"Norway is slightly militaristic..." Top 5 Page for this destination Norway Local Custom Tip by Saagar
Norway Local Customs: 147 reviews and 130 photos
On your winding ways through this land you may come across (well, normally not during the main tourist season and the main Norwegian 3-week common summer holidays when the armed forces also take holidays - invaders please note!) a surprising number of military exercises, military personnel and military activity in general.
- It's partly due to the cold-war leftovers - they need to keep that surplus tank, bomber or truck running smoothly and keeping the rust off and generally attempt to be seen as active so the officers don't get threatened with redundancy.
- It has mainly to do with Norway's exposed postition in NATO as an outpost, an attractive coast from the point of view of sea defence and as a major source of oil.
- Recruits to the armed forces get 90% discount if they travel in uniform on public transport (hint - get to the flee market and buy some fatigues...)
- It has much to do with the decentralized structure of the armed forces, much like that of Switzerland. Everybody has to do army/navy/airforce service - in principle.
- 130.000 young men and women have army-issue automatic guns at home as a sort of stand-by quick-reaction local defence force or guerilla.
If many would-be soldiers seem very casual the way they treat their weapons and other equipment when they come sloshing through the train corridor or street or whatever dragging their automatics by the barrel, the reason is they would rather stay home and do the dishes, since the whole system is rather fictious as there is no enemy to speak of, and there is no real payment for the service.
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