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Culture of Norway

Norway’s people, despite the fact that they live in pretty hostile conditions have succeeded in creating a cultural identity which is quite distinctive. In the past century or two, the country has produced some of the most illustrious names in the world of literature and the arts- Henrik Ibsen, Edvard Munch, Edvard Grieg and Liv Ullmann among others- but that’s not all there is to Norwegian culture. It is a culture which is expressed in many different forms- in its interesting wooden stave churches and the ornate old carved houses tucked away in the countryside, in the herring and salmon, pickled and consumed at every meal. It’s a culture which, though it’s been replaced to some extent by a sort of `Pan-Europeanism’ in most places, that has still managed to hold its own. Add to this the fact that the Sami Lapps, still surviving by herding reindeer, have their own traditions, and you have a country with a pretty vibrant heritage.

Traditional crafts in Norway encompass a wide range of items- from porcelain and crystal to pine furniture, pewter, silverware, knitwear and handicrafts, which are quite unique to the country. Among the latter, the art of rosemaling (or `rose painting’, a technique once used to decorate furniture and household items) is easily the best known.

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