Hello blogger friends! Diane here again, guest blogging for my dear hubby :P Renny’s birthday is the 4th of November. When I asked him what he would like for his birthday he answered that he would like me to write another article to share with you. A short time ago Renny asked all of you what you would like to know more about Norway, and we got quite a lot of interesting questions. Some of these I will be helping him to answer. This one was from Lime: “I’d love to know, since your wife is American, what are the cultural differences that she has been most charmed by?”

Family gathering at Heidi’s Confirmation.
Click here for another post about Heidi!

Well I am not sure it is a cultural difference but it certainly is charming. I can’t describe it well in English so I will just have to use the Norwegian word. Norway is very “koselig”. The direct translation of koselig is cosy, however koselig is so much more then cosy. Koselig is a something that is very nice, very personal, warm, enjoyable, intimate and usually involves people you like spending time with. It is even used as a verb. Sometimes for example we say “This weekend I am just going to ‘kose meg’.” Which means I am just going to relax and enjoy life for a while. It sounds so simple but it actually took me a couple of years to really understand what koselig was.

To me koselig is being with my family or friends, for example sitting around the camp fire on a cool summer evening laughing and talking and having a good time. Cooking hotdogs on sticks and enjoying the feeling of summer vacation. Sometimes koselig is a dinner in a cottage with good friends, sitting around a little table eating good food, drinking good wine and laughing.

The preschool I work at (part time these days) is very koselig! The people are so warm, and the children are in focus, there is singing, playing, lauging and you really have an experience of that others really care about you, genuinely like you and want to share life with you. Actually Stabekk preschool is one of the koseligest places I know of!

The Norwegian people are very warm people, I know that will get a reaction from some readers because the Norwegians have a reputation for being cold and hard to get to know. That is somewhat true, but once you do get to know them there is a warmth there and a kind of beautiful acceptance of you as a person just as you are. It’s not superficial, you don’t have to impress, you just have to enjoy life because life is too short to waste. Maybe that is part of the whole koselig business. Here the summer is short, and the days are short in the wintertime. Norwegians really know how to embrace the special moments and take time out of the busy day to appreciate something koselig. Here you see me (Diane) and some friends on a cruise to Denmark:

Please join me in wishing one of the koseligest people I know a very happy birthday! Below you see him around three years old, in a very koselig situation:-)

Have a great weekend everyone. We are going to visit Renny’s family in Porsgrunn. See you around!

48 Comments

  1. oh what a wonderful post, diane. i so much enjoyed this! i also think if you go to my archives and check my first tow or three posts you will find a definition of ‘liming’ that nearly fits koselig. thanks so much for sharing this lovely aspect of norwegian culture.

    and also a very very happy birthday to renny and many more!

  2. What a wonderful post! It gives such a true and deep understanding of the Norwegian people. I am sorry to say that many Americans forget what is truly important in life- family, fun, love…

    Happiest of Birthdays to Renny!

  3. Happy birthday, Renny! Enjoy your day!!

    Thanks for the posting again, Diane! It’s interesting to read about stuff from your perspective.

  4. Hi Diane – it was good to hear from you again! Enjoy your weekend and a very Happy Birthday to Renny!

  5. Hi Diane,
    What a lovely post! I truly enjoyed the pictures and your explanation of cozy as it applies it your country!
    A very happy birthday to Renny!

  6. That is a great post! I love the pictures, especially those in the traditional Norweegin dress.
    Do you have family that you miss still here in the US?
    It sounds like a lovely place to live, but I could never leave here, I don’t think.

  7. (oops)
    And Happy Birthday Renny!

  8. Thanks for sharing with us, Diane.

    And HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RENNY!! ;D

    Today, (November 3rd) is my daughter Jessica’s 19th birthday, and also my sisters’, Sue and Martha, 2 years apart. All three share a birthday, born in different years. :-)

  9. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Renny!!!

    I love using the word koselig, as well as nydelig and kjempefint! :-)

  10. Mother of Invention

    Thanks, Diane. You look and sound like a very warm person yourself and one who smiles and laughs a lot! You fit right into Norway. No wonder you two get along so well!
    Happy B-day, Renny! What kind of cake will he want? Do you sing and light candles too?
    What do kids do for birthdays? Parties? Sleepovers? Movies?

  11. barefoot_mistress

    Oh, that sounds very much like Liming! As you know, lime taught us all about liming!
    Here in California we just call it chillin! As in “I just need to chill out”
    Limeing, Koseling, Chilling…it’s all the same!
    Nice to meet you Diane!

  12. barefoot_mistress

    OOOH I totally forgot!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY RENNYBA!!!

  13. First Happy Birthday Renny! Wishing you best of health always!

    Thank you Diane for such a lovely post and yes..I do know that people from Scandi countries do warmth up and very friendly once you get to know them.

    I’m glad I’ve ‘found’ both of you :D

    Happy Day Renny!

  14. Happy birthday Renny
    Bon anniversaire “
    Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag !Buon commpleanno !

    And to you a thank you for this nice very informative post !

