The Norwegian farm culture is still present in modern Norwegian culture. It sparked a powerful romantic patriotic movement in the nineteenth century, which may still be seen in Norwegian language and media today. Norwegian culture flourished as a result of nationalist attempts to establish an autonomous identity in literature, art, and music. This is still the case in the performing arts, as well as as a consequence of government funding for exhibits, cultural initiatives, and artwork.
Norway is a progressive nation that has enacted laws and policies to promote women’s, minority, and LGBT rights. The Norwegian Association for Women’s Rights was established in 1884 by 171 prominent individuals, including five Prime Ministers from the Liberal and Conservative parties. They were successful in their campaigns for women’s education, suffrage, the right to work, and other gender equality laws. Gender equality rose to the top of the governmental agenda in the 1970s, with the creation of a public body to promote gender equality, which developed into the Gender Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud. Civil society organizations continue to play a significant role, and women’s rights organizations are now organized under the umbrella organization Norwegian Women’s Lobby.
The Norwegian constitution was modified in 1990 to give the Norwegian monarchy absolute primogeniture, which means that the oldest child, regardless of gender, takes priority in the line of succession. Because it was not retroactive, the present heir to the throne is the King’s oldest son rather than his eldest child. According to Article 6 of the Norwegian constitution, “for people born before the year 1990, a man should take priority over a girl.”
For millennia, the dominant civilizations in Scandinavia and Russia, who claim ownership of Sami territories, have discriminated against and abused the Sami people. The Sami have never been a single community in a particular Lapland area. Norway has been heavily chastised by the world community for its policies of Norwegianization and discrimination towards the country’s indigenous people. Nonetheless, Norway was the first nation to recognize ILO-convention 169 on indigenous peoples, which was proposed by the UN in 1990.
In terms of LGBT rights, Norway was the first country in the world to pass an anti-discrimination legislation safeguarding gay and lesbian rights. Norway became the second nation to legalize civil union partnerships for same-sex couples in 1993, and Norway became the sixth country to offer full marriage equality to same-sex couples on January 1, 2009. Norway has hosted the annual Oslo Freedom Summit conference as a supporter of human rights, a meeting characterized by The Economist as “on its way to becoming a human-rights counterpart of the Davos economic forum.”
Separation of religion and state occurred much later in Norway than in the rest of Europe and is still not complete. The Norwegian parliament decided in 2012 to give the Church of Norway more autonomy, which was affirmed by a constitutional amendment on May 21, 2012. Until 2012, legislative officials had to be Lutheran Church members, and at least half of all clergy had to be Christian State Church members. Because the Church of Norway is the state church, its clergy are state workers, as are the central and provincial church administrations. Members of the Royal family are obliged to be Lutheran church members.
International acclaim has been bestowed upon Norwegian film. The expedition’s documentary film Kon-Tiki (1950) received an American Oscar Academy Award. Arne Skouen’s Nine Lives was nominated but did not win in 1959. Ivo Caprino’s animated feature film Flklypa Grand Prix (English: Pinchcliffe Grand Prix) is also noteworthy. The film, which was released in 1975, is based on the characters created by Norwegian cartoonist Kjell Aukrust. It is the most popular Norwegian film of all time.
Pathfinder (1987), Nils Gaup’s tale of the Sami, was nominated for an Academy Award. The Other Side of Sunday, directed by Berit Nesheim, was nominated for an Academy Award in 1997.
The film industry has flourished during the 1990s, with up to 20 feature films produced each year. Kristin Lavransdatter, based on a book by a Nobel Prize winner, The Telegraphist, and Gurin with the Foxtail were all big hits. Knut Erik Jensen was one of the most successful new filmmakers, along with Erik Skjoldbjrg, best known for Insomnia.
The country has also used as a shooting site for a number of Hollywood and other foreign films, notably The Empire Strikes Back (1980), in which the filmmakers utilized Hardangerjkulen glacier to film sequences of the ice planet Hoth. It featured a spectacular snow fight. Norway was also featured in the movie Die Another Day, The Golden Compass, Spies Like Us, and Heroes of Telemark, as well as the television shows Lilyhammer and Vikings. The Spirit of Norway, a short film, was shown during Maelstrom at Norway Pavilion at Epcot, which is part of Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, USA. On October 5, 2014, the attraction and film stopped operating.
The classical music of the romantic composers Edvard Grieg, Rikard Nordraak, and Johan Svendsen is well-known across the world, as is Arne Nordheim’s contemporary music. Leif Ove Andsnes, one of the world’s most renowned pianists, Truls Mrk, an excellent cellist, and the legendary Wagnerian singer Kirsten Flagstad are among Norway’s classical artists.
Since the late twentieth century, Norwegian black metal has had an impact on global music. Norway’s export of black metal, a lo-fi, gloomy, and primal style of heavy metal, has grown during the 1990s, thanks to bands like Emperor, Darkthrone, Gorgoroth, Mayhem, Burzum, and Immortal. Recently, bands like as Enslaved, Kvelertak, Dimmu Borgir, and Satyricon have developed the genre into the current day while retaining global followers. Several church burnings and two major murder cases were among the controversial incidents connected with the black metal movement in the early 1990s.
Norway’s jazz culture is flourishing. Internationally recognized musicians include Jan Garbarek, Terje Rypdal, Mari Boine, Arild Andersen, and Bugge Wesseltoft, while Paal Nilssen-Love, Supersilent, Jaga Jazzist, and Wibutee are among the newer generation.
Norway has a rich folk music heritage that is still popular today. Hardanger fiddlers Andrea Een, Olav Jrgen Hegge, and Annbjrg Lien, as well as singers Agnes Buen Garns, Kirsten Brten Berg, and Odd Nordstoga, are among the most famous folk artists.
