The secrets of the ‘Christmas calendar’

The Norwegian Christmas calendar, called "julekalenderen," is a cherished Norwegian tradition in many homes. Every calendar has 24 gifts for the 24 days before Christmas. PHOTO: Axel Johnson

EXPATRIATE MUSINGS: Axel Johnson is a relatively recent arrival in Oslo, from Sweden. Although many expatriates in Norway may lump the Scandinavian countries together, they have many different customs and, not least, holiday traditions. Johnson has learned a lot the past few weeks about one Norwegian tradition that’s become increasingly elaborate in recent years: the local […]

Alarms ring over refugee children

At least 43 unaccompanied refugee children have gone missing from various asylum centers in Norway this year alone, and 25 have died since 2006. Several of those missing were as young as nine years old, and the numbers of refugee children in Norway are now increasing dramatically. Around 4,000 refugee children are currently living in asylum centers in Norway. Alone and […]

Frp can put its grip on immigration

Sylvi Listhaug often wears a gold cross around her neck, like here when she was named as Norway's new Immigration Minister in December. She, and many of her fellow Progress Party members, are deeply skeptical towards immigrants and asylum seekers from Muslim countries, and her proposals to tighten immigration policy are meeting new opposition. PHOTO: Sylvi Listhaug

UPDATED: Sylvi Listhaug of Norway’s most immigration-critical party (Fremskrittspartiet, Frp) will now take over as the country’s first-ever government minister in charge of asylum, immigration and integration issues. It’s arguably the most important of several ministerial changes announced by Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Wednesday, leaving Listhaug able to put Frp’s mark on immigration policy, possibly for years to […]

More face charges in fire at planned asylum center

A man in his mid-30s who’s originally from Eastern Europe is among two suspects now charged with setting fire to a hotel in Western Norway that was supposed to start housing underage asylum seekers. Police on Monday weren’t ruling out more arrests in what they claim was arson. The fire at the hotel building in […]

Thousands volunteer as refugee guides

Refugee relief efforts began spontaneously all over Norway, like here at a clothing collection drive in Oslo,  after thousands of asylum seekers started arriving last summer. Now thousands of Norwegians are also donating their time, to help refugees adjust to life in Norway. PHOTO:

The Norwegian Red Cross has been overwhelmed by the numbers of fellow Norwegians who’ve been volunteering to help asylum seekers get used to life in Norway. More than 11,500 people have volunteered just in the past few weeks, offering everything from informal language lessons to help with practical matters, local sightseeing or just being a […]

Asylum centers can breed unrest

Immigration officials have scrambled to set up emergency shelters for arriving refugees, but the asylum centers are already packed and can breed frustration and unrest. PHOTO: Utenriksdepartementet

The tens of thousands of asylum seekers arriving in Norway create not only huge challenges for officials scrambling to house them but also for those trying to maintain order, security and, eventually, help integrate new arrivals into Norwegian society. Most asylum seekers now face long delays in getting their asylum applications processed as well, raising concerns about boredom, frustration […]

Budget battle turns tougher than ever

These four party leaders need to agree on another new state budget for next year, but negotiations are not going well. From left: Trine Skei Grande of the Liberals, Finance Minister Siv Jensen of the Progress Party, Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Knut Arild Hareide of the Christian Democrats. PHOTO: Fremskrittspartiet

It’s been called the most “explosive political drama” to play out in Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s government yet. A series of unsuccessful meetings this week has proven that negotiations over the government’s state budget proposal this year are even tougher than last year, threatening her minority coalition. Suggestions were flying during radio debate Friday morning that Solberg may […]

Men from Poland ‘change’ while living in Norway

A new lifestyle study of men and women from Poland who have moved to Norway to work suggests that Polish men help more often with chores around the house in Norway than they did in Poland. Polish women, meanwhile, claimed they felt less feminine in Norway because of different dress codes and customs. The study was […]

Coping with the impact of a job loss

Dr Nicola McCaffrey, a clinical psychologist in Stavanger, can help put a smile back on the faces of employees who are losing their jobs in the oil and other industries. PHOTO: Special to

There’s no denying it, writes Dr Nicola McCaffrey: “Whichever way you look at the figures, the number of people out of work in Norway is on the rise.” McCaffrey is a clinical psychologist in Stavanger, where job losses have been highest, and writes here about how the toll of job losses can be even higher […]

Liberals support dual citizenship

A computerized citizenship blunder doesn't mean foreigners who left Norway between 1960 and 1975 can get passports, even though they were incorrectly classified as being Norwegian. PHOTO: Views and News

Norway’s Liberal Party (Venstre), one of the government’s two support parties in Parliament, wants to make it easier for foreigners who have settled in Norway to become Norwegian citizens while retaining their original citizenship. Dual citizenship would also be welcomed by native Norwegians who were forced to give up their Norwegian passports when they settled abroad. At […]