|Kingdom of Norway|
|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")</div>
|County (fylke)||Administrative centre||Most populous municipality|
|Oslo||City of Oslo||Oslo|
|Sogn og Fjordane||Leikanger||Førde|
|Møre og Romsdal||Molde||Ålesund|
Judicial system and law enforcement Edit
Norway uses a civil law system where laws are created and amended in Parliament and the system regulated through the Courts of Justice of Norway. It consists of the Supreme Court of 19 permanent judges and a Chief Justice, appellate courts, city and district courts, and conciliation councils. The judiciary is independent of executive and legislative branches. While the Prime Minister nominates Supreme Court Justices for office, their nomination must be approved by Parliament and formally confirmed by the Monarch in the Council of State. Usually, judges attached to regular courts are formally appointed by the Monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister.
The Courts' strict and formal mission is to regulate the Norwegian judicial system, interpret the Constitution, and as such implement the legislation adopted by Parliament and monitor the legislative and executive powers to ensure that they themselves comply with the acts of legislation that have been previously adopted.
Law enforcement in Norway is carried out by the Norwegian Police Service. The Norwegian Police Service is a Unified National Police Service made up of 27 Police Districts and several specialist agencies like Økokrim and the National Criminal Investigation Service, each headed by a chief of police. The Police Service is headed by the National Police Directorate, which in turn is subordinate to the Ministry of Justice and the Police, the Police Directorate is headed by a National Police Commissioner. The only exception is the Norwegian Police Security Agency who answers directly to the Ministry of Justice and the Police.
In its 2007 Worldwide Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders ranked Norway at a shared 1st place (with Iceland) out of 169 countries. The death penalty was abolished in Norway in 1902. Death penalty for high treason in war and war-crimes was also abolished in 1979.
Foreign relations Edit
Norway maintains embassies in 86 countries. 60 countries maintain an embassy in Norway, all of them in the capital, Oslo.
Norway is a founding member of the United Nations (UN), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Council of Europe and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Scandinavia has traditionally been considered more reluctant in relation to the process of European integration than other European countries. Norway did however follow suit when neighbouring Nordic countries issued applications for accession to the European Union (EU) in 1962, 1967 and 1992, respectively. While Denmark, Sweden and Finland obtained membership, the treaties of accession which had been negotiated were rejected by the Norwegian electorate in 1972 and 1994. After the failed 1994 referendum, Norway maintained its membership in the European Economic Area (EEA), an arrangement which had been seen as a prerequisite for countries about to accede to the EU in 1995. This continues to grant the country access to the internal market of the Union, on the condition that Norway implements those of the Union's pieces of legislation which are deemed relevant to the internal market (counting approximately seven thousand as of 2010) Successive Norwegian governments have, since 1994, requested Norway's participation in parts of the EU's cooperation which go beyond the provisions of the EEA agreement. Non-voting participation by Norway has been granted in for instance the Union's Common Security and Defence Policy, the Schengen Agreement, the European Defence Agency as well as 19 separate programmes.
Norway has been considered a notable participant in international development, having been involved in the 1990s brokering which lead to the ill-fated Oslo Accords regarding the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
The Norwegian Armed Forces currently numbers about 23,000 personnel, including civilian employees. According to the current (as of 2009) mobilization plans, the strength during full mobilization is approximately 83,000 combatant personnel. Norway has conscription for males (6–12 months of training) and voluntary service for females. The Armed Forces are subordinate to the Norwegian Ministry of Defence and the Commander-in-Chief is King Harald V. The military of Norway is divided into the following branches: the Army, the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force and the Home Guard.
Partly due to Norway's inability to maintain its traditional policy of neutrality in World War II (joining the Allied war effort after being invaded by Nazi Germany in April 1940), the country was one of the founding nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on 4 April 1949. At present, Norway contributes in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Additionally, Norway has contributed in several missions in contexts of the United Nations, NATO, and the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union.
Norwegians enjoy the second highest GDP per-capita (after Luxembourg) and fourth highest GDP (PPP) per-capita in the world. Today, Norway ranks as the second wealthiest country in the world in monetary value, with the largest capital reserve per capita of any nation. According to the CIA World Factbook, Norway is a net external creditor of debt. Norway maintained first place in the world in the UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) for six consecutive years (2001–2006), and then reclaimed this position in 2009 and 2010. The standard of living in Norway is among the highest in the world. Foreign Policy Magazine ranks Norway last in its Failed States Index for 2009, judging Norway to be the world's most well-functioning and stable country. Continued oil and gas exports coupled with a healthy economy and substantial accumulated wealth lead to a conclusion that Norway will remain among the richest countries in the world in the foreseeable future.
