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Are Norwegians friendly or racists???

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    Are Norwegians friendly or racists???

    The answer to the above is probably; yes and yes.
    Most are friendly to foreigners that arrive in Norway to work and live there, less so to Refugees and Asylum seekers from outside Europe.

    But a racist undertone is always there. Swedes, Danes and others that is similar are usually welcome and accepted without problems, People from Slavic and Latin countries a bit more reluctantly.

    When it comes to people from outside Europe (excl. USA, Canada, Australia etc.) the attitude is more hostile. Some of this is because of different religion and some because of a generally lesser knowledge of the cultures and traditions in far away countries of the Middle East, Africa and Asia. (10 days in Pattaya or Phuket does not make much difference)

    It appears to me that, even though a lot of people is against allowing all manners of foreigners to enter and settle in Norway, when it comes to those living in their midst who gets into trouble with the authorities, they get a lot of sympathy. (No, not Criminals)

    Here is an article from The Local about a Romanian beggar who died in Tromso recently:

    And another about a "Somali" (who happened to actually be from Djibouti) who had done very well for himself in Norway and assimilated well, but now may be deported back to Djibouti because he had lied on his asylum application some 11 years ago:

    Legally it is probably correct, but is it morally and ethically correct, or even smart, to deport someone who can and will contribute to the country? This person may one day become Prime Minister in Norway, if allowed to stay and continue his political career:
    OK, to uphold the Law, deport him and let him apply to return to Norway legally and continue his life there, to the benefit of all.

    The number of foreigners deported from Norway is not large, and of those many are deported because of having committed crimes:

    But among those deportees are a number of children who has crown up there, know nothing of the country of their parents and will have problems fitting in there.
    There are also other resourceful persons, like Khalid, who lied about their origin, or age, or both, on arrival and at the behest of the traffickers who brought them there.

    Norway need more young and resourceful people to fill the void after those who reach pension age.
    Why send such people out, so they can go to somewhere else, where they are welcomed with open arms, especially if they arrive with a good (and expensive) Norwegian education???

    Without immigration the population of Norway will shrink. Eventually there will be more pensioners, students and people on disability than working people.
    As long as the oil and gas prices remain high Norway can survive, economically. When the Oil runs out there is the "Oil Fund", which can last another few years.
    But who is going to look after the "inmates" in the Homes for the Aged?? They cannot ALL go to Spain, can they??

    Am I a racist for not enjoying foreigners (from wherever of whichever colour, culture and religion) coming to our country with no intentions to contribute...?
    Am I a racist for not enjoying foreingers (from wherever of whichever colour, culture and religion) coming to our country to be criminals...?
    Am I a racist for not enjoying foreigners (from wherever of whichever colour, culture and religion) coming to our country to tell us, often in a violent way, how to run our country...?

    Is it possible for a Norwegian to have an opinion about the subject WITHOUT being called a racist...?

    Does anyone, with their mind intact, truly belive that I (as a Norwegian) have anything against foreigners (from wherever of whichever colour, culture and religion) who come to our country
    to take part in the society, do whatever they can to learn the language, try to hold their own and be a part of the country they run to...?

    I'm not saying it's ok to send Khalid out, I'm not saying it's ok to send children out..., children born in Norway who know nothing of their parents home land, but should a nation not have rules and regs? Where should the line be drawn? When should the line be drawn? Is it ok to lie about personal information and origin to fool immigration officials?

    Am I tired of recurring accusations of me (by being Norwegian) being a racist...?

    The headline should say: 'Are the Norwegian Government friendly or racists?' (Or the departement in question or the UDI?? UDI = Norwegian Directorate of Immigration).

    Yes, in our country we do have "elements" who are racistic in they behavour, but those are the ones media put their spotlight on...., so that someone might belive we are a nation of racists.

    We have thousands of foreign workers in almost all categories of jobs from doctors to bricklayers, we need them..., and we know it. Is that racistic?

    When I use the frase 'from wherever of whichever colour, culture and religion' above, I really mean that. I mean anyone from any corner of the world be it USA, Singapore, other countries in Asia, Africa, Russia, East- or West Europe, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Australia, Japan...., or wherever.
    Don't insinuate that I (by being Norwegian) think different about different people and colours of skin...., please!

