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The story is in the last par!

One of the joys of blogging is the serendipity. Kristine Lowe in Norway was taken by two headlines on the same day from the “lovely but slightly whacky place across the border’ — “One in four Swedes think astrology is a science” and “Drunken elk terrorises schoolkids”.

But she also wonders what foreigners who read Aftenpost in English with its stories about elks, polar bears and royals will think of Norway.

I didn’t find any elks, but there was a story about Christmas tree importers in Newcastle trying to buy up the entire supply of Christmas trees from dealers in Jæren, western Norway. It seems the Norwegians like to keep back the thin trees so that the family can clasp hands around them, while the British like wide trees. So they are hanging on to the slim trees.

But the real story is in the last paragraph. Norway imports nearly a third of the 1.2 million Christmas trees sold each year from Denmark. Can this really be the Norway that has 12 million hectares of pine forests and 4.6 million people?


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  1. Wordblog » Blog Archive » The tale of the horny moose says

    […] The story is in the last par! […]

  2. Kristine Lowe says

    Norway importing Christmas trees from Denmark does sound rather weird – Denmark is not renown for its forests and Greenpeace claims some 40 per cent of Danish newspaper paper is sourced from Finland – but I have seen a lot of Danish Christmas trees for sale here.

    The type of English language news coverage, apart from that of newswires, that comes out of Scandinavia, is almost a blog post in itself. I started paying closer attention to it after a British friend living in Oslo told me my blog was the best English language aggregator of Scandinavian media news he had come across. The Scandinavian English language news sites I have watched over time do actually tend to pay a lot of attention to quirky news which reinforce stereotypes about Scandinavia, probably based on an idea of what foreigners would consider newsworthy, but in Aftenposten’s case I suspect it might also have something to do with its advertisers, as its English site tend to be very slanted towards ‘all things peculiarly Norwegian’. The Local (reporting from Sweden) is actually quite good, for instance I thought its recent blog coverage from the country’s election night was better than the live coverage on Swedish TV. However, what is newsworthy in one country also differs from what is considered frontpage news in another, which probably reflects cultural differences, but I could easily write a whole article on that so I’ll leave that for now…