The Norwegian economy is an example of a mixed economy, a prosperous capitalist welfare state featuring a combination of free market activity and large state ownership in certain key sectors. The Norwegian welfare state makes public health care free (above a certain level), and parents have 46 weeks paid parental leave. The income that the state receives from natural resources includes a significant contribution from petroleum production and the substantial and carefully managed income related to this sector. Norway has a very low unemployment rate, currently 2.6%. 30% of the labour force are employed by the government, the highest in the OECD. 22% are on welfare and 13% are too disabled to work, the highest proportions in the world. The hourly productivity levels, as well as average hourly wages in Norway are among the highest in the world. The egalitarian values of the Norwegian society ensure that the wage difference between the lowest paid worker and the CEO of most companies is much smaller than in comparable western economies. This is also evident in Norway's low Gini coefficient. The state has large ownership positions in key industrial sectors, such as the strategic petroleum sector (Statoil and Aker Solutions), hydroelectric energy production (Statkraft), aluminium production (Norsk Hydro), the largest Norwegian bank (DnB NOR), and telecommunication provider (Telenor). Through these big companies, the government controls approximately 30% of the stock values at the Oslo Stock Exchange. When non-listed companies are included, the state has even higher share in ownership (mainly from direct oil license ownership). Norway is a major shipping nation and has the world's 6th largest merchant fleet, with 1,412 Norwegian-owned merchant vessels.
Referendums in 1972 and 1994 indicated that the Norwegian people wished to remain outside the European Union (EU). However, Norway, together with Iceland and Liechtenstein, participates in the European Union's single market via the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement. The EEA Treaty between the European Union countries and the EFTA countries– transposed into Norwegian law via "EØS-loven"– describes the procedures for implementing European Union rules in Norway and the other EFTA countries. This makes Norway a highly integrated member of most sectors of the EU internal market. However, some sectors, such as agriculture, oil and fish, are not wholly covered by the EEA Treaty. Norway has also acceded to the Schengen Agreement and several other intergovernmental agreements between the EU member states.
The country is richly endowed with natural resources including petroleum, hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals. Large reserves of petroleum and natural gas were discovered in the 1960s, which led to a boom in the economy. Norway has obtained one of the highest standards of living in the world in part by having a large amount of natural resources compared to the size of the population. In 2011, 28% of state revenues were generated from the petroleum industry.
Export revenues from oil and gas have risen to 45% of total exports and constitute more than 20% of the GDP. Norway is the fifth largest oil exporter and third largest gas exporter in the world, but it is not a member of OPEC. To reduce overheating in the economy from oil revenues and minimize uncertainty from volatility in oil price, and to provide a cushion for the effect of aging of the population, the Norwegian government in 1995 established the sovereign wealth fund ("Government Pension Fund — Global"), which would be funded with oil revenues, including taxes, dividends, sales revenues and licensing fees.
The government controls its petroleum resources through a combination of state ownership in major operators in the oil fields (with approximately 62% ownership in Statoil in 2007) and the fully state-owned Petoro, which has a market value of about twice Statoil, and SDFI. Finally, the government controls licensing of exploration and production of fields. The fund invests in developed financial markets outside Norway. The budgetary rule ("Handlingsregelen") is to spend no more than 4% of the fund each year (assumed to be the normal yield from the fund).
As of March 2011, the Government Pension Fund of Norway controlled assets valued at is approximately US$570 billion (equal to US$114,000 per capita) which is about 140% of Norway's current GDP. Currently it is the second-largest state-owned sovereign wealth fund, second only to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority; Conservative estimates tell that the fund may reach US$800–900 billion by 2017. Projections indicate that the Norwegian pension fund may become the largest capital fund in the world. The fund controls approximately 1.25% of all listed shares in Europe and more than 1% of all the publicly traded shares in the world. The Norwegian Central Bank operates investment offices in London, New York and Shanghai. Guidelines implemented in 2007 allow the fund to invest up to 60% of the capital in shares (maximum of 40% prior), while the rest may be placed in bonds and real-estate. As the stock markets tumbled in September 2008, the fund was able to buy more shares at low prices. In this way, the losses incurred by the market turmoil was recuperated by November 2009.