    What am I so provoced about? The second yes in the headlines answers.



      I had hoped that this post would provoke more than one reply, but at least it was a forceful one.

      Let me reply to Sterkoder's remarks;

      Yes it is possible for a Norwegian to have an opinion without being called a racist. I only asked a question and did not imply that All Norwegians are racists.
      The second "yes" was to the fact that there are SOME racists in Norway. In fact some well known writers on European racist websites are Norwegian and we don't need to rip up in fairly recent events.

      No I did not imply that YOU personally (or as a Norwegian) have anything against foreigners, only that there are many in Norway (and elsewhere) who recent foreigners coming into their country. That resentment tend to be strong against people the further away they come from. Whether this can be termed "Racism" is actually what I was hoping to get an answer to.

      People all over the world, including in countries that are traditionally immigrant countries, like USA, Australia and even Singapore, with abt 30% foreign workers in the population, are fearful of influx of people that is "different". That can be seen in the present debate in all the above mentioned countries about Immigration Laws, whether the immigrants can integrate and whether they take jobs away from the locals etc.

      In Europe you have the big debate on whether foreigners is arriving to live off welfare and the export of welfare goodies to people actually living abroad.
      Statistics shows that foreigners that is allowed to work (not being kept in limbo for years in Asylum seeker centers) is far less a burden on the welfare system than indigenous people.
      As for welfare export, in the case of Norway, it was found that over 90% of the foreign payments were going to Norwegians living abroad and most of the rest was to comply with Norwegian rules that applies to anybody working in Norway.

      As to whether the headline should read; "Are the Norwegian Government friendly or racist", I can concur. But Norway has a Government "for the people, by the people" and freely elected.
      At least in theory that should mean that the opinion of the Government is the opinion of the people. In practice the non-elected Bureaucrats runs the show according to their interpretation of the Laws.

      UDI is very much such a bureaucratic institution. I think that if they are unable to find out if a person is Somali or not in a matter of 11 years, they should be allowed to look at individual cases and merits and whether that person is able and willing to contribute positively to the society, or is a burden. If yes, open up for an amnesty, if no, put him/her on the next plane out.

      To keep people in limbo for several years is a burden for the Asylum seeks, and for the Norwegian tax payer. I don't know if this is because UDI is undermanned, inefficient or plain lazy, but if UDI cannot positively identify an individual in 6 months or less, that individual should be sent out, if at all possible.

      There are hundreds, if not thousands, of people who's asylum application has been rejected, yet they are still in the country. They cannot legally work and if they do work in the black market, they do not pay tax and thus has no wealth insurance.

      I hope this provoke more replies and, hopefully, some positive solution to the problem faced by asylum seekers and refugees in many parts of the world.
      UN Resolution are NOT the answer. We already have plenty of those, stating the rights of asylum seekers and obligations of the host countries.


        I don't (or at least try not to) take it personally. That's why I write 'as a Norwegian' as I try to write as an inhabitant of Norway and a native Norwegian. Yes, we have a Government 'for the people, by the people'...., but after the last election, we have a Government built by two right wing parties, one not wanted by 73,2% and the other not wanted by 83,7%. These two are supported in Parliament by three parties not wanted by 94,4% of the people (who actually used their right to vote). This is how parliamentarism works and how it is to have freedom in a free country.
        Last edited by Sterkoder; January 29th, 2014, 12:54.


        • ombugge
          ombugge commented
          Editing a comment
          I am also a native of Norwegian, but not at present an inhabitant of Noway.
          Your statics are impressive, but I do believe that the right wing won the last election fair and square???
          In a Parliamentary system like the Norwegian it is rear to have one party win, hence coalitions is the norm, as it was last year.
          I believe that is how a democracy is supposed to work, is it not???

