Closed on Sundays

Here’s a follow-up to my last two posts: The Indians visiting here noted that Norwegians didn’t stay long at the office, leaving to go home to dinner with their families, and that on the weekends, the whole family did things together. The right-wing government insists that Norway wants shopping malls to be open on Sundays. We don’t. That’s one big reason why the left won so many counties and cities. Because parliament said they’d leave the decision up to the counties and cities. Heh.
Sundays in Norway: Fewer buses, fewer cars, fewer people. The only thing open is restaurants, the gas station, the movie theater and some museums and souvenir shops. You can’t buy clothes or shoes or rugs or hair-cuts or massages or electric tea kettles on Sundays. Instead, you stay in and watch Tour de France or some other sport—or, as the Indians noted, you and your whole family take a Sunday walk or hike. Some people will even go to church!
The stores are open on Sundays in December to accommodate (and cash in on) the Christmas season. I went shopping on such a Sunday last year at my local mall. There was hardly anybody there.
We need the breather. We like the breather. We like that there is one day in the week where nobody is rushing around everywhere else but home.
We can get basic necessities in the way of groceries on Sundays; why does anyone think we also need to buy jeans then?
There won’t be more customers. What customers there are will simply drift to the new times and not shop at the old times. We’ve noticed this when grocery stores started extended opening hours from 8 pm to 11 pm. The bad planners who would come in at 7:50 pm now show up at 10:50 pm. (The bad planners who want beer still have to come in at 7:50 pm. Norway and its alcohol laws deserves its own post.)
So we voted for the people who respect family time. We voted for the people who know that buying stuff is not the path to happiness. We voted for the people who know that the only stores that can survive being open on Sundays are in shopping malls, not the independent shops outside the malls.
We voted for closed on Sundays because we like it.

By Keera Ann Fox

I am a bi-lingual American who has lived most of my life in Norway.
Jeg er en tospråklig amerikaner som har bodd mesteparten av mitt liv i Norge.

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