- Man greeting Man - Men shake hands when greeting one another while maintaining direct eye contact. A firm but fairly brief handshake is the norm. With friends, a simple hello will suffice. If you have not seen someone in a long time, a hug is common.
- Woman greeting Woman- At a first meeting, women generally shake hands while maintaining direct eye contact. With friends, a simple hello will suffice. If you have not seen someone in a long time, a hug is common.
- Man greeting Woman- At a first meeting a regular handshake will do. Good friends may engage in a light hug or a single cheek kiss.
- Man greeting Man – During initial meetings, men shake hands when greeting one another and maintain direct eye contact. A relatively firm handshake is the way to go. Hugs and light pats on the back and shoulder are common between good friends and family. Some men may share a kiss on each cheek as well. In the last couple of years some men have started to touch the temples together instead of kissing on the cheeks.
- Woman greeting Woman - A kiss on each cheek combined with a light hug is common if two women know each other well. A light handshake is the norm if they are meeting for the first time.
- Man greeting Woman - This can be a little tricky and it is best to follow the other person’s lead in most situations. If they offer their hand, then a simple handshake is required, or if they offer their cheek, then a kiss on each cheek is required. If neither is offered then a nod and/or ‘merhaba’ (hello) is polite. It may be that a person’s religion requires them not to touch a member of the opposite sex.
- Personal space is highly respected in Norway; a little more than an arm’s length is common. Even when amongst family and friends, individual space is maintained.
- Touching is not very common during conversations. If you know someone well, then a slight touch to accent a point would be accepted.
VIEWS OF TIME:Norway:
- Personal space tends to be very close, sometimes disconcertingly so for foreigners used to more space. An arm’s length is generally considered an appropriate amount of personal space when speaking, particularly when interacting with colleagues and acquaintances. For friends and family this space is often smaller and a fair amount of touching is common.
- It is common to see men hold hands with men. Women hold hands with women. Women also can be seen with arms around each other’s waists while walking and female friends often hold each other’s hands while talking
- Turks tend to be very touchy-feely in friend to friend conversations, but everything is about the waist. Touching a leg is often regarded as a sexual and therefore inappropriate gesture.
- Touching between members of the opposite sex is limited in public unless well-known as “friends-only.”
- Business colleagues do not usually do the Turkish kiss.
- When two business partners are talking to a third person, it is a demonstration of mutual trust to briefly put a hand on the shoulder or the upper back. Avoid lower back contact as it can be regarded as sexual.
- Punctuality is highly valued and it is best to always be on time in social and business situations.
- Despite the importance of punctuality, trains are often late and the train system is a common complaint of Norwegian people.
- Time is essentially a free-flow. Business and social situations run on various definitions of time. It depends on who one is dealing with.
- Buses and trains usually run pretty much on time. However when ordering things, waiting for deliveries, etc., it is very common for them not to arrive on the day specified.
- In business situations it is wise to be punctual.
- People tend to be very generous with their time.
- Interrupting someone during a conversation is very rude.
- Waiving a pointed index finger or pointing at someone is considered rude. It is best to use the whole hand.
- Giving someone the finger (raised middle finger) is an obscene gesture.
- The Hook-em horns sign, extending the pinky and index finger while bending the thumb, the middle and ring finger is a sign of the devil and will most likely be very offensive.
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