        As a Frenchman I don’t allow me to discuss about Norway
        Few remarks, though.
        It’s important to make the difference between, on one hand that comes under an ideology with its structural concepts and organized policy and in another hand the reaction of people who is confronted with a new situation which can be a source of fear and withdrawn.
        All over Europe xenophobe groups or populist Party try to capture and use this fear to grow up and improve their influence. Front National in France, Liga Nord in Italy, Ukip in UK, FPO in Austria ….Always the strategy is the same: to set past(secure and quiet) against present(unsecure and confused) and promise that the future will look like the past, in better. Of course, the Foreigner is a part of this unwanted present, in a way a kind of symbol. So, a convenient scapegoat.
        This poorness of thought would be laughable if it was not extremely dangerous. Because a simplistic speech is more convincing than complex arguments, it can be heard as it is a truth by fair but thrown people.
        As for me the past is efficient when it is a Human Science (History) otherwise it’s pure nostalgia, and the future is always a synthesis. The “France Eternelle” doesn’t exist; the real France is a result of many waves of immigrations. The integration needs time but has dynamic effects in the long term.


          It's not my statistics...., it's the result of last years election. And as I say, this is how politics in a free country works, and I'm happy about it.
          The reason why parties which does not have the prosentage of votes on their side can form a Government, is that they can form coalitions and it all depends on how many mandates they have in Parliament. That's fair and square, and how we do things in Norway. Let there be no doubt about my opinion on that matter.



            Yes I'm aware of the fact that there hasn't been a single party Government in Norway for many years. (I grew up in the days of Einar Gerhardsen)
            The same applies to most countries in Europe with a multi-party proportional representation;system, whether they have the Parliamentary or Presidential system of Government.
            It is also the case in the UK now, although they have a different election system from most European countries.

            But the discussion I tried to get going is about the attitude of Norwegians towards foreigners and the phenomena of; "I don't like all these foreigners coming in, but those I know personally is OK".
            This is not a specific Norwegian thing, and it doesn't apply to everybody, but it is a well known attitude among a lot of people. If you doubt that is the case, just read comments from "ordinary people" on forums and in comments under articles in the press concerning foreigners, especially refugees and asylum seekers.

            If it is about a child, or children, being deported after staying a long time in a local community in Norway, usually because their parents have lied on their application, or because the situation in their country of origin has improve, thus the reason for asylum is no longer there, you'll find that most of those nearest to them are arguing that they should be allowed to stay because they are nice people, well assimilated into the local society and the children are innocent. Others, usually from further away, will argue that they should be sent back to where ever they came from because "that is the Law!!!"

            Every time something bad happens involving foreigners you will hear how they are "all" criminals and responsible for most criminal activity in Norway. That the fact is different and most crimes are committed by home grown Norwegian according to Police statistics.

            Then we have the argument about foreigners coming to live off the generous Welfare system in Norway. The fact is that those who arrive legally to work, or to look for work, does not use, or misuse, the system more than those who are Norwegian by birth. On the contrary, most of those receiving unemployment payment or social support from NAV are Norwegians, as is those who are found to, or attempting to, misuse the system by false claims etc. (Now I'm talking in percentage of the total number of residents in Norway, not of number of recipients)
            The same questions apply in other European countries, especially in the UK, where the debate about this has been hot lately.

            I have one more question; when does a person of non-European/Caucasian origin become a "true blue" Norwegian in the eyes of the majority?? 2nd generation, 3rd generation?? Never???
            I'm not talking about the Nationality according to their passport, but acceptance of their "Norwegianess" by their fellow citizens.

            Norwegians are proved of the people of Norwegian decent that emigrated to the US and Canada etc. and retained at least some of their Norwegian traditions, if not the language, through many generations, yet pride of their origin in foreigners who have settled in Norway is not as popular. (Remember the flags in Aalesund this 17.May???)
            To prove a point,here is a Youtube video about the Lutefisk Capital of the World (and it is not Kristiansund):


              Well, I don't know why this has to be a discussion.
              We get the world our news media wants us to have (if we don't seek information ourselves of course).
              I'm fully aware that 'native Norwegians' are a just as large problem for NAV and the criminal statistics as any foreinger, as I'm also fully aware that many come to Norway to settle and do honest work...., and thereby never misuse our welfare system.
              Don't understand why there's always a bigger focus on 'non-Europeans', because if a person is born in Norway, are brought up and live their life here...., and then die....., he/she is a Norwegian, or...???
              And for Gods sake; what's wrong with Norwegians celebrating their freedom, flag and colours on 17th of May...?
              I have never understood why this day always comes up in discussions like this. That day is Norways "nasjonaldag" (taste that word for a sec).
              Hope others can debate this, because I don't see a problem in foreign people coming to our country for work or shelter.
              When it becomes a problem for me is when someone who lied to enter the country, have no reason to be here, get criminal and cause only trouble...., but is that typical for Norwegians???