  15. Happy Birthday Renny, and I want to be koelig, or at least find someone that is! Great article!

  16. 服從到只一 A.K.A: Sugar Cat

    First and foremost… Feliz Cumpleaños Renny! Translation: Happy Birthday!

    Great post Diane! You are a very lucky woman as I’m sure that Renny begs to differ and say that he is the luckiest man!

    My best wishes to you and yours… Have a wonderful week-end.

  17. Lovely pictures Renny! And a big Happy Birthday to you! I wish you many more birthdays to come!

  18. Happy Birthday Renny!!!

    Sounds like a great way to spend the day.

    Sure is a cute picture with nana(?) and the big lamb.

  19. Happy Birthday, Renny! Hope it’s a great one!

    And thanks Diane for the informative post; so what part of American are you from?

    (This is BrykMantra, by the way — Blogger isn’t letting me sign in, for some reason …)

  20. OldOldLady Of The Hills

    A Very Very Happy Birthday Renny…!
    A lovely post Diane and I love the word you were trying to describe..Koselingg…(??) I know that is NOT the right spelling…sorry about that…BUT, I love the way you tried to describe What It Is…And I really feel like I “got it”…the impact of what it is…AND I would love to have more of that in my life…!

  21. Happy birthday Reny…Charlie pointed us here. :)

  22. happy birthday Renny!!!! Wow – lovely pics and a great explanation of kosleg…

    I’m a day late and 21 comments later!!!

  23. happy bday renny!!!!!!

    *hugs hugs*

  24. Tihi :) Your post was so nice Diane! I feel really proud of beeing Norwegian after reading it :)
    Hope Renny has a koselig birthday!
    Hugs n kisses from Bergen

  25. From Renny: Thank you so very much for all your birthday wishes. I had a wonderful birthday with my family and your good wishes meant a lot to me!

    From Diane, answering your comments from here:

    @lime: Thank you for your original question! Whether its liming or koselig its good to know that enjoying life and sharing it with others is important all over the world.

    @Lisa: Well I am not sure Americans have forgotten how important life-family, fun and love is, but its good that many here keep it in focus. Let us remind as many as we can! Thanks for stopping in and reading my post.

    @Teena: Thanks for coming by and reading my stuff! Its fun to give an outsiders perspective on Norwegian life.

    @Hexe: We had a great weekend! Thanks for dropping by!

    @Sue: Thank you for the compliment, the pictures span a few years here. It was fun to go through our album and see our kids grow too.

    @Karen: I do have family that I miss in NY. I come to visit them as often as I can. Its not easy to leave my home behind, but being in Love helps! Motivation you know.

    @Diane: Happy birthday to your daughter and sisters. A lot of scorpios in your family!

    @Mark: Your Norwegian is really coming along! Kjempefint!! LOL

    @Mother of Invention: I am generally a warm person. Renny likes me to make him brownies and his mother made him an apple cake. We sing the Norwegian birthday song and yes we do have candles too. The kids usually have a party and either invite their whole class or all the boys or all the girls in their class. Yeah when they are teenagers they have sleepovers or movies sometimes too.

    @Barefoot Mistress: Well then I hope you did some chilling this weekend; we had a very koselig weekend too!

    @Shionge: I’m glad you found us too. It can take a while to get to know Norwegians but its often worth the wait.

    @Gattina: Your welcome, thanks for stopping in! And your international birthday wishes!

    @ana: Everyone can be koselig, and better to find someone to share it with.

    @Sugar Cat: We are both lucky, and luckiest to have found each other.

    @Charles: Thanks, I am honoured by any compliment from you!

    @Pearl: The cute picture of Renny as a baby is taken with a woman who worked on the farm, she was a kind of dairy maid, and almost family of course!

    @BryMantra: Sorry you didnt get to logg in. We got your comment anyway. I am from upstate New York, Saratoga Springs to be exact.

    @OldOldLady of The Hills: Thanks! Koselig is really a feeling word, so I am glad you could understand what I was trying to say. I wish you a lot of koselig days in your life!

    @Shoshana: We are glad Charlie sent ya!

    @Expat Travler: When it comes to comment and blogging you are never too late. Glad you came in!

    @aiRah: Hugs to you as well! Thanks for coming by.

    @Susanna: You should be proud of your Norwegian heritage there are a lot of wonderful people over here. And we just played curling with some fellow Bergensere!! We didnt play each other so I cant say who won.

  26. i know im late..ut better late than never..

    Happy birthday Renny!!

    Hi Diane!Thanx so much for a good post.and i m glad to know that you are a preschool teacher :D

    i can relate well with some of your post coz i am also married with a foreigner..and i learned a little about norwegian..i think you ve answered my qustion to renny the last time :)

    have a great week ahead!

  27. A very happy belated birthday from The Artist. Calling over from `The Queer Chef’, so glad I found out it was your birthday.

  28. What a great post! I love the concept of koselig, and also the way you describe the character of the Norwegian people. It certainly seems true of the one Norwegian we know pretty well. I’ve bookmarked you for further reading!

  29. Happy Birthday Renny!!!

    I discovered a lot of koselig people in the Philippines but I must say that you are probably one of the most koselig people I ever met !

