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Norvège : Anders Breivik's Inexplicable - Inside the mind of a mass killer

le 2 juin 2015

[The New Yorker] Norway is a small country. It is also relatively homogeneous and egalitarian. 

This means that the distance from top to bottom is short, and that great disasters affect the entire populace. For example, every Norwegian knows someone who knows someone who died when the Alexander Kielland drilling rig capsized, in 1980—I recall that my brother had a schoolmate whose father died in the disaster—or when, a decade later, a ferry, the Scandinavian Star, burned and a hundred and fifty-eight of the passengers died. There is also something deeply sincere, almost innocent, about Norwegian culture. Practically every time something about Norway or one of its people appears in the foreign press, the Norwegian media mention this with pride. And every May 17th, National Constitution Day, people don their nicest clothes, whether these be bunads , suits, or dresses, retrieve their flags and ribbons with Norwegian colors, and spill onto the streets to watch children sing songs about Norway, while everyone shouts hurrah and waves flags in a show of patriotism that encompasses every layer of society and plays out in every part of the country. The celebration takes place without irony and is essentially unpolitical—both the left and the right are united in this sea of flags and children. This says something about the country’s egotism, but also about its harmlessness.

Source The New Yorker