                I had a look around on the internet for some opinions by others on this subject and found a NRK program from 2012 that cover a lot of ground:
                A study of political correctness, or advertising such crazy ideas as that there are different races of humans in this world??


                  I see the problem, we have it all over the world.
                  In my country one of the highest catholic church dignitaries, Cardinal Meisner, said recently in a speech in front of members of a catholic community:
                  "I always say, one family of you people is replacing three Muslim families."
                  This man must be dismissed finally! He is totally wrong in this job.
                  So this is not a Norwegian problem and it is not totally correct to reduce this to a special Norwegian behaviour.

                  But maybe Ombugges high sensibility has something to do with the history of his family:


                  Ombugge, this is the reason for your passion to discuss such topics, right?
                  Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


                  • ombugge
                    ombugge commented
                    Editing a comment
                    No the case of my sons predicament in Singapore has nothing to do with the present discussion, nor has it anything to do with discrimination or racism.
                    It is a sore point, but we are hoping to get it resolved soon.

                    In all the years I have lived here I have never felt discriminated against, or met any racism against me or my family.
                    That is not to say that there isn't racism in Singapore, but if anybody is writing or posting racial or religious remarks, they are dealt with swiftly, regardless of who they are. One Chinese politician tried to use race and religion in his campaign a few years ago, he was banned from standing for Parliament and is now living in exile somewhere.

                    Singapore has the same problem as all other developed countries, low birth rate and fast aging population that need care and replacement.
                    Resentment against foreigners coming here to "take away our jobs" is also heard and seen here and the projection that Singapore would grow to a population of 6.9 Mill. by 2030, largely by immigration, caused a lot of discussion and even demonstration at Speaker's Corner.

                  In all due respect, in certain matters..., such as Norways nasjonaldag 17th May, my view is that "they" should adapt...., not we.
                  If that makes me a racist, fine..., so be it.
                  Other times is when a person (any, but for now a muslim) come to Norway, for shelter, and works hard (and in a criminal and violent way) towards a goal of this nation being run after the Sharia laws. In my head that is completely crazy.
                  Am I a racist for thinking so? If yes, fine....
                  I don't see me or any other human being as better than anybody..., we are all naked in the shower.... So to anybody out there being pretentiously wide open minded with absolutely no dirt on their angel wings...., lean back, take a deep breath and think about if we really need yet another discussion like this.
                  Specially if the point is to provoke.

                  Don't know about others, but I'm out. Have a nice day!


                  • ombugge
                    ombugge commented
                    Editing a comment
                    If you feel offended, I'm sorry. I don't think I have said anything to imply that I question your credentials as a non-racist, nor is the provocation against any individual(s), but to provoke a discussion on a subject that is very much in the limelight at this time. It will not go away by not discussing it, in a friendly manner of cause.

                  Maybe a little look at how others view Norway and Norwegians:
                  Actually written and produced by Norwegians.

                  For a more realistic view of Norway and the oportunities for foreigners to work and live there, here is the official recruiting video:

                  And to round it off, a view by one American:

                  His view is probably not universal in the US, either because the majority don't know much about Norway, about Socialism, Social Democrasy, or about the outside world in general.
                  To mention Socialism and Welfare State is already dearing, to actually approve of it can be downright dangerous. A comment on Fox News about Obamacare had one of participants ask; We don't want to become like Sweden, right?? To which the other participants answered; Heavens, NO!!!

                  He didn't get all facts right, or mentioned the Marine industry and Norwegian Shipping, nor that Norway have among the highest productivity, due high degree of automation and high value added to much of the production, not because of long working hours.
                  Last edited by ombugge; January 30th, 2014, 11:35.


                    I don't dare to say anything in this, as I have previously voiced some disappointments against the country, and almost immediately, I was categorized as a "name of a Norwegian terrorist".