    Keep enjoying your live with your lovely wife for many many years to come.
    It is a pleasure to have you as a friend.
    Too bad there are not more koselig people around

  30. alles gute zum geburtstag “Kuschelig” … click this

  31. Awwwww am late :(

    Anyways,

    Belated happy happy birthday to you dear renny!More blessings & koselig moments to you & dianne:)

    Virtual b-day hugs from germany!

  32. Thanks dianne! I truly enjoyed this post! I hope you’ll create your own blog soon ;)

    Warm regards,

  33. Hei Diane,
    My thoughts exactly.
    Norwegians seems to be cold… but trully they are warm and once one finds a friend, he’ll be a friend for life.

    One of the first few words I learned is koselig. It took me a long time to understand there is no direct english translation for this word :)

    Happy Beerday again Renny!

  34. Happy B-day wishes!

  35. Diane, so Koselig of you to explain the world the meaning of Koselig. I couldn’t done it better.

    Renny, 4 days with no internet connection and during those days YOU had Birthday. Late though: Happy Birthday;-))

  36. I’m so sorry that I’m late, but a very Happy Birthday to Renny! I hope it was a wonderful, Koselig celebration. :-)

    What a wonderful, interesting post from lovely Diane! You have me craving hotdogs now. ;-)

  37. Having been in Norway, I understand the idea of “koselig”. Happiest of birthdays to Renny!

  38. Hi again! Renny would like to thank everyone for the birthday wishes, I don’t think he has ever had so many and from all over the world!
    Diane here again, replying to all your great comments:

    @ghee: Thanks for the birthday wishes! I only teach at the preschool part time, I am now going to school myself now, but my days in the preschool are always full of lots of hugs and warm welcomes. Its great!
    Its always exciting to be married to someone from another part of the world, you always learn something new!

    @The Artist: Thanks for bookmarking us! Im very happy you liked my post.

    @Sidney: Thanks for the compliment. There are lots of koselig people around the world, and many of them visit Renny?s blogg?like you!

    @Racky aka Baky Ni Neneng: Is there a similar word in German? That doesn?t surprise me, I find a lot of similar words in German and Norwegian since they are in the same language family. How Kuschelig!!

    @CheH: Thanks for your good wishes! I have started a blog but I havent posted much there yet. Its under construction!

    @Al Bjørnstad: Hi Al! I?m glad you have some of the same experiences with the Norwegian people. I like to think of it as in investment in a friendship, it takes some time for it to be worth a lot!

    @Grish: Thanks for the warm wishes!

    @TorAa: What a lovely compliment coming from a true Norwegian soul!

    @Lisa: Thank you, keep your eye out for the koselig people, but try to resist the hotdogs LOL!

    @Barbara: I?m glad you have had some koselig experience! Look us up if you come over again!

  39. renny, you had a blast i bet.

    you’re such a charming person!

    go renny go lemme hear you say go renny go!

    waaaahhh,, can’t you believe that I’ve just sang a cheer for you…!!

    have a nice day!! *hugs*

    cheers,
    aiRah

    P.S.: just saying nonsense & some stupid stuff here.. *chuckles*

  40. Dear Friend:
    This is Alfredo, We have been zipping some nice Argetninean wines together.
    I just want to tell you two things:
    One: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! My best whishes for you!
    Two: Fantastic “explanation – description” about Koselig, defintly my favorit norwegian word.
    We keep in touch! Or at least I’ll keep on reading your blog!

  41. Happy birthday…

    I loved the take on Koselig. It is soooo Norwegian. Norwegian Kos. Seems like a cosy place far, far away from the dusty streets of London!

  42. Happy Birthday my friend,nice pic’s Thanks for sharing ,Best wishes my friend

  43. Hi Renny, I just want to wish you a belated Happy Birthday!!!! I am Brykmantras wife so I keep up with you on his blog. This is my birthday month too. I ususally celebrate for at least a week. You need to start it too. Works great!! Anyway …. ENJOY!!!!!

  44. This is absolutely priceless, Diane! I love how you weaved “cozy” throughout your post in a way that really helps to understand it.

    And though a bit late, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Renny!

  45. Hi Diane! very very nice post.
    i learned a lot.
    wow i liked that ‘koselig’ I want to do that all the time hahaha*wink*

    my questions will be up next? haha

    To Renny,happy happy birthday though its late.Diane is sooo sweet to post sometimes for you’re blog,hope my hubby does it too! hahaha

  46. Happy birthday! Found you via Rigmor.

  47. Happy Belated Birthday to Renny,
    I found myself overwhelmed by my dumb schedule and unable to read many blogs. Now life is back to normalizing I can take some time to see what I have missed. I too have experienced koselig in my experiences with Norwegians.
    Each day I look at my little Elk with his Norwegian flag colours on his little neck ribbon sitting on my bed.
    I remember a time when my alter ego Amy lived in Germany and was out in the big bad world all alone to promote her literary life, and my Norwegian friend and his friends who took the time to come and see me in Germany and give me hugs and greetings from the land that so mirrors my homeland in weather, but have a people who find such joy in the being of life- and taught me how to see our existance in a much warmer tone.

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