Other natural resource-based economies, such as Russia, are trying to learn from Norway by establishing similar funds. The investment choices of the Norwegian fund are directed by ethical guidelines; for example, the fund is not allowed to invest in companies that produce parts for nuclear weapons. The highly transparent investment scheme is lauded by the international community.
The future size of the fund is of course closely linked to the price of oil and to developments in international financial markets. The Norwegian trade surplus for 2008 reached approximately US$80 billion. With an enormous amount of cash invested in international financial markets, Norway has financial muscles to avert many of the worst effects of the financial crisis that hit most countries in the fall of 2008. As most western countries struggle with burgeoning foreign debt, Norway remains a nation of stowed-away wealth, financial stability and economic power to meet the challenges of the worldwide economic crisis. In spite of the crisis, Norway still runs a 9% state budget surplus, being the only western country to run a surplus as of July 2009.
In 2000, the government sold one-third of the state-owned oil company Statoil in an IPO. The next year, the main telecom supplier, Telenor, was listed on Oslo Stock Exchange. The state also owns significant shares of Norway's largest bank, DnB NOR and the airline SAS. Since 2000, economic growth has been rapid, pushing unemployment down to levels not seen since the early 1980s (unemployment in 2007: 1.3%). The international financial crisis has primarily affected the industrial sector, but unemployment has remained low and is at 3.3% (86 000 people) in August 2011. Norway is among the least affected countries of the international economic downturn. Neighbouring Sweden is experiencing substantially higher actual and projected unemployment numbers as a result of the ongoing recession, and in the 1st quarter of 2009 the GNP of Norway surpassed Sweden's for the first time in history, despite a population numbering about half of Sweden's.
Norway is also the world's second largest exporter of fish (in value, after China) and the 6th largest arms exporter in the world. Hydroelectric plants generate roughly 98–99% of Norway's electric power, more than any other country in the world.
Due to the low population density, narrow shape and long coastlines, public transport in Norway is less developed than in many European countries, especially outside the cities. As such, Norway has old water transport traditions, but the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications has in recent years implemented rail, road and air transport through numerous subsidiaries in order to develop the country's infrastructure. Most recently there has been discussion of the possibility of creating a new high-speed rail system between the nation's largest cities.
Norway's main railway network consists of 4,114 kilometres (2,556 mi) of standard gauge lines, of which 242 kilometres (150 mi) is double track and 64 kilometres (40 mi) high-speed rail (210 km/h) while 62% is electrified at Template:15 kV AC. The railways transported 56,827,000 passengers 2,956 million passenger kilometres and 24,783,000 tonnes of cargo 3,414 million tonne kilometres. The entire network is owned by the Norwegian National Rail Administration, while all domestic passenger trains except the Airport Express Train are operated by Norges Statsbaner (NSB). Several companies operate freight trains.
Investment in new infrastructure and maintenance is financed through the state budget, and subsidies are provided for passenger train operations. NSB operates long-haul trains, including night trains, regional services and four commuter train systems, around Oslo, Trondheim, Bergen and Stavanger.
There are approximately 92,946 kilometres (57,754 mi) of road network in Norway, of which 72,033 kilometres (44,759 mi) are paved and 664 kilometres (413 mi) are motorway. There are four tiers of road routes; national, county, municipal and private, with only the national roads numbered en route. The most important national routes are part of the European route scheme, and the two most prominent are the E6 going north-south through the entire country, while E39 follows the West Coast. National and county roads are managed by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.
Of the 97 airports in Norway, 52 are public, and 46 are operated by the state-owned Avinor. Seven airports have more than one million passengers annually. 41,089,675 passengers passed through Norwegian airports in 2007, of which 13,397,458 were international.
The central gateway by air to Norway is Oslo Airport, Gardermoen, located about 50 kilometres (31 mi) north of Oslo with departures to most European countries and some intercontinental destinations. It is hub for the two major Norwegian airlines Scandinavian Airlines System and Norwegian Air Shuttle, and for regional aircraft from Western Norway.
|Source: Statistics Norway.|
There is no official count of ethnicities in Norway. As of January 2012 almost 87% of the population had at least one parent who was born in Norway. 13.1% or 655 000 were either immigrant or children of two immigrants. Of those with an immigrant background about 323 000 have background from Europe, about 220 000 have background from Asia, about 80 000 from Africa, about 20 600 from South- and Central America and about 11 000 have background from North America.
