What is a Butter Boss (smøresjef) and other Norwegian lessons from the Winter Olympics

I simply HAD to reblog this one! ”A Frog in the Fjord” has some great cultural reflections about Norway, and I think most of us Norwegians can identify with numerous aspects from her blog 😉 I actually laughed out loud when reading about the “head of butter”, the butter crisis, and her political tip that Norway must never accept Trøndelag as an independent country if we want to continue having high expectations for Olympic medals!

In this blog post, “A Frog in the Fjord” writes that every “happening” in Norway is an opportunity for foreigners to learn about Norwegian customs. This refreshed my memory on the important aspect of understanding ones own culture through foreign eyes in order to achieve an intercultural competence. This is also very relevant for my own teaching and my aims to promote my students intercultural competence. This gave me the idea that when my class in a few weeks are entering culture related topics, I will present this blog and use it as a point of departure for discussing cultural differences and challenges for foreigner and immigrants in Norway. Perhaps we also can use this blog post to work on idioms, since we Norwegians obviously use “smør” for a numerous things?

Also check out the blog post about ‘How to make things “koselig”’ – since the English translation “cozy” doesn´t even begin to cover everything “koselig” express!


A Frog in the Fjord


Every «happening» in Norway is an opportunity for us foreigners to learn about Norwegian customs: wearing a bunad for the 17th of May, drinking oneself to death and sleeping with one’s colleague for the Julebord (Christmas party), living in one’s underwear without taking a shower for 4 days during a hyttetur and so on.

More recently, the Winter Olympics made me realise that sometimes Norwegians are proud of their nation and how they show it (see Why do Norwegians Lose it During the Winter Olympics): with a little more craziness and passion than usual (I am not criticizing, I love crazy and passion, I am French remember).

I wanted to write more in detail about this one guy that has been on everyone’s lips for the past few days. This job that no foreigner (except maybe the Swiss and the Swedes?) has ever heard of before, and who is…

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One thought on “What is a Butter Boss (smøresjef) and other Norwegian lessons from the Winter Olympics

  1. I love her blog, and I think your plan to use it in your classroom is perfect and could be really motivational, especially considering the humoristic spin of her writing. Another way to look at it is that this is also a way of bringing authentic texts into the classroom (if you can categorise this as an authentic text?). A small (somewhat insignificant) challenge is that the author of the blog is not a native-speaker of English, and her language is not «perfect».

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