The first time I went to church in Kristiansand, it was so much different experience than church sermons that I attended back home. The sermon was very different in terms of ways of doing worship, in terms of sharing gospel even though the message of the sermons was almost same. But the major difference I noticed were among members of the church. The majority of that church was elderly people and approximately 15 to 20 youths of around age 18-29.

The next Sunday evening, I got opportunity to go to one of the youth church in Kristiansand. And the church was completely different than the one that I had attended 1 week back. The worship was loud, people were singing and they were dancing and raising hands, the sermon was more focused among youths, the one sharing the sermon was also young, she did share the sermon in energetic way and most importantly, it was only church for youths.

 As an outsider and coming from a collective society, I am used with family churches and I did not like attending churches only with youths. But as I got opportunity to get dipper into Norwegian society (I would presume that I did get dipper into the society in 6 months), I understood why the Christian society in Norway has been giving importance to youth church.

Youth gathering in a church in Kristiansand.

Youth gathering in a church in Kristiansand.

According to the Constitution of State of Norway, 1814, Article 2, “The Evangelical Lutheran Religion shall remain the official religion of the State. Furthermore, in the same article, it stated that, “Inhabitants who profess the same shall be required to educate their children therein.” On 21st May 2012, the Norwegian Parliament made constitutional amendments to Article 2 of the Constitution. According to the amended article, it stated, “Our values will remain our Christian and humanist heritage. This Constitution shall ensure democracy, a state based on the rule of law and human rights.” This Constitutional amendment changed Norway from a Christian state to a secular state.

Christian students gathering in UiA, Kristiansand

Christian students gathering in UiA, Kristiansand

It is important to understand Article 2 before and after amendment of 2012 in order to understand the growth of youth churches in recent years in Norway. When the Constitution of 1814 prevailed, Norway being a Christian state, it was necessary for Norwegian parents to educate their children according to the Christian values and principles. For these reasons, religion was one important subject taught in schools. But because of many factors including the politics, “in 1998 the Norwegian primary school curriculum was changed, with two separate subjects – Christianity and philosophy of life – being replaced by a single subject covering Christianity, religion and philosophy, known as KRL. Under the 1998 Education Act, a pupil could be granted exemption only from those parts of KRL which the parents considered amounted to the practicing of another religion or adherence to another philosophy of life. The parents had to explain their view…”As Norwegian society became more modern, rich, development of science and technology, the issues of religion started to become less relevant.

In addition to these, the Constitution of state of Norway made amendment to Article 2, making it a secular state. Now, public places including schools and universities are secular. This has now made the relationship between churches and students weak. This being one of the issues, churches in Norway, has tried to make some changes in its liturgy in order to attract youths and at the same time, educate them on Christians values and principles from the foundation. This is why there are separate youth churches and family churches in Norway. This being one of the reason why there are many youth churches in Norway. Despite this, it has negative impact in long run, it has tendency to increase generation gap which is already prevalent in Norwegian society.

SALE- Mahima Khaling Rai

 The earlier blog was about survival tips in crazy expensive Norway, when it comes to doing groceries. This time it’s gonna be another version of survival tips – How to shop for clothes when you fall under super cute category in size. This blog is also little bonus for you, on reading this blog you will learn to save money and at the same time you will learn to be trendy in fashion.  Isn’t that brilliant!

Okay I have to tell you, I have been shopping my clothes from KIDS store. FYI, this blog has defect. This hack only works for people that are gifted with tiny body and bound feet. So, this is not for everybody. But for all those lucky petite people, you are beautiful just the way you are, you just have to be creative when it comes to shopping for your outfit. But first let me tell you my struggle. When I went to try new pants, it was so long in length that the grunge that was supposed to be in the knee when down to my calf. The smallest waist size 24 did not fit this tinny waist. A shirt almost became a dress.  So you see now why I had to go to kids section. But then it was good thing for me, because I realized that it was lot more cheaper in the kids section and that they had cool stuffs there. I found out that I can still be in my chic style and be financially smart. Also, another best thing about being petite, I had my shoe size 35, good news for you, you can get amazing shoes in SALE, because most of the Norwegian women had shoe size 38+

SALE…how do I even describe my weakness for this. I had mentioned earlier that I had learned to become financially smart. But it seems like I have lot of learning to do when it comes to this trap called SALE. I call it a trap but my friend Gerson from Tanzania says that it is a black hole – once a woman gets in, she disappears in there.  The stores in Kristiansand have sale now and then, very often, and guess what, it attracts many women like a magnet attracts magnetic objects. I am speaking of firsthand experience so you have to trust me.