In 2012, of the total 660 000 with immigrant background, 407,262 had Norwegian citizenship (62.2 percent). Immigrants were represented in all Norwegian municipalities. The cities or municipalities with the highest share of immigrants in 2012 was Oslo (26 percent) and Drammen (18 percent). According to Reuters, Oslo is the "fastest growing city in Europe because of increased immigration". In recent years, immigration has accounted for most of Norway's population growth. In 2010, the immigrant community grew by 57,000, which accounted for 90% of Norway's population growth; some 27% of newborn children were of immigrant background.
The Sami people traditionally inhabit central and northern parts of Norway and Sweden, as well as in northern Finland and in Russia on the Kola Peninsula. Another national minority are the Kven people who are the descendants of Finnish speaking people that moved to northern Norway in the 18th up to the 20th century. Both the Sami and the Kven were subjected to a strong assimilation policy by the Norwegian government from the 19th century up to the 1970s. Because of this "Norwegianization process", many families of Sami or Kven ancestry now self-identify as ethnic Norwegian.
Other groups recognized as national minorities of Norway are Jews, Forest Finns, and Norwegian Romani Travellers (a branch of the Romani people, not to be confused with non-recognized Indigenous Norwegian Travellers).
There are almost 4.7 million Norwegian Americans according to the 2006 U.S. census. The number of Americans of Norwegian descent living in the U.S. today is roughly equal to the current population of Norway. In the 2006 Canadian census, 432,515 Canadian citizens claimed Norwegian ancestry.
In 2012 there the number of immigrants or children of two immigrants residing in Norway were approximately 655 000, or 13.1% of the total population. Yearly immigration has increased rapidly since 2005. While yearly net immigration 2001-2005 was on average 13 613 it increased to 37 541 in the period 2006-2010 and in 2011 net immigration reached 47 032. This is mostly due to increased immigration from the EU, in particular Poland.
In 2010, the immigrant community grew by 57,000, which accounted for 90% of Norway's population growth; some 27% of newborn children were of immigrant background.
Pakistani Norwegians are the largest non-European minority group in Norway, and most of their 31,000 members live around Oslo. The Iraqi immigrant population has increased significantly in recent years. After the enlargement of the EU in 2004, there has also been an influx of immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe, particularly Poland. The large 2007 immigrant group was primarily from Poland, Germany, Sweden, Lithuania and Russia.
The policies of immigration and integration are subjected to major controversy in Norway
Most Norwegians are registered at baptism as members of the Church of Norway; many remain in the state church to be able to use services such as baptism, confirmation, marriage and burial, rites which have strong cultural standing in Norway. About 79.2% of Norwegians were members of the Church of Norway as of January 1, 2010. However, only 20% of Norwegians say that religion occupies an important place in their life (according to a Gallup poll in 2009), the fourth-lowest such percentage in the world (only Estonia, Sweden and Denmark are lower). In the early 1990s, it was estimated that between 4.7% – 5.3% of Norwegians attended church on a weekly basis. This figure has dropped to about 2% – the lowest such percentage in Europe – according to 2009 and 2010 data
There are, by November 2011, about 98,000 registered Catholics in Norway. But there are also lots of Catholics who aren't registered with their personal identification number; the real number is probably about 230,000 Catholics, 70% of whom were born abroad.
Annuario Pontificio 2011 use a number of 229,652 Catholics. That constitutes about 5% of the population, making Norway the most Catholic country in Northern Europe.
In 2010, 10% of the population was religiously unaffiliated, while another 9% (431 000 people), were members of religious and life stance communities outside the Church of Norway. Other Christian denominations total about 4.9% of the population, the largest of which is the Catholic Church, with 83,000 members. Others include Pentecostals (39,600), the Evangelical Lutheran Free Church of Norway (19,600), Methodists (11,000), Baptists (9,900), Orthodox (9,900) Brunstad Christian Church (6,800), Adventists (5,100), Assyrians and Chaldeans, and others. The Swedish, Finnish and Icelandic Lutheran congregations in Norway have about 27,500 members in total. Other religions comprise less than 1% each, including 4,000 members in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and 12,000 Jehovah's Witnesses.
