3 Comparisons Between Norwegian and Filipino Values

I am entering my fifth year of residing in Norway. Many things have happened during this short period of time, both good and bad. However, one of that is worthy to highlight is how I realized the big contrast between prevailing values between Norwegian and Filipino cultures. I can only talk about these two in particular, although there are somehow similiraties between the Norwegian culture with those of coming from Europe, as well that with Filipino and other Asian societies. This blogpost will present three comparative points to exhibit the diversity of culture.


Norwegian: Able decide independently for oneself
Filipino: To fight for what is most important

Freedom and passion may not be on the same side always. Freedom is the ultimate virtue in the Norwegian culture. One may or may not be passionate of what Norwegians are doing, but most important is that they decided on them by themselves, such that no one has dictated on them what they are supposed to do. On the other hand, Filipinos must be passionate first on a thing. This is the primary motivation. Passion for family, better future for the entire family or passion for relationships are examples. Filipinos would accept being decided upon by others. It is quiet normal for older family members decide on what is best for a person or what he or she would be passionate about.


Norwegian: Able to express freely without fear
Filipino: To do something for the future

The perspective of time is also where Norwegian and Filipino culture differ. Norwegians tend to live day-by-day. When one says a day, this means today, not yesterday or tomorrow. Because of this, Norwegians tend to do something without fear. A problem could be handled today, and could be solved also by attempt on the same day. Filipinos are more future-driven. A Filipino would hesitate to do something today just for the belief and hope of a better tomorrow. When a Filipino says tomorrow, this is usually not the day or few days after tomorrow, but usually, this pertains to years after today. The consequence of doing something today may be overwhelmingly drown with the length of time and numerous possibilities the future holds.


Norwegian: To feel good and avoid discomfort
Filipino: To be given several chances in life

The desired end-result of actions are perceived differently in both societies. Most Norwegians believe life is too short so one has to make sure everything that makes one feel good is attempted or done before it is too late. Chances are limited and so one has to make use of every opportunity in a way that it seems the same chance will not be available in the future. Filipinos, on the other hand, believe on multiple and limitless chances. Filipinos have perhaps experienced the worst of the worst one can imagine. Filipinos believe on standing up after failures multiple times, and there is no ultimate end. This mentality has resulted for Filipinos to become more resilient and tolerant for both personal and others' mistakes.

As most say, culture is considered relative. Nothing makes it better or worse than the other. My residence in Norway for over 4 years does not give me the right to determine the correctness of each value presented in this blogpost. On the other hand, my Filipino citizenship does not assure anyone of my personal biases and subjectivity in writing this post. What I and others can do is merely describe and present them as objective as possible, allow others appreciate what they stand for.


  1. Hi, I came across this when researching for a school project. I think it was well written and quite interesting, thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you for your appreciation. I have written quite few articles about Filipino and Norwegian cultures here. 🙂


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