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Racism- Norway

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Racism- Norway
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Hi all! My family is planning a trip to Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. We’ve wanted to do this for a while and since our daughter is turning sixteen we thought it would be a fun surprise for her!

Our only concern is about racism. We live in the states and my husband is black and I’m white. We’re used to getting stared at as we travel a lot and have not faced a lot of racism anywhere we’ve gone or lived while in the United States.

I know that you can’t judge a whole country and not everyone is racist. I understand that Scandinavia is more liberal than other European countries but having faced discrimination before, we’re just trying to be cautious.

Thank you all!

45 replies to this topic
Oslo, Norway
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for Norway, Oslo
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1. Re: Racism- Norway
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No reason to be particularly worried about racism in Scandinavia. While it obviously exists in some people, in general Scandinavia is very liberal. There are also strong anti discrimination laws. Judging by the racial problems the we read about in US you shouldn't have any problem here.

Edited: 2 years ago
Oslo, Norway
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for Oslo, Antarctic Adventures
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2. Re: Racism- Norway
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I wouldn't expect you to have many problems as a tourist.

Paris, France
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3. Re: Racism- Norway
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You just said «as a tourist » what avout living there? That’s make a difference?

Trondheim, Norway
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for Bergen, Norway, Western Norway, Trondheim, Alesund
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4. Re: Racism- Norway
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The general answer is no, even if there are incidents. Where do you have in mind and what is your profession?

Oslo, Norway
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for Oslo, Antarctic Adventures
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5. Re: Racism- Norway
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It depends a lot on where you live. It's a lot different from places like the US in that it's reasonably safe (no one is assaulted for jogging in the wrong neighborhood), but there are issues with discrimination and bias. In general, it's less a question of race and more a question of ethnicity. Without historical racial issues, biases stem more from considering people to be "outsiders" (especially in small communities). There have been several reports of discrimination in unemployment and housing against those with immigrant heritage and non-Western-European surnames.

Klofta, Norway
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6. Re: Racism- Norway
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> We’re used to getting stared at as we travel a lot

well, stared at doesn't mean always racism.

in Norway many people won't stare because skin colour but will for many other things that are outside their accepted "normality"

> I understand that Scandinavia is more liberal than other European countries

you understand bad

everywhere and in Scandinavia too, there are forms of nationalistic cultural racism not skin related in different things, some psycho-rigid cultural traits, levels of conformism and even replicating nowadays of some of the white-american protestant based commonplaces, clichés and memes around the inadequate american use of words like "ethnic" or "multicultural".

But this would need quite some development and verbosity to be explained, and in practice doesn't affect tourists at all. You will not experience racism.

as for the skin colour prejudices with ot without racism it should be obvious that it's more active in northern Europe than in southern Europe, because the mediterranean is where brown and more or less dark europeans are. Think Roman Empire. There's even a racial category in the UK at least for mediterraneans, and for instance discussions about if spaniards are whites or not. If Jesus-Christ and his mates from the gospels were to resuscitate today and walk into a scandinavian town they would be starred at and taken for syrian "arab" immigrants.

Oslo, Norway
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7. Re: Racism- Norway
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Lots of details above, but I think the key point is: Don't worry.

Uganda
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8. Re: Racism- Norway
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I don’t think you will have any problems at all. Well we certainly didn’t when we visited and I know another fellow brown person how has explored Norway without issues and has document her travels around Norway. Reading her posts might put you at ease with your visit. https://www.itsallbee.com/2020/02/things-to-do-in-bergen-norway/

Trondheim, Norway
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for Bergen, Norway, Western Norway, Trondheim, Alesund
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9. Re: Racism- Norway
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Sometimes immigrants get a bit tired of locals asking them where they're from. This is out of genuine interest and considered polite. It's a trait many Norwegians share, the name of our country itself indicates voyage.

3 posts
10. Re: Racism- Norway
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@landstrykere 'There's even a racial category in the UK at least for mediterraneans, and for instance discussions about if spaniards are whites or not.'

Strange comment, and not something this UK person has ever come across.

@Joan WInstead. Your comment was helpful but all I could see on your link was meaningless click bait designed to generate advertising revenue. It says nothing about racism in Norway.

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