Posted by Terri Hodges on Jan 15, 2019
This morning our exchange student Maya Bergersen spoke about her home country of Norway and her experience so far as an Rotary Exchange Student
President Rick Fiedorec introduced  Maya Bergerson our exchange student from Norway. Maya told us that Norway is known for oil, fish and potatoes – thanks for your attention to my presentation – hahaha.  But she did continue.  Norway has a population 5.2 million, and Maya lives in the northern tip of the country on a peninsula with ocean on both sides.  She was born in Harstad, the 3rd largest city in the area with a population of 26,000.  Maya's mom is a survey engineer, her mom's boyfriend is a geological engineer, and her sister is still in high school in another city. Fun fact about Norwegian schools - if you want to switch high schools you start again at the beginning! Maya's hobbies are; reading, especially novels of the early 20th century, like The Great Gatsby and Catcher in the Rye; working out; hiking; and she loves to write poetry (in English.)
Norway has a national costume that must be worn on the 17th of May, Norwegian Constitution Day.  It’s inspired by peasant traditions from the 1700s.  Wearing the dress became popular in the 1930s.  What about Norwegian food?  A whole sheep’s head boiled with potatoes, kale! (ewwwwww), frozen pizza for Christmas food and also have brown cheese!  Chocolate cookies are eaten at Easter when they finally have sun :)  Sardines in tomato sauce are popular among young children, but they smell SO bad……
Sports in Norway:  Cross-country skiing and the country has the female skier with the most Olympic and World cup medals; and a male skier with 13 World cup medals. And they have a 28 year old world chess champion multiple times over.  Of course our curlers are famous for their nice pants!
The summer is cold in Norway and the winter is completely dark all the time!  BUT they see the Northern Lights :)
Maya's school at home focuses more on good grades for university.  At Regi here, there are lots of clubs and activities and school spirit and they put the responsibility on the student to perform. At home students start learning English in Kindergarten and it’s compulsory until the end of ‘grade 10’
Indigenous people in Norway are free to roam and work with reindeer.  Their language and culture are protected and they are self-governed.
Maya told us that students have a crazy celebration for high school graduation that lasts 3 weeks!  This started in Oslo in 1903 and originated in Denmark. Party, party, party!
So far here in Canada Maya has liked meeting with the other exchange students for the Hallowe’en party and the Xmas Cornwall hot tub :)  Maya also say she likes the size of Canadian candy bars!  They are a meal in themselves :)
Maya's slide show was a bit glitchy but she handled it was great poise, answering questions about her country while the temperamental presentation was wrestled into submission.
Maya was thanked for a wonderful presentation by Michelle Chatten-Fiedorec