For Norwegians, an activity such as cross-country skiing is one way relationships are strengthened. In addition to strengthening your muscles! We do a physical activity together, and that usually includes some element of suffering or hard work, and then after that we can begin to build trust together. Therefore, look out for invitations to ski from your new Norwegian friends. This might be your best (only?) chance to get to know them better.
It’s important to let those of you who have never cross-country skied know that it can be very difficult. You’ll likely fall many times your first time as you try to keep your balance about as well as Bambi on ice. However, if you get back up and keep trying you’ll earn respect from your Norwegian friends. Even if you’re a proficient alpine skier or snowboarder, don’t get discouraged if it takes some time to learn how to cross-country well.
For Norwegians cross-country skiing is somewhat of national identity. As the old saying goes Norwegians are ”born with skis on their feet”. For confirmation one simply needs to look at the medal counts at the Winter Olympics to see how important the sport is to Norway. There’s much excitement during the Olympics as it’s one of the few times when the Norwegians can consistently beat the Swedes at something. It’s recommended you cheer along with them during these times.
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