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Canada Vs. Norway: 7 Things Canucks Can Learn From This Scandinavian Region

01/30/2014 07:23 EST | Updated 02/10/2014 11:59 EST
John Wang via Getty Images

It’s not often the internet goes crazy for an entire country but Norway seems to be the exception. By now you've probably heard Norway is not only one of the most beautiful countries in the world, but it also has some of the happiest people in the world.

But those facts aren't too surprising for Norwegians thanks for their high-quality of life and laid-back approach to, well, everything.

Canadians aren't far behind when it comes to our standards of living and our happiness rating, but certain areas, particularly the larger cities, still have a “money makes the world go round” attitude that keeps some Canadians constantly on the go.

It's not like Canada needs to reinvent the wheel, it's more like it could stand to benefit from a few pointers from the best — the best being Norway. Let's start off with these seven ideas:

  • How To Handle Winter Patio Weather
    Nikki Gill
    In Norway, -5 C is no reason to go running indoors. In fact, it’s still considered prime patio season. For a country in love with dining outdoors, Canada needs to adopt this concept. Don’t let the cold scare you away, just enjoy the heat lamps, animal skin and fleece blankets provided by the restaurant.
  • How To Drive
    Wikimedia
    Maybe it's the attitude, maybe it's the infrastructure but either way, speed limits in Norway are lower on average. On a regular highway, the speed limit is usually 90 km/h.

    Canadians should stop and think — why are we always in such a rush? Though our highway speed limit is 100 km/h, most people tend to drive over that limit.
  • How To Waitress In Sneakers
    Wikimedia
    How often do you see a young woman waiting tables in four-inch heels and a mini skirt? She’s tending to all of her tables, carrying hot plates of food, and manages to never slip and spill a tray of drinks. It’s incredibly impressive but also completely unnecessary. In Norway, all the waitresses you’ll see are dressed comfortably from head to toe, right down to a pair of sensible sneakers.
  • How To Embrace Shorter Workdays
    Wikimedia
    The average workday in Norway is about seven-and-a-half hours long — just under eight-hour average for many Canadian occupations.

    The difference here is that this applies to many retail stores and restaurants as well. Employees are given evenings and weekends to themselves so late-night shopping or late-night dinners out are practically impossible.
  • How To Embrace Sunday As The Day Of Rest
    Flickr: bmills
    We’ve all heard those stories of how Sunday was once the day of rest. No one went to work and nothing was open because everyone was meant to stay home and spend time with their families.

    Well, come to Norway and you'll find the tradition alive — more or less. Some grocery and shopping chains plan to open on Sunday thanks to new government policy but the concept of Sunday being the day of rest is still a respected one.
  • How To Live With Five Weeks Of Paid Vacation
    Flickr: @boetter
    For full-time, salaried employees, the average paid vacation time allowance is five weeks. In Canada, the average sits at two weeks. Imagine how much happier Canadians would all be with three more weeks of vacation time every year. Think of how many more times you could visit Norway!
  • How To Let The Government Do Your Taxes
    Flickr: blmurch
    How much do we all dread tax season? Well in Norway, everything is done for you. The government does all of your paperwork for you and sends you a copy. As long as you agree, you don’t have to do a single thing. If you don’t agree, then you have the option to get involved in the process.

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