I’m falling in love with Norway- the scenic countryside, the oceans, the food and energy around Oslo and so much more. But, there is a dark side to Norway. I am taking the Norwegian welfare state course and we learn the good things about Norway but also the bad.  Issues involving immigration, how should the welfare state operate with municipalities in charge or the central government? There is also the issue of integration of immigrants, what it means to be Norwegian, this especially relates to the 2011 terror attack. There is trust by the people to their political leaders, that their views are represented and the leaders are not corrupt. The issue of trust is crucial when maintaining Norway’s welfare state. The social issues put that trust to the test. While it may seem like there are groups at odds with each other-It actually feels like Norway will move past it. As we learned about dialogue at Lillehammer, when a group at odds discuss their opinions, we start to see that they have been receiving different messages. Making them seem different when they really are not. They’re human at the end, all concerned about their families safety and their children’s future. Dialogue is also not about persuasion but understanding, agreement is not necessary but as the groups listen to each other, the greater chance for a compromise to be reached. We also learned T.T.T., “things take time”. The biggest thing I learned at Lillehammer and will stick with me as a Peace Scholar going into this field, is patience and continuity. Things take time, so keep working at it. It is difficult, but once one stops, it’ll be more difficult to start back up again. -Sania

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