To My Norwegian Friends

- July 27, 2011

"When I visited your home and your country a few years ago I was struck by the advanced thinking that the people were involved with..."

To my Norwegian Friends:

When I visited your home and your country a few years ago I was struck by the advanced thinking that the people were involved with; the farmers were being supported to actively maintain the family farms, people could hike and camp all over the country and even on private property for a few days, which made one feel more connected to the land and the beauty of the scenery. 

There was a major “fiesta” celebrating the immigrants in the area that we joined in on while we were there; eating all kinds of exotic foods and watching all kinds of dance and talks and commingling.  There was a sense of safety and peace. There was a sense that the people were being taken care of -- universal health care. There was  a sense that the newly acquired oil wealth was not being squandered and was being reinvested in sustainable economics and green solutions of various sorts. 

The family is celebrated by many fantastic statues in Oslo. The policemen do not wear guns. There appeared to be a lot of tolerance, empathy and advanced thinking, such as: it appeared that the roads and power supply was often aesthetically driven; underground lines even in the terrain which was mostly rock, reasonable street signs, unspoiled views all over the place.  My belief is that if aesthetics ( not the simple aesthetics but more profound notions of what that means)  drive the show, then everything else sort of falls into place; no ugly street signs, no clear cutting, careful tending of the forests (like in Sweden where they get upwards of 30% of their energy from “biomass”), attention to good food, quality lives. 

They come from the land in their recent history and are still in love with it; the Norwegians were mostly farmers (on the land) or fisherpeople (remember all those sardines) and they retain that respect and love of the land and the way they show it now is as described above as well as lots of hiking and camping and outdoor activities, such as the one where so many young people were tragically mown down by a purportedly rightwing fundamentalist anti-Islamic and anti-immigrant terrorist.  I am so sorry and pass this link on to my fellow Santa Feans, many of whom probably have connections to the wonderful Norwegian country and its people.