Fore some basic insight, I have thought of some differences that pops to the mind when comparing the Northernmost and the Southernmost nations of Europe:
– Of course natural conditions like climate and People/km2 play a huge role. Although the Mexican Gulf Current has given Norway rather mild winters, considering its altitude, surprisingly, the North is colder than the south of Europe.
– Norway has 4,5 million citizens, while Spain has 10 times more. But the density of population is strikingly different: Some 13/km2 in Norway, while Spain has over …
– These natural conditions influence in how people relate to each other, how to protect against weather and heat or cold, what they d for a living, what they eat, how the food is being conserved, cooked….
– While Norway has been a quite homogeneous society, where most people share the same values and culture, there is a strong sense of national Unity. Spain, on the other hand, due to historic circumstances is made up of groups of people who originally had different languages, and is experiencing even some kind of national disunity or “fragmentation”.
– In Norway most people have room at home, spend time at home, instead of going out. Traditionally. And they like meeting for social occasions at home instead going out. In Spain, it not to the same extent a given that you like spending time at home. There is much more of a culture for going out, to squares or bars, restaurant. When I grew up in Norway, it was only on very special occasions that we went out for eating. In Spain it is a daily activity to pass by a bar, cafeteria or restaurant for many people.
– While in Norway most families turn-off the TV when eating, in Spain the TV is a traditional companion to family meals.
– While Spaniards would choose a table close to other guests in a restaurant, Norwegians would choose one with a bit of a distance. Same thing on the beach: even with few people on the beach a Spanish family would seek up to those already there. A Norwegian family would rather seek to have as much space as possible between the families, and spread out… like the proper population in their country – widespread.