Other well-known bands include A-ha, Röyksopp, Ylvis, and Maria Mena. A-ha first gained international attention in the mid-1980s. In the 1990s and 2000s, the group retained its local appeal and has continued to be successful outside of Norway, particularly in Germany, Switzerland, France, and Brazil.
Various Norwegian composers and production teams have contributed to the music of other worldwide musicians in recent years. Stargate, a Norwegian production company, has worked with Rihanna, Beyoncé, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, and Lionel Richie, among others. Espen Lind has written and produced songs for artists such as Beyoncé, Lionel Richie, and Leona Lewis. Rihanna and Lovebugs have both recorded songs penned by Lene Marlin.
Throughout the year, Norway hosts a slew of music events throughout the nation. Norway has one of the world’s largest extreme sport music festivals, Ekstremsportveko, which is held yearly in Voss. Many festivals are held in Oslo, including yafestivalen and by:Larm. Oslo used to host a summer parade in the style of the German Love Parade. Oslo sought to imitate the French music event Fête de la Musique in 1992. The event was founded by Fredrik Carl Strmer. Even in its first year, “Musikkens Dag” drew thousands of people and artists to Oslo’s streets. Musikkfest Oslo has replaced “Musikkens Dag.”
Norway has a long history of constructing with wood due to its vast woods. Many of today’s most intriguing new structures are constructed of wood, demonstrating the material’s continued appeal among Norwegian designers and builders.
Churches were constructed after Norway’s conversion to Christianity around 1,000 years ago. For the most significant buildings, stonework architecture was imported from Europe, starting with the construction of Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. Throughout Norway in the early Middle Ages, wooden stave churches were built. Some of them have been preserved, and they constitute Norway’s most unique contribution to architectural history. Urnes Stave Church in inner Sognefjord is a good example, and it is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The buildings at Bryggen Wharf in Bergen, which is also on the list of World Cultural Heritage sites, are another noteworthy example of wooden architecture, consisting of a series of tall, thin wooden structures along the quayside.
Cities and towns such as Kongsberg and Rros were founded under the Danish kingdom in the 17th century. A church in the Baroque style was constructed in the city. Traditional wooden structures from Rros have survived.
Oslo became the capital when Norway’s union with Denmark was broken in 1814. Christian H. Grosch was the architect who created the first sections of the University of Oslo, the Oslo Stock Exchange, and many other structures and churches built during that early national era.
Lesund was constructed in the Art Nouveau style, inspired by French influences, during the beginning of the twentieth century. The 1930s, when functionalism reigned supreme, were a golden era for Norwegian architecture. Norwegian architects have only gained worldwide acclaim during the late twentieth century. The Sami Parliament in Kárájohka, designed by Stein Halvorson and Christian Sundby, is one of Norway’s most stunning contemporary structures. Its wood debate chamber is an abstract representation of a lavvo, a traditional tent used by nomadic Sami people.
For a long time, artwork from Germany and Holland, as well as the influence of Copenhagen, dominated the Norwegian art scene. A distinctively Norwegian period started in the nineteenth century, initially with portraits and subsequently with magnificent landscapes. Johan Christian Dahl (1788–1857), a member of the Dresden school, returned to paint landscapes in western Norway, defining Norwegian painting for the first time.”
Norway’s recently gained independence from Denmark spurred painters to establish their Norwegian identity, particularly via landscape painting by artists such as Kitty Kielland, a female painter who trained under Hans Gude, and Harriet Backer, another pioneer among female impressionist painters. Frits Thaulow, an impressionist, and Christian Krohg, a realism painter known for his paintings of prostitutes, were both inspired by the Paris art scene.
Edvard Munch is a symbolist/expressionist painter best known for his painting The Scream, which is believed to symbolize contemporary man’s uneasiness.
Other notable painters include Harald Sohlberg, a neo-romantic painter best known for his paintings of Rros, and Odd Nerdrum, a figurative painter who claims his work is kitsch rather than art.
Norway’s culinary traditions reflect old maritime and agricultural traditions, including salmon (fresh and cured), herring (pickled or marinated), trout, codfish, and other seafood balanced by cheeses, dairy products, and dark/darker breads.
Lefse is a Norwegian potato flatbread that is often topped with copious quantities of butter and sugar during the holidays. Lutefisk, smalahove, pinnekjtt, raspeball, and frikl are some typical Norwegian meals.
Popular sports in Norway include association football, biathlon, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, and, to a lesser extent, ice hockey and handball. Norway is the most successful nation in the history of the Winter Olympics.
In terms of active membership, association football is the most popular sport in Norway. Football trailed biathlon and cross-country skiing in terms of spectator appeal in 2014–15 polls.  The most popular indoor sport is ice hockey. The women’s handball national team has won two Summer Olympics (2008, 2012), three World Championships (1999, 2011, 2015), and six European Championships (1998, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2014).
The Norwegian national football team has competed in three FIFA World Cups (1938, 1994, and 1998), as well as one European Championship (2000). Norway’s best FIFA rating is second, which it has held twice, in 1993 and 1995.
Chess is becoming more popular in Norway. The current world champion is Magnus Carlsen. Norway has approximately ten Grandmasters and 29 International Masters.
Norway initially sent athletes to compete in the Olympic Games in 1900, and has sent competitors to every Games since then, with the exception of the poorly attended 1904 Games and the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, when they participated in the American-led boycott. Biathlete Ole Einar Bjrndalen and cross-country skiers Marit Bjrgen and Bjrn Dhlie are two well-known Norwegian winter sports athletes.