I saw this nice dress in SALE in ZARA. I felt in love with it, I thought many times before I bought it. But my excuses to buy the dresses won over my rational reasoning that I was in no need of buying it. Later when I came home and tried on the dress, I was like, was my head strike by thunder when I bought this dress. It was something that I would never wear it. I understood that my mind goes crazy when I see “SALE” and that I end up buying something that I do not need.

Once a store called “flying tiger” in Kristiansand had SALE, where you could get everything in 25 NOK, and I bought my stuffs (this time something I really needed) and I was waiting in queue to pay. In front of me was a woman with so many stuffs. The cashier was calculating her expenses but the woman was so anxious, (yes anxious- I checked it’s meaning in the dictionary). She was picking every possible thing she could, with expression in her face: as if this is once in a life time opportunity. She was anxiously looking around her and putting stuffs in the cart. Her husband was so much feed up of her obsession that he left her and went out of the store. When the cashier was done, she went out with 3 huge plastic bags of bits and bobs. I am sure she will not use half of the stuffs that she had bought there. It was quiet a scene caused by SALE.

That day, as I was returning home I noticed all SALE advertisements in the stores. Then in my head, I saw so many people like me and that woman in flying tiger, buying stuffs that we would never use it. I saw over consumption of goods. I saw over-exploitation of natural resources. I saw different kinds of fight developed countries have compared to developing countries and LDCs in terms of environmental problems. Since that incident at flying tiger almost 5 months has passed. I wonder if I had been wise to shop if I had been going crazy because of SALE, if it is still very important to be in fashion trend, If I was not consuming because it was expensive or because I wanted to minimize what I consumed? What did I do since I realized about over consumption. My time to interrogate myself. 








Thank You to Heavy Taxation in Norway - Mahima Khaling Rai

I am still alive! Not eaten up by trolls from Norway.

So, I have been so much enjoying Norway that I forgot that I had blog post to write. UFFF what a life we are living!! So many things have happened during these past months. We have lots of catching up to do.

My life has changed from 50 kg, a little square face with sharp cheek bones to a total round face and 54 kg. (Let’s hope that my mind also got international shape like my body did) Well so far I am so done eating rice and Norwegian chicken from Kiwi, first price, which tastes best in the world. It seems like I will be eating chicken for the rest of my life. I am gonna miss the first price chicken from kiwi when I get back home. How am I gonna deal with that?

Okay back to straight talks again and no more sarcasm, In my whole 23 years of life, I was brought up in such a family where my mom is Home Minister and my darling papa is my ATM Machine. But things got changed as I moved to Norway for my exchange program. For the first time in my life I have been so much conscious about where my money goes, I think time and again before I buy anything. I am glad that my mom is going to be proud of me. Well, I have to tell you, I spend quiet a lot of time when I go food shopping here in Norway, since I’ve mentioned earlier, my desire for eating chicken for the rest of my life (off course, sarcastically), I have been eating lots of green vegetables and  it’s a lot expensive buying green vegetables in Norway. I have no options but to go hunt for the cheapest vegetable from store to store, otherwise I am starve to death.

This year has been amazing experience for me, especially in terms of learning to be independence, financially and administratively. I learned to be thrifty and I am still learning (FYI, thrifty is my mom’s favorite word), I got the experience of what it is like to work and take care of myself, like doing my own groceries, cleaning, planning my own vacations.

Well, thanks to heavy taxation in Norway, this has been awesome opportunity for me to learn about handling money. Let’s hope that I get to keep this habit when I go back home, even when things are cheap.

Reaction. At KIWI, Tangen, Kristiansand.

Reaction. At KIWI, Tangen, Kristiansand.

The Journey Begins!! (Mahima Khaling Rai)

17th August, 2018 the most awaited day for the Maichas. The day to travel far away from home and to stay away for 10 months all by themselves. They were excited and at the same time nervous about what it would be like to stay away from family and loved ones in new places where people are known for being cold…..  Well, they have been proved wrong for now and hopefully during their stay in Norway.
So, we flew from Kathmandu to Istanbul and then from Istanbul to Oslo and then finally to Kristiansand. When we landed on the airport it was already 9 PM but then again the sun was shining bright as it was midday. First shock for Maichas!!!! Our eyes did not believe it was already 9 Pm and still bright outside and that we have arrived at our home for next 10 months. We could not believe. Just earlier that morning we were with our family, still quarreling  with our brother and now we are many  miles away from them. As we were trying to cope up with these shock, we saw a handsome guy in burgundy sweater, with our name plate, another shock and butterflies to our stomach. We were about to begin our road trip. Konge!!!

We had no option but to get selfie when 9 in the evening was so bright. At Kristiansand Airport, 17th August, 2018.

We had no option but to get selfie when 9 in the evening was so bright. At Kristiansand Airport, 17th August, 2018.