Among non-Christian religions, Islam is the largest with the population of 106,735. It is practiced mainly by Somali, Arab, Albanian, and Turkish immigrants, as well as Norwegians of Pakistani descent. Other religions comprise less than 1% each, including 819 adherents of Judaism. Indian immigrants introduced Hinduism to Norway, which in 2011 has slightly more than 5,900 adherents, or 1% of non-Lutheran Norwegians. Sikhism has approximately 3,000 adherents with most living in Oslo, with two Gurdwaras; Gurdwara Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Gurdwara Sikh Sangat. Sikhs first came to Norway in the early 1970s. The troubles in Punjab after Operation Bluestar and the genocide of Sikhs after the assassination of Indira Gandhi led to an increase of Sikhs moving to Norway. Drammen also has a sizeable population of Sikhs with the largest Gurdwara in north Europe completed in Lier. There are eleven Buddhist organizations, grouped under the Buddhistforbundet organization, with slightly over 14,000 members, which make up 0.2% of the population. The Baha'i religion has slightly more than 1,000 adherents. Around 1.7% (84,500) of Norwegians adhere to the secular Norwegian Humanist Association.
From 2006 to 2011, the fastest-growing religious faith in Norway was Orthodox Christianity, which grew in membership by 80.0%; however, its share of the total population remains small, at 0.20%. One of the reasons is huge immigration from Eritrea and Ethiopia and to a lesser extent from Eastern European and Middle Eastern countries. Other fast-growing religions were the Roman Catholic Church (78.7%), Hinduism (59.6%), Islam (48.1%), and Buddhism (46.7%).
Like other Scandinavian countries, the Norse followed a form of native Germanic paganism known as Norse paganism. By the end of the 11th century, when Norway had been Christianized, the indigenous Norse religion and practices were prohibited. Remnants of the native religion and beliefs of Norway survive today in the form of names, referential names of cities and locations, the days of the week, and other parts of the everyday language. Modern interest in the old ways has led to a revival of the pagan religious practices in the form of Asatru. The Norwegian Åsatrufellesskapet Bifrost formed in 1996; as of 2011, the fellowship has about 300 members. Foreningen Forn Sed formed in 1999 and has been recognized by the Norwegian government as a religious organization.
The Sami minority retained their shamanistic religion well into the 18th century when most of them were converted to Christianity by Dano-Norwegian missionaries. Today there is an increasing interest in the Sami way of life, which has led to a revival of Noaidevuohta (Sami Shamanism). There are also reports of Norwegian and Sami celebrities visiting Shamans for guidance. Although the majority of Sami people are Lutheran, there are some who managed to retain their ancient religion.
According to the Eurobarometer Poll 2005, at that time 32% of Norwegian citizens responded that "they believe there is a god". A study conducted three years previously by Gustafsson and Pettersson (2002), similarly found that 72% of Norwegians did not believe in a 'personal God.'
|Religion (as of 2011)||Members||Percent|
|Seventh-day Adventist Church||5,066||0.1%|
|Non-religious and unknown||671,411||13.6%|
Higher education in Norway is offered by a range of seven universities, five specialized colleges, 25 university colleges as well as a range of private colleges. Education follows the Bologna Process involving Bachelor (3 years), Master (2 years) and PhD (3 years) degrees. Acceptance is offered after finishing upper secondary school with general study competence.
Public education is virtually free, regardless of nationality, with an academic year with two semesters, from August to December and from January to June. The ultimate responsibility for the education lies with the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research.
The North Germanic Norwegian language has two official written forms, Bokmål and Nynorsk. Both of them are recognized as official languages, in that they are both used in public administration, in schools, churches, and media, and Bokmål is the written language used by the vast majority of about 80–85%. Around 95% of the population speak Norwegian as their native language, although many speak dialects that may differ significantly from the written language. All Norwegian dialects are inter-intelligible, although listeners with very limited exposure to dialects other than their own may struggle to understand certain phrases and pronunciations in some other dialects. Several Uralic Sami languages are spoken and written throughout the country, especially in the north, by some members of the Sami people (estimates suggest about one third of Norwegian Sami speak a Sami language). Speakers have a right to get education in Sami language no matter where they are living and to receive communication from the government in various Sami languages. The Kven minority historically spoke the Uralic Kven language (considered a separate language in Norway, but generally perceived as a Finnish dialect in Finland), but the majority of Kvens today have little or no knowledge of the language. According to the Kainun institutti "The typical modern Kven is a Norwegian-speaking Norwegian who knows his genealogy". There is advocacy for making Norwegian Sign Language an official Norwegian language.
In the 19th and 20th century, Norwegian language was subject to strong political and cultural controversy, which led to the creation of Nynorsk in the 19th century and to the formation of alternative spelling standards in the 20th century, notably the Riksmål standard, which is more conservative (that is, more similar to Danish) than Bokmål.
