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Norway

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Norway

BACKGROUND

Information: A country.

Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a unitary sovereign state in Northwestern Europe whose core territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula in the north of Europe. The remote island of Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard are also part of the Kingdom of Norway.

The Sámi people have a certain amount of self-determination and influence over traditional territories. Norway maintains the Nordic welfare model with universal health care and a comprehensive social security system, and its values are rooted in egalitarian ideals.

Throughout the First World War, Norway was in principle a neutral country. In reality, however, Norway had been pressured by the British to hand over increasingly large parts of its large merchant fleet to the British at low rates, as well as to join the trade blockade against Germany. Norwegian merchant marine ships, often with Norwegian sailors still on board, were then sailing under the British flag and at risk of being sunk by German submarines. Thus, many Norwegian sailors and ships were lost. Thereafter, the world ranking of the Norwegian merchant navy fell from fourth place to sixth in the world.

Many Norwegians and persons of Norwegian descent joined the Allied forces as well as the Free Norwegian Forces. In June 1940, a small group had left Norway following their king to Britain. During the five years of German occupation, Norwegians built a resistance movement which fought the German occupation forces with both civil disobedience and armed resistance including the destruction of Norsk Hydro's heavy water plant and stockpile of heavy water at Vemork, which crippled the German nuclear program. More important to the Allied war effort, however, was the role of the Norwegian Merchant Marine.

National Dance: Hallingdans

Location: Scandinavia

Language: Norwegian and Sami are the two official languages.

Religion: Most Norwegians are registered at baptism as members of the Church of Norway, which has been Norway's state church since its establishment.


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