Skam characters like Isak and Even have made Norwegian 'dritt kult' amongst Scandinavians. Photo: NRK
The Norden Association (Foreningen Norden) honoured the NRK programme with its annual language prize for the programme’s ability to connect with young people across the Nordic region and for fostering positive attitudes about the region’s neighbouring languages.
The prize jury said that the success of ‘Skam’ proves that there is no need to dub programming into the local language when aired in the Nordics.
The programme, Norway's biggest online hit ever with around 200,000 viewers for each episode, has also been a massive hit in its original Norwegian in Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Iceland.
The show has particularly struck a nerve in Denmark, where its popularity has sparked an intense interest in the Norwegian language and culture.
Foreningen Norden said that the programme’s use of a young and hip Norwegian is “an important part of the viewer experience, an identity marker that is different, yet so familiar and similar to one's own that it can easily be taken up in their own repertoire.”
“Few have made our neighbour languages as fun, relevant and cool amongst young Scandinavians than this year’s winner,” the jury wrote.
The editorial director of Norwegian broadcaster P3, which airs the programme, said the programme’s recognition was well deserved.
“Skam has gotten the Scandinavian youth interested in Norwegian and shown them that we all belong to the same language family – the series builds language bridges to the rest of the Nordics,” he told NRK.
Skam follows the lives of teenagers in Oslo and has received praise for taking on topics that resonate with teens, including sex, bullying, homosexuality and date rape.