It is said that one of the main achievements by living abroad is that you get to know yourself much better. And you also probably end up being more aware about your surroundings. If that is actually the case for me, I don’t know. Others have to judge that. But it is for sure that I do try to be more aware about the people around me. Who are them? Where are they from? Things like that. One thing that strikes me is that it seems to be a lot of foreigners in Norway! And let me quickly stress that this is not meant to be a racist comment. It is a comparison between what I see at the streets of Oslo and what I observed in Mumbai. In Mumbai, it seems like most people are, well, Indians. Yes, I know that I can’t really see the difference between an Indian, a Bangladesh and maybe even a Pakistani, but I guess you understand what I mean. But in Oslo I can very easily see the difference between a Norwegian, a Filipino and Japanese. And I can also very easily hear the difference between Norwegian, Polish and Spanish. Even Norwegian and Swedish is clearly different. Off course I know it is the holiday season right now, so all the Japanese I see here probably don’t live in Norway, but it is quite interesting to see all different nationalities here.
In order to find out more about this, I decided to try to find some more statistics about it. According to SSB 12, 2 % of people in Norway are from people from another country. Oslo has the highest population of foreigners, with 27 % (or as many as 170.000, a bit less than one area in Andheri…)
It is interesting, and absolutely not chocking to see that most of the immigrants are from European countries. Honestly I thought that the Swedes were the most, but it seems like the Polish have now completely outnumbered them. That was honestly a bit chocking for me to see. But at the other hand, I know that there have been a lot of them coming here after Poland became a member of the European Union. Another interesting fact is that if you look at the number of Norwegian-born to immigrant parents, the Pakistanis are a huge majority. This is not at all strange. The main reason for this I think is that the Pakistanis are among the people who first immigrated to Norway. Now it is the second or third generation growing up here.
When I tried to find the same numbers for India or Mumbai I only ended up with this paper about taxation from PwC. Surely something that should interest me, but not really what I was looking for.
One funny anecdote to wrap up this post; When I left India, I got an Indian national cricket team T-shirt from some friends (actually, I got two). When I went to the local grocery shop a few days ago I for some reason was wearing this shirt. Two of the people working in the shop (of the total three I think) were actually from India. They both came over to me and asked where I had got this shirt from. I guess it was the first time they had ever seen a Norwegian in an Indian cricket shirt. On the way home I was stopped by an elder man. “This was a nice sight” he said (in Norwegian). It turned out that he was from Mumbai and had been living in Norway from more than 20 years! He was quite surprised to learn that I actually currently live in Mumbai.
Talk to you soon!