The Nordic has emerged as a strong regional cooperation despite a chequered history of wars, revolution, and changes in borders. In continental Europe, there is a uniformity and actual similarity in how the Nordic countries work. Any keen expatriate arriving in any of the four Nordic countries will note that the social, political and economic identity of the countries remain comparably the same. Talk of for example public health insurance, tax payment system, traffic regulations, social security et cetera; their structure and operations remain the same across the Nordic countries. To an even more surprising reality, the Nordic citizens carry with them similar norms that make it very easy for them to move over and live in any one of the four countries. As an expatriate, it really pays to master the norms in the Nordics as a way of easing interactions and being highly mobile.
The Nordic citizens have so many common yet unwritten code of behaviour. An expatriate not used to that level of uniformity may find it boring that the Norwegians, Swedes, Danish and Finnish act in a near similar way as if programmed. A unifying factor for the Nordic countries that also acts as their bond is to achieve the best using a set of common Nordic values. Being a Nordic citizen is more than just a source of regional identity. They actually have commonness of thinking and behaviour.
Common legislation and governance in the Nordic Countries
In the European Union of Nordics as they can also be commonly termed, there is a great cooperation in terms of legislation. For this reason, there has been a free movement of people across the Nordics for work, studies, and leisure for notable decades. For the Nordics you have access to more rights across the Nordics as compared to what it stands as an EU citizen. The Nordics is one example of the oldest yet the strongest regional cooperation globally. As an expatriate moving to the Nordics, you are here and you are quite unfamiliar with the Nordics ways and values of life.
The Nordics are ranking top among the happiest countries in the world and this is connected to some way of life. However, a clear focus on a healthy work-life balance, connectivity, the presence of high standards of living, and more time for everything the Nordics enjoy and love doing, defines a direction. All expatriates coming to the Nordics are often attracted by these values and norms across the Nordics. No wonder many have declared the Nordics their dream destination. Whether you are planning to come or you are already here, there are some of the important norms to observe.
The Nordic Ways of Life
A lot has been said about how the Nordics do their things and define themselves in all aspects of life. This is not going to be any different but will definitely spice up things for any expatriate thinking of moving to the Nordics. Considering all the aspects of life; the society, people, economy, and resources, it is all about an inclusive system of cooperation.
The Nordics way of life operates under very categorical and tangible values, for instance, poverty reduction through a sustainable model of growth. For decades, this has been the agenda as there is also a great strive towards the reduction of the social gap between men and women. Think about finding a way to take care of everyone so that there is a fair access to opportunities for everyone in life. Having a fair distribution on national income among the Nordics is key to growth and achievability.
Significant Norms in the Nordics to observe as an Expat
When entering the Nordics, you aren’t simply looking for what you will gain but rather what you can be offered. Localization is the key word though it takes on a much wider perspective other than just words as a significant definition of cultural interaction. Therefore, there are certain rules of thumb that will certainly make your interactions with the Nordics sail smoothly.
1. Politeness, Transparency and Openness
The Nordics are generally not rude people even though they can seem rude. The Finns have a tendency of being blatantly open and straight to the point. However, to some people, this can be considered as being rude or blunt. But we all ought to know that this feeling has never been the intention in the first place. Do not feel weird when a Nordic interrupt you for going round in circles instead of going straight to the point. There is nothing to hide as all opinions from everybody are also welcome.
In a similar way, when you see a Norwegian holding a door for you, it is simply an act of politeness and kindness. They will not be necessarily expecting you to thank them for it because it is their way of life. Whoever will be in a position to hold the door will do so as they expect that you already appreciate even without saying which is a shared way of understanding
2. Law of Jante among the Norms in the Nordics
The “Law of Jante” which represents the 10 fictional commandments collectively known for any Janteloven remain manifest across the Nordics. From their imprint in Aksel Sandemose’s novel, the Rules of Jante keeps the Nordics living a life of meekness despite great individual achievements. Though the rules had an initial application in the novel, they have so much relevance and resonate with each Nordic citizen. The fourth commandment states, “you should not think of yourself to be better than others”, and we are neither better than you. See the other to have an equal worth as you regardless of their position, race, or wealth. Put forth the law of Jante and all will be smooth.
3. The Work-Life Balance
The great ambition behind the work-life balance is all rooted behind placing health before any other achievements. To achieve this, financial support comes to any employees and also ensures the provision of a comfortable work environment. The “fika” is highly valued too.
Trust in the Nordics is not only an affair between family and friends, but it also matters the most to strangers. Even in every Nordic institution, trust is the keyword toward less control and stress. So, while here, learn to accept a high degree of trust from the Nordics as you dish it out in equal measures.
5. Environmental and Natural Resources Conservation
This is a great drive towards achieving a collective sustainable growth and development for the betterment of every Nordic. Equally you could put great emphasis on new ways of thinking, innovation and creativity. Everyone’s talent is significant in tackling problems and coming up with new ideas to improve life.