Saturday, 4 September 2010

22 WEEKS ROUND THE WORLD - No.17

Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, occupies the western part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. Norway has a total area of 385,252 square kilometres and a population of about 4.8 million. It is a sparsely populated country, but rich in resources: oil, forests, natural gas, minerals. Norway is ranked highest of all countries in human development due to its higher education, universal health care and social security system. In a 2007 survey, Norway was also rated the most peaceful country in the world.
History
Archaeological findings indicate the area currently constituting Norway has been inhabited since at least the 10th millennium BC. In the first centuries AD, Norway consisted of a number of small kingdoms.
During the Viking Ages the Viking seafarers started expanding and after 872 AD when Harald Fairhair united their tribes, many Norwegians started traveling to live in England, Iceland, Britain and Ireland. The Irish cities of Dublin and Limerick were founded by Norwegian settlers.


Facts
• Because of the large latitudinal range of the country and the varied topography and climate, Norway has a larger number of different habitats than almost any other European country. There are approximately 60,000 species in Norway and adjacent waters (excluding bacteria and virus).
• The Constitution was adopted in 1814 and was inspired by the US Declaration of Independence and the 1776 French Revolution.
• Norway is a constitutional monarchy with a parliament and government, wherein the King is the head of state, Prime Minister and the head of government.
• Languages of Norway: the Norwegian language, Sami, Kyen. Norwegian is similar to the other languages in Scandinavia, Swedish and Danish. The three languages are mutually intelligible.
• the Norwegian cinema received international recognition; as early as 1951 a documentary film of the Kon-Tiki expedition won an Oscar Academy Award.
• Great names: the classical composer Edvard Grieg, 19th century writer Henrik Ibsen, Christian Dahl, impressive painter,

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