                    I have come to learn to keep my mouth shut on this subject because it appears to me that we are forced to believe everything is fine and dandy in the country up north, and to never say anything that might be understood as hostile.
                    With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                    Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                    Main page:

                    Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.


                    • ombugge
                      ombugge commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Maybe it is an advantage to stay far away when you raise such questions??
                      I spent nearly 4 weeks up there recently. Listening and reading the self-righteous comments on the subject of immigration, refugees and asylum seekers, (which, for some reason gets lumped into "invandrere") may be the main reason for my raising the questions.

                    This thread asks an important question about Norwegians. As a non-Norwegian, having no experience of the country apart from two brief holidays quite a few years ago, I have neither right nor inclination to comment on the points raised as they are. However, I feel that what Ombugge has been saying is surely not restricted to just one nation, but probably to most western European countries including my own, and it is in that sense that I respond. As Ralf pointed out
                    I see the problem, we have it all over the world.
                    Western Europe seems to be the area that has received – or is expected to receive – many immigrants from elsewhere and in this country at least the media are trying to stir things up concerning what they say is happening in “Benefit Street”. That is, immigrants who come to England purely because it is so easy (they say) to claim money to live on, get your housing expenses paid but make no effort to seek work.
                    Believe me, speaking as an ex-manager of the Fraud Investigation Department in the Norwich Social Security Office and before all the hoo-ha about immigrants arose, there were plenty of white British-born such people to keep us very busy. We chose our office deliberately - first floor, front of building and in sight of the entrance down below. Looking out of the window, not only did we see the prostitutes down in the street, some of whom were on benefit and certainly not declaring their earnings (probably, poor kids, because their pimps took practically all), but we also saw male claimants turning up in a lorry or van obviously belonging to their employer. “Just popping along to get my benefit, boss. Won’t be long.”
                    With great glee, one of my staff would nip downstairs, go to the counter, let the claimant see them, then follow the chap outside and nab him before he could drive off.
                    So I read and hear media protestations about benefit immigrants both in this country or any other with a certain degree of cynicism, shall I say.
                    The point that Ombugge raises about the “Somali from Djibouti” is not easy. If such a situation arises in any country and a person, lying on his immigrant application papers, is eventually found out, then he has broken what is presumably good law and must suffer the consequences. If he is not punished even to the extent of being deported and made to re-apply, then the door is opened to others to refrain from mentioning what they don’t want the authorities to know and enter the country illegally. Some will work hard and earn their place in society, some will not and may in fact work against their host country. If, as Ombugge remarks, this case is investigated and he is shown to be one of the former, then maybe some kind of amnesty for him can be applied and he will remain and carry on with his life. At least the fact that they would have to be “good” for a number of years might deter those with evil intent. Personally, I doubt it. They can cover their tracks well until such time as they can implement their real reason for entering the country.

                    there are many….. who recent foreigners coming into their country. That resentment tend to be strong against people the further away they come from. Whether this can be termed "Racism" is actually what I was hoping to get an answer to.
                    As Professor Joad (a one-time member of the BBC programme the Brains Trust) would have immediately remarked "“It depends on what you mean by “racist”." I think of groups such as the Latin, Slav, Arab, Caucasion, and I stop there because beyond that it becomes complicated! It is, perhaps, a strange conception that because a person is from some far distant place (s)he is unwelcome. My immediate own reaction I have indicated elsewhere on CVF. But these people from far-off will have different customs, different beliefs, different ways of living.

                    the phenomena of; "I don't like all these foreigners coming in, but those I know personally is OK".
                    Yes, to many people, when “(s)he” becomes “they” it can be a different story. I feel that the present-day somewhat hostile attitude in many countries towards those from elsewhere is greatly due to the numbers involved, engendering the fear of them taking away housing and jobs that local people badly need. But also, it must be said, the refusal of certain groups of incomers to integrate with the host people is a strong factor in certain parts of our country.
                    Here I think of certain practices in this country such as forced female circumcision, forced marriages, the killing of daughters because she chooses her own man – unwisely perhaps – but to kill her? I’m for the old adage “When in Rome do as Rome does”. Within reason, of course, and, sorry, Thijs, I will never enjoy rollmops! But if I were to consider living in another country I would study it carefully at first to ensure that I suited it and it suited me. What I would not do is export with me all the customs and prejudices that I might hold and expect my new land to put up with them, to their detriment and maybe even against their laws.
                    The human being is uneasy about things that are different. It is animal instinct, after all. Strange objects, strange creatures might spell danger. They must be approached carefully. There is still, after many thousands of years, an animal at the core of our beings, Ombugge, the skin of civilisation has not yet eradicated it entirely.

