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Arland Fiske: ‘News from Norway’

“News from Norway” used to mean a letter from the “Old Country” to the family in the “New World.”

oday it is a newsletter issued 10 times a year by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington, D.C. The newsletter is available on request without cost.

This publication has interesting reports about the latest information on Norwegian culture, politics, economics, international efforts for world peace, and industrial development.

Since there are more Norwegian-Americans than there are Norwegians in Norway, it’s of special interest to the government in the “motherland” to maintain the friendliest of relations with the United States. There are no countries in the world where America is held in such high esteem than in Scandinavia, even when the press and government disagree with some of our economic and foreign policies.

When Norway became an oil-exporting nation, its economy was infused with a surge of new wealth. Rather than pump all the new money into the nation’s business, large amounts were set aside to help Third-World countries with their development. This helped keep Norway’s inflation down.

Exporting is important to Norway. Of the 13,000 industrial firms in the country, 1,800 are active exporters. I was surprised to discover a distant relative in Oslo, Thor Fiske, who had a position in this business. A country like Norway needs to export its goods to survive in the modern world.

Norway encourages Americans to study in their universities and colleges. They also invite American high school students to attend Camp Norway in Sandane, operated through the Minnesota Department of Education and Augsburg College in Minneapolis.

At Voss, there is a summer school of fine arts for high school students. For students who want to spend a full school in Norway, there are scholarships to attend folk high schools. Scholarships for advanced study and research are also available. “News From Norway” contains information on such study opportunities.

Short-wave radio schedules are printed in the newsletter. Radio Norway International broadcasts a half-hour program in English called “Norway Today” every Sunday evening, besides the regular Norwegian language broadcasts.

Norway is a believer in its young people. It strongly supported the 1985 International Youth Year, a program of the United Nations. One interesting fact I learned from this publication is that 63 percent of unmarried Norwegian people between the ages of 20 and 25 have savings accounts.

Norwegian youth have strong feeling for the youth of poorer nations. They participated in Operation One-Day-Work, which sends money to help refugees in southern Africa.

In Norwegian schools, time is set aside between classes for discussion and outdoor activities. This allows the students to be relaxed while in school. It is believed that at stress inhibits learning. All this information is in “News From Norway.”

If you would like to receive this newsletter, write to: Royal Norwegian Embassy, 2720 34th St. NW, Washington D.C. 20008. The website is

Next week: Church life in Norway.


ARLAND FISKE, a retired Lutheran minister who lives in Moorhead, is the author of 10 books on Scandinavian themes, including 2012’s “Sermons in Psalms.”