Norwegian is similar to the other languages in Scandinavia, Swedish and Danish. All three languages are mutually intelligible and can be, and commonly are, employed in communication between inhabitants of the Scandinavian countries. As a result of the cooperation within the Nordic Council, inhabitants of all Nordic countries, including Iceland and Finland, have the right to communicate with the Norwegian authorities in their own language.
Any Norwegian student who is a child of immigrant parents is encouraged to learn the Norwegian language. The Norwegian government offers language instructional courses for immigrants wishing to obtain Norwegian citizenship. From 1 September 2008, an applicant for Norwegian citizenship must also give evidence of proficiency in either the Norwegian or Sami language or give proof of having attended classes in Norwegian for 300 hours, or meet the language requirements for university studies in Norway (which is met by being proficient in one of the Scandinavian languages).
The main foreign language taught in Norwegian elementary school is English. The majority of the population are fluent in English, especially those born after World War II. German, French and Spanish are also commonly taught as a second or, more often, third language. Russian, Japanese, Italian, Latin and rarely Chinese (Mandarin) are available in some schools, mostly in the cities. Traditionally, English, German and French were considered the main foreign languages in Norway. These languages, for instance, had been used on Norwegian passports until the 1990s, and university students have a general right to use these languages when submitting their theses.
The unique Norwegian farm culture, sustained to this day, has resulted not only from scarce resources and a harsh climate but also from ancient property laws. In the 18th century, it brought about a strong romantic nationalistic movement, which is still visible in the Norwegian language and media. In the 19th century, Norwegian culture blossomed as efforts continued to achieve an independent identity in the areas of literature, art and music. This continues today in the performing arts and as a result of government support for exhibitions, cultural projects and artwork.
Norway has been, in many regards, an early adopter of women's rights, minority rights, and LGBT rights. For example, in 1990 Norway was the first country to recognize the ILO-convention 169 on indigenous people, and in 1913 became one of the first countries to grant women universal suffrage (without conditions on civil status). It was also the first independent nation to allow women to run for elected office.
In regard to LGBT rights, Norway was the first country in the world to enact an anti-discrimination law protecting the rights of gays and lesbians. In 1993 Norway became the second country to legalize civil union partnerships for same-sex couples, and on January 1, 2009, Norway became the sixth country to grant full marriage equality to same-sex couples.
However, only in 1990 was the Norwegian constitution altered to grant absolute primogeniture to the Norwegian throne, meaning that the eldest child, regardless of gender, takes precedence in the line of succession. This was not done retroactively, meaning that even now the current successor to the throne is not the eldest child to the King, but the eldest son. The Norwegian constitution Article 6 states that “For those born before the year 1990 it shall [..] be the case that a male shall take precedence over a female.”
An ardent promoter of human rights, Norway is home to the annual Oslo Freedom Forum conference, a gathering described by The Economist as “on its way to becoming a human-rights equivalent of the Davos economic forum.”
Not until fairly recently has the Norwegian cinema received international recognition, but as early as 1951 a documentary film of the Kon-Tiki expedition won an Oscar Academy Award. In 1959, Arne Skouen's Nine Lives was nominated, but failed to win. Another notable film is Flåklypa Grand Prix (English: Pinchcliffe Grand Prix), an animated feature film directed by Ivo Caprino. The film was released in 1975 and is based on characters from Norwegian cartoonist Kjell Aukrust. It is the most widely seen Norwegian film of all time.
There was however a real breakthrough in 1987 with Nils Gaup's Pathfinder which told the story of the Sami. It was nominated for an Oscar and was a huge international success. Berit Nesheim's The Other Side of Sunday was also nominated for an Oscar in 1997.
Since the 1990s, the film industry has thrived with up to 20 feature films each year. Particular successes were Kristin Lavransdatter, The Telegraphist and Gurin with the Foxtail. Knut Erik Jensen was among the more successful new directors together with Erik Skjoldbjærg remembered for Insomnia.
In late 2008, the movie Max Manus opened at Norwegian theatres. The movie was a WW2 drama, telling the story of the Norwegian resistance hero Max Manus who led many successful sabotage operations against the German occupation. The movie became the highest grossing Norwegian movie ever.
