There is a habit among high school students in Norway – they give away business cards to strangers. Teaching for final year students ends early in May and they have two weeks to prepare for their final exams. Well, many also spend the time wearing red trousers that look fancy when you are eighteen, and several students remodel old cars, paint them red, drive through the streets with loud music and stop at the next party. (Depending on the line of high school, some students wear blue or black trousers instead of red ones.) And then there are the business cards.

The cards basically show a picture, name, telephone number, and some more or less witty text. These cards are given to strangers, often during 17th of May celebrations. Especially children attending kindergarten like to collect these cards, and students seem to be happy handing cards out to them.

There might be some misunderstandings, though. Friends visiting us noticed these cards and did not know how to interpret them. Think about it. A card from „Russe Service“ showing a picture of a young woman, her mobile phone number, mentioning membership in a group called „The Temptation“. Relate this to email spam and newspaper ads on Russian women claiming a desire to establish contact with western men, and you create a very different expectation on what the girl intends with the card. Not that I have fully understood the purpose of the cards, either.

About Author: Hanno Langweg

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