I personally believe that everyone has a sense of humor, however, not all of us may not be willing to show it, as being funny may not be our first choice to socialize and there may even be people thinking it is good to “avoid from humor” by referring to American General Joe Stillwell’s saying ” The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind.”(Donald Rumsfeld quotes in one of his speech).
Despite the common sense the Northern people’s lack of humor, I think Norwegian folks are exceptionally good at making and taking jokes. The reason why I think in that way, contrary to what is tattled around and written on the internet forums, may be my unexceptional witty Norwegian friends at school and work but still I insist that if I had chance to communicate with all Norwegians in Norwegian, I would see my claim is a fact. But, I emphasize if our communication is done in Norwegian!
Because while speaking in English, some of them are usually prone to exaggerate being humorous and behave as if they are constantly tickled by English words. They are inclined to burst into laughter after each single word uttered: My na me…ha ha ha… is….ha ha ha….Bjørn (silence here).
It is actually quite understandable to have such impulses while speaking in a foreign language in which you do not feel competent. It may also be attributed to the pressure of talking to a foreigner who probably has biases about your sense of humor. In this way, these people may be thinking their laughter can make a positive impression on you or it provides a chance to prove that we, northern people, are funny, too.
And the most scientific explanation of this habit can be that they may want to use laughter’s contagious effect. You must have experienced that there is usually a chain reaction, when someone starts laughing and everybody starts laughing before they don’t even know what they are laughing at. This scene must be very familiar to the ones who attend to academic conferences, where you can see the biggest number of people who are ready to laugh at anything.
It is possible to bring a lot of counter examples but, aforementioned picture is limited to my observation of the conversations having happened around me in various context ( not the all ones I was directly involved in), so it does not change my mind about the high quality of humorous conversation I have had with my dear Norwegian friends so far and lastly I attribute Daren Hayes’ nice lyrics to the Norwegian Sense of Humor: You will like my sense of humor/ You will be addicted to my smile/ Laughing all the while/ and I will end each conversation/ I will leave the room with upper hand/ and you will understand.