They are the four young students who have travelled from the most beautiful country Norway to God’s Own Country not just to explore the culture which is very different from theirs but instead on a field work gathering information for their paper presentation.

The girls have been away from their country for over a month and was a bit apprehensive.Yet, overcoming the initial hiccups, the girls so easily got used to the Kerala culture and said `we love being in Kerala’ in one voice.

So what makes their trip a pleasant experience. Yes, it is probably the dancing deities `Theyyam’ and watching young people do martial arts thereby bringing out the rich and vibrant culture of Kerala.

“These two things were especially interesting to experience because we have never seen anything like it before and it’s not something you can see in Norway. It was very cool and interesting to see because it gave us a good view on Kerala culture.”

Meet the young and beautiful Nova (19), Thea (22), Madelen (23) and Silje (20) who are part of a 16-member delegation and are doing their first year graduation course on Development Studies at Faculty of Education & International Studies, Oslo and Akershus University College. They are on a 5-week internship at CREST, which has an MoU with the varsity for academic collaboration.

Norway students
Dea Busk Larsen

Kerala seems to be offering something for everyone and this group of students visited the Online team of Mathrubhumi to know about the women’s freedom of speech in Kerala and their opportunities to express themselves. The students were accompanied by Dea Busk Larsen, Masters student in Social Anthropology at Lund University, Sweden. The students shared about the experience in Kerala and what they would take back home.

Hot favourite Kerala Parotta

True enough, the popularity of Kerala parotta cuts across all ages and all the girls agree that Kerala parotta and the thali meals are awesome. The Norwegians are bowled over by the mouth-watering fish molees and biriyani and admit it is spicy. They were a bit surprised over people here eating such ‘huge quantity of rice.’  

The crazy traffic

Talk about the traffic and the girls say it is crazy when compared to Norway. Maybe because of the huge crowd and a lot more people in the city. Also the ladies’ and men’s seat in buses is something that really startles them. The small and ubiquitous autos is anybody’s wonder.

More clothes and less skin

All the four girls dressed in the Indian attire looked amazing. They recollected that when it is summer and hot in Norway, they see people with less clothes and more skin. But here in God’s Own Country, it looks like people are using more clothes and showing less skin.

Hands-on experience of `Real Kerala’

What inspires the 4 girls apart from the regular itinerary. There is plenty for any visitor and despite their time constraints, they have been to lot of places. Kappad beach, Beypore, Vayalada Viewpoint, Kadalundi and many more.  The girls thank their friends who have helped them and also cared for them.

Students from Faculty of Education & International Studies,
Oslo and Akershus University College, Norway, interacting with Mathrubhumi Online team

Communication no big issue

The language here is very difficult and we haven’t learnt much. We only know how to say thank you, goodbye and hello in Malayalam. People here are very good at speaking English and communication has not been a big issue.

Eating with one hand difficult

Most of the foreigners need spoons or forks for eating. And the girls are astonished that they never had to use one for eating here. It has taken us a long time to learn how to eat with our hands but still can’t do it perfectly, laments one of them. We have also noticed that people here eat only with their right hand, so learning how to eat only with one hand has been difficult. This is the one thing that we found most bizarre, because it is so normal to use fork and knife in Norway. But looking at the positive aspects, it is much more easy to mix your food and mix rice with different curries when you are eating with your hand.

We are coming back for more

Yes! We would love to visit Kerala again! We have met a few great people here that we would love to keep in touch with and come back to meet. We have only been in Calicut and are going to travel to some more places but we won't have the opportunity to visit other places in Kerala during our stay. We therefore want to come back to visit and experience other parts of Kerala.