of cigarette butts there. In India this would surely have been swept away by the untouchables very early in the morning. And yes, there are a lot of girls who smoke when they stand there and wait for the bus…
Public transport: It’s quite fun to take the bus or train in Norway after having been used to do it in Mumbai. First of all, the bus is full when it is full. I mean, the doors are closed and no one can hang on the outside of the bus. I actually kind of miss that, and wonder what the others would have said if I asked to “hang on the outside” as we say in Mumbai. There are also a lot of people taking their baby buggy on the busses, something you hardly ever see in Mumbai.
International flavor at the streets: When I write this paragraph, I might show that I have not understood anything of India, but well, let me give it a try. One thing that strikes me is that it seems like in Norway there are people from a lot more nations than in India. Off course I have been at international events in India and seen people from a lot of different nations, but most people in India do look, well, Indian. Of course there are people from all over India in a place like Mumbai, and locals will probably be able to point at people from different places and say where they are from based on how they talk and how they dress, but to me they look quite a bit the same. In Norway on the other hand, I can easily spot people from Asia, Africa and different parts of Europe. And yes, I can hear by the way they speak if they are from Poland, Sweden, Germany or Iceland. Like this morning when I took the tube, it was a mother and daughter (I think) who clearly were from Eastern Europe standing at the same platform. When we entered the train, I could see two girls (at least) wearing hijab, and those looked African. Next to me it was a person who started to read a book, and the book was written in Swedish.
Hopefully I will have some time next week to reflect more about the differences I have observed, and if you have observed some of the same, please feel free to reach out for the same!
As I said in the heading, this is the fourth part of the “country comparison”. You can find the previous once here:
Part 1: http://wp.me/pZL4Z-W
Part 2: http://wp.me/pZL4Z-4J
Part 3: http://wp.me/pZL4Z-cn
Talk to you soon!