Tuesday, December 4, 2012

All about Norway

Norway has once again grabbed the headlines! This time an Indian couple was arrested in Norway after scolding their child for wetting his pants! Earlier another Indian couple Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya lost custody of their two children, Abhigyan, 3, and Aishwarya, 1, in May of last year. 

But the fact of the matter is that if India was Norway even for a day, every Indian parent would be in jail! 

Short of strangling, "normal" Indian parent would have committed every other offense that may put them in jail if they were in Norway. We scold, threaten, pinch and many even use the cane to put our children on track. What track, only God knows! If you look at my blog and the most popular post, it is about me punishing our son for lying. I have always wondered if some Child Authority in the world is monitoring this blog to one day arrest me and put me in jail! Yes, I did beat him that day! Of course not severely. Luckily our children have not given us much chance to exercise our parental authority. They have been well behaved and now that they are old, I have realized that it is no longer necessary. But for most Indian parent, the crimes that put you in jail in Norway are a part of their own growing up. There is no way they will change overnight! Anyway this post is not about parenting but about Norway so let me get on with it.

The Nordic country as you know tops in the happiness index.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, Norway has been declared the world's happiest country. Just as unsurprising, the Democratic Republic of Congo came last.
The United Nations Human Development Index 2011 measures happiness in different countries based on factors such as income, education, health, life expectancy, economy, gender equality and sustainability.
So when I mentioned this during a discussion on FB regarding the arrest, a friend pointed out the following as a reason for the same:

As per United Nations, Monthly Bulletin of Statistics, April 2001, the Number of marriages per 1,000 people per year in Norway is only 5.1 :)

So marriage seems to be the culprit. But it is true that most children in Norway are born out of wedlock and there is no stigma attached with it. Most couples are like Brad and Angelina! If Bragelina started thinking about marriage after their kids (six of them) started bugging them, Nordic couples too think of marriage only after a couple of children. 

The willingness to accept so-called “open unions” or “uncertified marriages” in the Nordic countries has been under way for a very long time, many decades before the term “same-sex marriage” was even coined. In Finland, for example, attitudes to marriage started to change substantially after World War II. During the period 1950 to 1984, there was a sharp increase in the number of unmarried couples.
“Since the late 1960s, the practice of cohabitation had become increasingly common, so much so that by the late 1970s most marriages in urban areas grew out of what Finns called ‘open unions,’ according to the Encyclopedia of Women’s History.
But there are various reasons why they opt for such a union. 
But there are various reasons Scandinavian couples decide to wait. Putting a priority on education, career, or buying an apartment are some of the reasons. The high cost of a traditional wedding is another. “If you have children you may not be able to afford to get married. A wedding can be very expensive,” observes soon-to-be-married Malin Larsson of Sweden, currently on paid parental leave to take care of her young daughter.

If an expensive wedding is one reason then India has every reason to follow the Scandinavian formula! 

As for government: 

Norway is a unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy, with King Harald V as its head of state and Jens Stoltenberg as its prime minister.

India too can follow the same. Declare the Gandhi family as the reigning King or Queen and get on with governance! 

Norwegians have done pretty well in governance and statistics proves so.

Norwegians enjoy the second highest GDP per-capita (after Luxembourg) and fourth highest GDP (PPP) per-capita in the world. Today, Norway ranks as the second wealthiest country in the world in monetary value, with the largest capital reserve per capita of any nation.
Now I read that the Indian couples are indeed in trouble since they burned and belted their child!

Parenting can be stressful and one can lose sanity very easily but it is always good to remember that it is your own genes that is inside them and there are many things that just cannot be corrected by being cruel to them. You may watch your own shortcomings in them and would badly want to correct it but it is always better to do it in a gentler manner.



  1. Late marriages, living in relationships, kids without marriage etc are all features of well developed Capitalism. In such a situation child rights become very important. Indians coming from a more feudal culture will find it difficult to adjust.
    Whole human society, as today's trends show are going to be like Norway in distant future

  2. Indians have a lot of adjustments to do... we are still deciding if mobiles should be given to girls or not :)

  3. Well, well the Indian couples have now been sentenced-incarcerated for a period ranging 15 months to 18 months.

    Your last point said it well, it is our genes that run in the kids and a reflection or introspection would serve better and avoid the madness of corporal punishments.
    I have no sympathy for these couples. Though they hired a good lawyer who tried to fan sympathy and eulogies the good intentions of the parents. And also that the threats the parents made were all metaphors commonly used in Telugu language by Telugu parents. Fascinating!

    Bhutan too is somewhere up in the Happiness Index , I guess.
    Where do we stand ? I saw on Asianet this morning of two instances when in one the father sexually molested the daughter for months and in the other the brother sodomising and molesting the kid sister who killed herself. All in Gods own country and in India. We rather shut up and not accuse the Nords of overhanded attitude.
    The Nordic definition of happiness is different from our definition of the same. They value the richness and quality of life.And we ?

    Your idea about the coronation of the Gandhi clan is fully endorsed by me .

    And finally , again a well accumulated info in the post.

  4. Until such rules are made in our own country we shall never improve! Maybe not so stringent :)

    Bhutan too yes..a cousin of mine was there on a short stint and told the same. A beautiful place and a happy lot.

    Coronation may get them away from power. Since we have many palaces, one can install them but far away from Delhi :) else there is no way things shall change.

    Thank you once again for the kinds words Anil.

  5. I think the parents deserved the punishment. Even in India, we should make the punishment stricter for abusing children physically. If a couple of sentences are carried out in full public glare, maybe parents will be less inclined to beat up their kids.

    1. A warm welcome to my blog! Do come often and give me your valuable comments.

      Yes.. if they have burned their son then they do deserve the punishment. Even in India laws needs to be taken seriously by parents. Just by being a parent should not given you the licence to torture your children.

  6. Norway was a long time ago. Why this silence since then?

    1. Have been posting here (though not often as before) but not on Mysore Blog.. will do so .thank you for reminding me :)


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