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In the Nordics we have a few cultural traits which can be interesting for others to understand.

Updated: Apr 14, 2023



The first one is the Dugnad.


The dugnad is defined as “Dugnad is voluntarily jointly performed unpaid and work of importance to the community or an individual. Dugnad work is usually carried out in a local community (e.g. spring clearing in a housing association, construction of a barn, a boatyard, a quay or a playground), as neighbor assistance in different situations, but sometimes also at regional or national level.”

An example recently here was covid, when it was called for a national Dugnad, to help the society get through the epidemic. It also means we are extremely good at hiding, due to years of practice hiding from the foreman’s and forewomen in our housing associations when a spring cleaning Dugnad is called for. Besides this it means we have it in our spine, to cooperate when we see needs of common interest arise. Personally I think this also is where the Finnish snipers first learned their skills of hiding.


Second is the climate.


In the Nordics we have 9 months of winter and 3 months of bad skiing. Besides giving us a peculiar fascination for people moving around on planks in different situations, and a fashion sense more directed towards the warm and practical than the esthetically pleasing, it also means that for larger parts of the year we have issues with our food supplies. Besides this gives us a Christmas diet consisting of salted, smoked, and fermented food, it also means that it's buried deep in our culture to plan ahead and be careful with our resources.


Third is the sheer size of the region.


Nordics is pretty much the same size as Germany, France, and Spain together, but instead of being 230 million people, we are 37. We therefore are used to all of us.

neighbors live so far away they must put on outer clothes to come visit, you must be a jack of all trades, and social distancing during covid to be a very natural thing. This also means we have huge distances and costs with everything we do. We therefore need to be cost efficient, innovative and build redundant secure solutions to function as societies.


Nordic Initiative


All of this together means that when an initiative raised to cooperate, for the common good, looking on how we together could work for issues of common interest to create cost effective, secure solutions, conserving our resources improving our societies, in non-competitive areas, it was completely natural for me to support the initiative, and I’m proud of how many of my Nordic colleagues which feel the same, and do think this will be a great association, for the future, improving many areas of interest to the retailers.




Bilde av Erik Marcus Torkildsen

Erik Marcus Torkildsen

Manager Identity and payment, REMA 1000.





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