The country has also been used as filming location for several Hollywood and other international productions, including the 1980 movie Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back where the producers used Hardangerjøkulen glacier as a filming location, for scenes of the ice planet Hoth, including a memorable battle in the snow. Other films include scenes from the James Bond film Die Another Day, The Golden Compass (film), Spies Like Us and Heroes of Telemark as well as the TV series Lilyhammer.
Along with the classical music of romantic composers Edvard Grieg; Rikard Nordraak and Johan Svendsen, and the modern music of Arne Nordheim, Norwegian black metal has become something of an export article in recent years.
Since the 1990s, Norway's biggest cultural export is black metal. The lo-fi, dark and raw form of heavy metal exploded in Norway during the 1990s and launched the careers of bands such as Darkthrone, Mayhem, Burzum, Emperor, Gorgoroth and Immortal, as well as later bands such as Dimmu Borgir. This development has since become an important part of extreme metal, but many events that took place in the early 1990s related to the black metal movement such as several church burnings and a prominent murder case caused some concern amongst the Norwegian citizens at large.
The jazz scene in Norway is also thriving. Jan Garbarek, Terje Rypdal, Mari Boine, Arild Andersen, and Bugge Wesseltoft are internationally recognized while Paal Nilssen-Love, Supersilent, Jaga Jazzist and Wibutee are becoming world-class artists of the younger generation.
Norway has a strong folk music tradition which remains popular to this day. Among the most prominent folk musicians are Hardanger fiddlers Andrea Een, Olav Jørgen Hegge and Annbjørg Lien, vocalists Agnes Buen Garnås, Kirsten Bråten Berg and Odd Nordstoga.
Other internationally recognized bands are A-ha and Röyksopp. A-ha initially rose to global fame during the mid 1980s. In the 90s and 00s the group maintained its popularity domestically, and saw some success outside Norway (mainly in Germany and Switzerland).
In recent years, various Norwegian songwriters and production teams have contributed to other international artists releases. Most notably the Norwegian production team Stargate (production team) who has produced songs for Rihanna, Beyoncé Knowles, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez and Lionel Richie among others. Espen Lind who has written and produced songs for Beyoncé Knowles, Lionel Richie, Ne-Yo, Chris Brown, Jessica Simpson and Leona Lewis. Lene Marlin who has written songs for Rihanna and Lovebugs (band)
Norway enjoys many music festivals throughout the year, all over the country. Norway is the host of one of the world's biggest Extreme sport festivals with music; Ekstremsportveko – a festival held annually in Voss. Oslo is the host of many festivals, such as: Øyafestivalen and by:Larm. Oslo used to have a summerparade similar to the German Love Parade. In 1992 the city of Oslo wanted to adopt the French music festival “Fête de la Musique”. Fredrik Carl Størmer established the festival. Even in its first year, “Musikkens Dag” gathered thousands of people and artists in the streets of Oslo. "Musikkens Dag" is now renamed "Musikkfest Oslo. Norway also have a festival named trænafestivalen each year on the island Træna.
History of Norwegian literature starts with the pagan Eddaic poems and skaldic verse of the 9th and 10th centuries with poets such as Bragi Boddason and Eyvindr skáldaspillir. The arrival of Christianity around the year 1000 brought Norway into contact with European mediaeval learning, hagiography and history writing. Merged with native oral tradition and Icelandic influence this was to flower into an active period of literature production in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. Major works of that period include Historia Norwegiæ, Þiðrekssaga and Konungs skuggsjá.
Little Norwegian literature came out of the period of the Scandinavian Union and the subsequent Dano-Norwegian union (1387—1814), with some notable exceptions such as Petter Dass and Ludvig Holberg. In his play Peer Gynt, Ibsen characterized this period as "Twice two hundred years of darkness/brooded o'er the race of monkeys", although the latter line is not as frequently quoted as the former. During the union with Denmark, written Norwegian was replaced by Danish.
Two major events precipitated a major resurgence in Norwegian literature. In 1811 a Norwegian university was established in Christiania. Seized by the spirit of revolution following the American and French Revolutions, the Norwegians signed their first Constitution in 1814. Soon, the cultural backwater that was Norway brought forth a series of strong authors recognized first in Scandinavia, and then worldwide; among them were Henrik Wergeland, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, Jørgen Moe and Camilla Collett.
