Danes are more polite than Norwegians

On a scale from 1 to 30 – who are the most rude people in the world? Skyscanner, an international travel site, ranks French, Rusians and British people as the top most rude tourists in the world. Not surprisingly, you find Filipinos, Thais and Indonesians near the bottom of a top 30 list as some of the least rude people.

The Scandinavians are in between, but ranked with the Norwegians as the most rude, the Swedes as the slightly more well behaved and the Danes as the most well mannered of the three. True? Well…

Norwegian researcher Reidun Aambø at Volda University College explains in a comment to the poll published by Aftenposten, that the perception of rudeness happens when cultures mix.

“Every culture has the courtesy it needs. It is when we get a mix of cultures that we can interpret each other as rude. Politeness can’t be defined objectively because it’s not about right or wrong, but about expectations.”

“All humans look for the same signals for the courtesy and friendliness that they are familiar with from their own culture because these are the codes we know,” she explains.

She also cited that certain cultures can view others as rude in their own country, using a lack of “sorry”, or “excuse me” by people when they bump into each other.

Readers are welcome to post comments with examples of differences in rudeness or politeness between the Scandinavians and the Asians.


About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

View all posts by Gregers Møller

3 Comments on “Danes are more polite than Norwegians”

  1. I find the usage of the Thai word “FARANG” rude as it’s only used for certain kind of foreigners, not all. So the word holds a form of racism, that I don’t like.
    Also grinning and smiling in all situations does not mean that you are especially polite, for me it looks like a complete lack of sensitivity towards certain situations where smiling isn’t OK.
    I really can’t see any reason for the aforementioned “most polite” countries to be exactly that, as I often find Asians to be very rude – this being on my many trips to PH, ID and TH.
    I live in SG and on average they are very polite.

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