Johnson, Johnsson, Johnsen or Johnsup: any of these could have beenAi??my surname, hence Scandinavian. Which is also meant to be Nordic or Scandic. Not Baltic – Nor Slavic.
Based on a mutual research from Norwegian & British higher institutions, Scandinavians are the ancient English. To cut a long story short, the Vikings met with Saxons in todaysai??i?? Scotland around the 15th century and created the English language, which I am using right now.
Swedish, Islandic, Norwegian & Danish are the 4 dialects of the ai???North-European Latinai???, due to its many successors before been vanished. ai???Sonai??? in English means the male child of a family. As well as ai???-sonai??i??, ai???-ssonai??i??, ai???-senai??i?? & ai???-supai??i??. And everyone can understand that I am Johnai??i??s male child.
Surnames usually have something special to declare. However, do they really define us?
Scandinavia is a bubble rather close to, but not in the European one. Geolocated in the North edge of Europe, those four countries used to be one powerful kingdom, until they met reality in 1905. Well, Estonia was also part of this kingdom, but this is another story.
Sweden & Denmark have joined the EU but not the Eurozone. Norway & Iceland are more maverick. In particularAi??Norway, which turned down the idea twice, with national referendums in 1972 & 1994.
The Brussels bubble, is currently trying hard to get more familiar with what ai???Vikingsai??? are. However, the road to a 3rd referendum does not seem promising once again. The latest polls show that almost A? of Norwegians are against a full EU membership.
Norwegians feel like Vikings, as they colonised Iceland in the 13th century, and later Greenland based on a joke (the king decided to switch names between ai???Icelandai??? & ai???Greenlandai??? to make the latter look more appealing.)
Geographically speaking, Norway & Sweden make upAi??the Scandinavian peninsula. Denmark join this term for historical reasons. Culturally speaking, they all belong to the Nordic countries, as they share the same sideways cross of their flags. Nevertheless, feeling European as well, is not just anAi??afterglow.
Before June 23rd, the UK got suddenly became acquaintedAi??with what Norway has accomplished, without any of the hard core European memberships, as ai???Daily Mailai??? explained. Maybe, Norwegians believe that they have made their ancestors pride, setting Norway as the most prosperous country to live in. Yet, Europeans still reflect on Vikingsai??i?? aggressive mentality in a negative way, against todayai??i??s rather moreAi??civilised image.
Nevertheless, why should weAi??put so much weight on a label?
Norway, along with Sweden & Denmark, has quite a small population. Sweden, the largest of the three, has almost the same population asAi??London. And both Denmark & Norway have about half of Swedenai??i??s population. Therefore, the demolition of the ai???Union Jackai??i?? into an independent Scotland, an Irish reunification and the country-state of #ScotLond might beAi??a science fiction story, maybe not. Size does not always matter.
The idea of a reunified Scandinavia, has been met with a mixture of scepticism and support. The Norwegian billionaire Petter Stordalen sees the situation through the lens of business: “In Sweden, there are about 10 million people. In Norway and Denmark there are 5 million each. Twenty million would be even better, whether it is about selling cars, airplanes or innovation.”
To sum up, do Norwegians acquire a Scandinavian, a Nordic or a European ID? And how interconnected will they feel with United Kingdomai??i??s decision to leave the EU? The best answer could not be given from anyone otherAi??than Norwegian professionals in the political, business and educational marketai??i??
- KAI ENGEBRETSEN
Owner of the Maritime Innovation Development: Venture Capital & Private Equity Consultancy
It depends on the age, I think. Young people feel mostly European, while elderly feel closer to Scandinavian. Could have been actually interesting, to do a survey of this matter.
Norway is not part of the EU, so I think that Norwegians can relate to the British decision to get out. The majority here (in Norway) is not willing to be part of the EU and lives well with the EA?S agreement, even if many politicians feel like been left out, when new laws are decided. I guess that the #Brexit, will strengthen feelings about this. Again, a survey upon this matter, would have been interesting to conduct.
- AXEL FJELDAVLI
Former Political Advisor at Velferdstinget i Oslo og Akershus & Erasmus Student in Belgium
For most Norwegians, I think that the answer is first Scandinavian, then Nordic and finally European.
Both language, culture and general interconnectedness account to this. I also think that the geographical distance from the European Mainland, is a reason why many consider Europe as something “different” than Scandinavia or the Nordic countries. However, I think that a lot of those identifying themselves as anti-EU, do not feel affiliated with the decision of the British people.
While the Norwegian “out”-vote in 1994, was motivated by a belief of a small-scale democracy and concerns for Norwegian fisheries and farmers, #Brexit seem more fuelled by right-wing xenophobia and dishonest towards the British tabloid media.
Personally, I can relate myself with all European, Scandinavian & Nordic contexts. It is sad for the European solidarity, that Britain chosen to leave the EU.
- THOMAS HELLUM
Producer at the Norwegian Public Broadcaster (NRK) and Founder of the ai???Slow-TV Movementai???
I read your question as a personal one, so I reply for myself, and not all Norwegians.
I think I relate mostly to a Nordic ID, maybe because I live outside Oslo (the capital) and feel related to Islands & more remoted places. I do feel outside Europe, as Europe starts south of Denmark.
United Kingdomai??i??s decision to leave the EU, is strangely commented in Norway. It seems like the majority of Norwegians disagree with this decision, but forget that we are not members ourselves, despite two referendums. So, it seems that they see this, as something totally different.
Some are afraid that the UK will set Norway in EFTAs shadow, while others think that it will strengthen employment – and therefor Norwayai??i??s position in EFTA. Significantly, before the last referendum in Norway (1994), the press & every other “outspoken” person, was sure that the YES-side would win but they forgot about the province of the country and the non-urban population.
- JA?RUND HENNING RYTMAN
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Member of the Norwegian Parliament & of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence
If you ask a Norwegian abroad where he is from, he would say Ai??NorwayAi??. The national identity here is quite strong. But we also feel a strong affinity towards the other Scandinavian countries, like Denmark and Sweden. Both because our language & history are so intertwined, and because we are culturally close.
I donai??i??t think that most Norwegians have a European identity. Norwegians have been voting twice on EU membership, both in 1972 and in 1994. Both times they declined to join. However, Norway as a member of the EEC, has a very close relationship to the EU.
Likewise, Norwegians have a very close relationship to the UK. I think therefore that many Norwegians have been following the referendum closely, and that they understood the arguments used by both sides; those who voted for a #Brexit and those who wanted to stay.
- JAN OVLAND
33 years experienced musician, singer & songwriter in the Norwegian Sound & Vision (Norway, London & Nashville, TN)
I think that Norwegians in general are too Scandinavian, as persons. Having said that and because of the ongoing globalisation, things are bound to improve – as for the UK, my personal (and not only) belief, is that other countries will follow, as ignition will grow. And then who knows what will happenai??i??
- ARILD TJELDVOLL
Professor of international and comparative education in Nice, France & Visiting Professor in Vietnam’s National University
My interpretation of the Norwegian public’s opinion is laid out from the following points:
1. Norwegians’ identity is primarily Nordic
- Norwegians feel quite strongly connected with UK, particularly since 70% of the population now is against Norwegian EU membership.
- In my personal point of view, seems irrational for both UK and Norway not to join the EU
Pictures 2,3 & 4 by Christos Zervas.