Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago with a population of 3 000, is the only visa-free zone in the world meaning that anybody may live and work there indefinitely regardless of country of citizenship.
If you publish a book in Norway, the government will buy 1000 copies (1,500 if a children’s book) and distribute them to libraries throughout the country.
After visiting a prison in Norway that treated prisoners humanely, a warden from North Dakota went back and reformed her prison based on Norway’s model. It later saw sharp decline in violence against inmates and threats against staff.
In Halden prison in Norway, guards are encouraged to interact, play sports, and eat with the inmates. This is to prevent aggression and create a sense of family. Despite being a maximum security prison, every cell has a flatscreen TV, an en-suite shower and fluffy, white towels.
“Kulning” is a Norwegian song using high-pitched vocal techniques to call cows in from the pastures.
At Norway’s maximum-security Halden Prison, prisoners are paid 53 kroner ($9) per day to leave their cells, which are equipped with a video game console, mini-fridge, and a window with no bars. Guard stations are tiny and cramped to encourage them to interact with the prisoners.
In 2011, a 134-hour documentary showing a cruise ship on its voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes was transmitted live and non-stop on Norwegian television. Approximately half the population of Norway tuned in to watch.
In Norway Easter is known for “Påskekrim” (Easter Crime), when just about everyone in Norway reads crime novels, television and radio stations run crime serials, and newspapers publish special crime related literary supplements.