                    "To thine own self be true.......
                    Thou canst not then be false to any man."


                      The reason for me writing about such subjects as racism and lack of knowledge of other countries, races and cultures among who voice their opinions of various forums and who comments to articles in the press about the subject has been raised. Maybe it has something to do with my background? (Not my son's predicament over dual citizenship and national service in Singapore)

                      I left Norway for the first time at the tender age of 15 and in the 55 years since then I have traveled and worked on all continents, except Antarctica, including in places most people hasn't even heard about. I still travel, although not as much as before.

                      In those 55 years I have worked with people of all races, religions and nationalities, from the lowliest Coolies to high and mighty CEOs and Ministers.

                      In 47 of those years I have lived as an "Immigrant" in a multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-cultural society and with a multi-racial family, consisting of Chinese (Cantonese), British and Norwegians, and an extended family covering many more. I have not felt discriminated against, or met any racial resentment here in Singapore, although that is not the case in all S.E.Asian countries.

                      I don't pretend to be one of those "pretentiously wide open minded with absolutely no dirt on their angel wings" people, but I do claim to have some experience and knowledge of living and working with people of different races. In fact I prefer that.

                      I also claim the right to have an opinion contrary to the "politically correct" Norwegian opinion, where you cannot use the word "Negro", or "Black" but must invent some fancy names/words to describe somebody of negroid origin. Don't even try to claim that there are differences between human races, not only in skin colour and stature, but also in intelligence.
                      Years of research has shown that those originating from East Asia, (i.e. North Chinese, Koreans and Japanese) has a higher AVERAGE IQ than others. That doesn't mean that all Chinese or Japanese are geniuses, or that they are better at all things in life, like inventiveness and creativity.

                      A little anecdote; In 1978-80 I was Captain on an American owner, Panama flag Drill Ship, where there were 19 different nationalities among the regular crew + workers from whichever country we were working in. Nationality, race or religion didn't matter on board. All were equal, except of cause for their job position.
                      The common language was English, so communication was also not an issue, regardless of which other language anybody had as their mother tongue.
                      At one time we found that some of one nationality had started to form a "clique" in the mess room and on their time off. In our monthly Management meeting of Senior personnel, it was decided to transfer a couple to another rig within the Company and get somebody of a different nationality in their place to restore the balance.

                      As said in a comment above, I spent nearly 4 weeks in Norway recently, Listening and reading the self-righteous comments on the subject of immigration, refugees and asylum seekers, (which, for some reason gets lumped into "invandrere") and the ignorance of things foreign, especially when it comes to things outside Europe, was appalling.
                      I do read Norwegian papers on internet regularly, so it wasn't a total surprise, but hearing and reading it "up close" was different.
                      Does this amount to racism, or can it be written off as ignorance of the facts?? Well. that is really the question I have asked, not claiming that all Norwegians, or any individual(s), are racists.

                      Before anybody jump on me, I DO NOT say that this is only a Norwegian phenomena, far from it, which I have mentioned several times earlier. I am more than pleased that the discussion has been widen to include other parts of Europe. It can be widened to include all the world for that matter.

                      Ignorance of Europe and things European is wide spread in the rest of the world, not only the other way around.
                      As is racism, and now I'm speaking from experience. Travelling and working in many countries, it is inevitable that you will meet the same attitudes towards that which is foreign.
                      My opinion is that you cannot be discriminated against if you don't feel inferior. Being a Sunnmoring, I feel superior, hence no problem with discrimination. (That is a Joke)


                      • ombugge
                        ombugge commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I posted a comment on the case of a foreigner who "stepped in it" in Singapore recently and the reactions that followed from netizens posting on various forums, in Singapore and abroad. That goes well with this discussion, and the fact that it is not only a Norwegian thing:

                        PS> The main post was on page #44.