• Norway's news in English
 
app_header_v3
'Alcohol-free Christmas' aids integration: expert
Removing snaps and beer from the Christmas party table could help integration, an Islam expert said. Photo: Colourbox

'Alcohol-free Christmas' aids integration: expert

The Local · 1 Dec 2015, 12:13

Published: 01 Dec 2015 12:13 GMT+01:00

Lars Gule, a researcher on extremism and Islam, told broadcaster NRK that one way Norwegians could contribute to the integration of people from foreign countries would be to pay more attention to the fact that many Muslims don’t drink alcohol. 
 
“Food habits and customs surrounding alcohol can create barriers. Many [Muslims] would never even set foot in a bar because it is a place that serves alcohol,” Gule said. 
 
 
As Norwegians enter Christmas party season, Gule suggested that workplaces that have foreign employees should consider making the events void of schnapps, wine and beer.
 
“Maybe one should think about having an alcohol-free Christmas table or serving alcohol-free beer on payday. You could also go out and drink coffee or a soda or eat something instead of drinking all the time,” Gule said. 
 
He added that showing respect for non-drinkers was simply a smart thing to do and stressed that Norwegian drinking culture “is not the norm in many countries, and that doesn’t just include the Muslim countries”. 
 
“If those who don’t drink get invited to alcohol-free meetings, where they won’t feel pressured to go along with things that are contrary to their traditions or religious believes, it could mean that the next time around they would be more willing to participate in things that they might be initially very sceptical of,” Gule said. 
Story continues below…
 
Per Sandberg, a spokesman for the anti-immigration Progress Party, made it clear that he had no interest in taking up Gule’s suggestion.
 
“Gule can just invite everyone he’d like to an alcohol-free Christmas party. In the Progress party, we have no plans of carrying that out,” he told NRK. 

For more news from Norway, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.no)

Today's headlines
Tromsø is ’world’s third-best small town’
Tromsø: one of the three best small towns in the world. Photo: CH - Visitnorway.com

Norwegian world traveller Gunnar Garfors - aka ‘that dude who visited very country’ – says that Tromsø is among the best destinations on the planet.

Norway kids and parents tell each other to log off
Parents and kids accuse each other of spending too much time online. Photos: Jan Haas and Frank May / NTB scanpix

Norwegian parents are critical of the amount of time their children spend online but their children feel the exact same way about them.

Norway firm opens office in Minecraft
The Oslo firm set up their island office on Norway's biggest Minecraft server. Screenshot: Heisholt Inc

The company behind the world's first ever live Minecraft concert has now set up shop within the popular gaming platform.

79-year-old Norwegian lands plane with no propeller
Garstad's propeller (left) was found after his crash landing at Sola (right). Photos: Arnstein Løvbrekke/NTB Scanpix and Florian Pépellin/WikiCommons

The veteran pilot said the air traffic controllers were "more flustered than me” when he told them he was coming in for a crash landing.

Norway oil investments set to drop again in 2017
After 15 years of solid growth boosted by rising oil and gas prices, the Norwegian economy has rapidly slumped. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix

Oil investments, one of the main drivers of Norway's economy, are expected to fall for a third straight year.

App-surd! Norwegians read app terms for 32 hours
The Norwegian consumer protection agency staged the readathon as part of its #appfail campaign. Photo: Forbrukerrådet

In a live-streamed 'readathon' Norway consumers read the "very bad" terms and conditions of popular smartphone apps.

Norway firm to buy portion of Finland defence company
Patria specializes in armoured vehicles. Photo: Patria

A portion of Finnish state-owned defence manufacturer Patria will be privatized through a sell to Kongsberg, a partially state-owned defence company in Norway.

'Historic': McDonald's agrees to contain Arctic cod fishing
The McDonald's on Nedre Slottsgate in Oslo. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / SCANPIX

For the first time ever, major players in the seafood industry have voluntarily imposed limitations on industrial fishing in the Arctic.

Norwegian ship rescues over 1,000 refugees
Kripos said that the ship had never before brought so many people on board. Photo: Kripos/Scanpix

The Norwegian rescue vessel Siem Pilot on Wednesday came to the aid of more than 1,000 people off the coast of Libya.

Shareholders at Norway's Opera accept Chinese bid
Opera's Oslo offices. Photo: Gorm Kallestad / Scanpix

Deal for the world's fight-biggest internet browser will now need US and Chinese approval.

Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Society
Record number of kids mark Norway's National Day
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
Travel
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
National
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
National
Norway violated mass murderer's human rights: court
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Lifestyle
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
National
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
Norway to allow gay church weddings
Society
Church of Norway to allow same-sex weddings
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
National
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Society
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Health
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
National
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
National
Memo: Norway 'not mentally prepared' for refugees' impact
Norway is the world's fourth happiest country
Society
Norway is the world's fourth happiest country
Norway moves closer to allowing dual citizenship
National
Norway moves closer to allowing dual citizenship
Politics
Norway's tough asylum plans face resistance
National
'Patriot' group Soldiers of Odin debut in Norway
2,044
jobs available