Jayus – (n.) a joke so poorly told and unfunny you can’t help but laugh
HELLO OSLO! We woke up this morning in the bright and sunny city center after a grueling 20 hour travel day. After listening to Dr. Whitworth give a brief lecture on the distinct cultures of the Scandinavian countries, we were off to see the sites.
I have to be honest with you, I did not think that we’d be seeing every museum on the itinerary, but we hit the ground running with our Oslo passes and saw four museums and two parks in about 8 hours.
This was the first time we could really get a feel for Norwegian culture, both new and old. We saw Norwegian folk villages, Viking ships, ships from Arctic expeditions, lots of sculptures and so much more.
The site that struck me the most was Frogner Park’s famous monolith designed by Gustav Vigeland.
Dr. Whitworth told us that Norway is a society that is very focused on family, which is evident in the support that the government provides to new mothers and fathers. Not only does Norway provide paid paternity leave for three months, but it also incentivizes new mothers to stay at home with paid maternity leave for 18 months.
This emphasis on family values is apparent in this piece of art. The human figures at the bottom appear to be dead or suffering. When your gaze travels upward, however, the people have increasingly joyful qualities. The top of the work is almost joyous because of the many young children that are held up by adults looking down at the viewer.
This demonstrated to me that children and society in Norway are built on the hard work and sacrifice of families. It was really moving to see such a strong emphasis on these kind of cultural norms.
After our grand museum extravaganza, we went back to the hotel and experienced jayus (new word because we should all learn something new while reading this blog, right?) because of our jet lag catching up with us. Jokes were made and laughs were shared in what will soon become beautiful memories of exploring new things with some new friends.
All in all, it was a great first day, and it really set the standard for an exciting, adventurous trip.
Tusen takk (translation from Norwegian: thank you very much) for following along with our journey. See you in three days!