By the late 19th century, in the Golden Age of Norwegian literature, the so-called Great Four emerged: Henrik Ibsen, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, Alexander Kielland, and Jonas Lie. Bjørnson's "peasant novels", such as "En glad gutt" (A Happy Boy) and "Synnøve Solbakken" are typical of the national romanticism of their day, whereas Kielland's novels and short stories are mostly realistic. Although an important contributor to early Norwegian romantic nationalism (especially the ironic Peer Gynt), Henrik Ibsen's fame rests primarily on his pioneering realistic dramas such The Wild Duck and A Doll's House, many of which caused moral uproar because of their candid portrayals of the middle classes.
In the 20th century, three Norwegian novelists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature: Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson in 1903, Knut Hamsun for the book "Markens grøde" ("Growth of the Soil") in 1920, and Sigrid Undset in 1928. Further important contributions to Norwegian literature were made by writers like Dag Solstad, Jon Fosse, Cora Sandel, Olav Duun, Olav H. Hauge, Gunvor Hofmo, Stein Mehren, Kjell Askildsen, Hans Herbjørnsrud, Aksel Sandemose, Bergljot Hobæk Haff, Jostein Gaarder, Erik Fosnes Hansen, Jens Bjørneboe, Kjartan Fløgstad, Lars Saabye Christensen, Johan Borgen, Herbjørg Wassmo, Jan Erik Vold, Rolf Jacobsen, Olaf Bull, Jan Kjærstad, Georg Johannesen, Tarjei Vesaas, Sigurd Hoel, Arnulf Øverland and Johan Falkberget.
Norway has always had a tradition of building in wood. Indeed, many of today's most interesting new buildings are made of wood, reflecting the strong appeal that this material continues to hold for Norwegian designers and builders.
In the early Middle Ages, stave churches were constructed throughout Norway. Many of them remain to this day and represent Norway’s most important contribution to architectural history. A fine example is Urnes Stave Church which is now on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Another notable example of wooden architecture is the Bryggen Wharf in Bergen, consisting of a row of narrow wooden structures along the quayside.
After Norway’s union with Denmark was dissolved in 1814, Oslo became the capital. Architect Christian H. Grosch designed the oldest parts of the University of Oslo, the Oslo Stock Exchange, and many other buildings and churches.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the city of Ålesund was rebuilt in the Art Nouveau style. The 1930s, when functionalism dominated, became a strong period for Norwegian architecture, but it is only in recent decades that Norwegian architects have truly achieved international renown. One of the most striking modern buildings in Norway is the Sami Parliament in Kárášjohka designed by Stein Halvorson and Christian Sundby. Its debating chamber is an abstract timber version of a Lavvo, the traditional tent used by the nomadic Sami people.
For an extended period, the Norwegian art scene was dominated by artwork from Germany and Holland as well as by the influence of Copenhagen. It was in the 19th century that a truly Norwegian era began, first with portraits, later with even more impressive landscapes. Johan Christian Dahl (1788–1857), originally from the Dresden school, eventually returned to paint the landscapes of western Norway, defining Norwegian painting for the first time."
Norway’s new-found independence from Denmark encouraged painters to develop their Norwegian identity, especially with landscape painting by artists such as Kitty Kielland, a female painter who studied under Hans Gude; Harriet Backer, 1845–1932, another pioneer among female artists, influenced by impressionism. Frits Thaulow, an impressionist, was influenced by the art scene in Paris as was Christian Krohg, a realist painter, famous for his paintings of prostitutes.
Norway's culinary traditions show the influence of long seafaring and farming traditions with salmon (fresh and cured), herring (pickled or marinated), trout, codfish and other seafood balanced by cheeses, dairy products and breads (predominantly dark/darker).
Lefse is a Norwegian potato flatbread, usually topped with large amounts of butter and sugar, most common around Christmas. Some traditional Norwegian dishes include lutefisk, smalahove, pinnekjøtt and fårikål.
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|Wikinews has related news: Norway|
- Norway.no, Norway's official portal
- Statistics Norway
- State of the Environment Norway
- State of the Environment Norway: About Norway
- CIA World Factbook entry on Norway
- Norway entry at Encyclopædia Britannica
- Norway from UCB Libraries GovPubs
- Norway profile from the BBC News
- Norway.info, official foreign portal of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Wikimedia Atlas of Norway
- Geographic data related to Norway at OpenStreetMap
- VisitNorway.com, official travel guide to Norway.
- Norway travel guide from Wikivoyage
- vifanord – a digital library that provides scientific information on the Nordic and Baltic countries as well as the Baltic region as a whole.
- Birdwatching Norway
- National Anthem of Norway
- Key Development Forecasts for Norway from International Futures
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|This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Norway. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.|