Here is the full transcript and summary of Mondå founder Julien S. Bourrelle’s TEDx Talk: How Culture Drives Behaviours at TEDxTrondheim conference. This event occurred on May 31, 2015. Julien Bourrelle is the author of the best seller series “The Social Guidebook to Norway.”
Listen to the audio version here:
Julien S. Bourrelle – Founder, Mondå Forlag
I was in Brussels. I was sitting on La Grand-Place, which is a beautiful square in the center of the town. Suddenly, a man came and sat next to me, and started talking to me, so I turned to him and I answered. Then I turned back and I asked myself, “Why is he talking to me?” Suddenly, I realized, “Julien, you’re becoming Norwegian.”
So I turned to the man and I said, “Sorry, I live in a country where people don’t speak to each other.” The thing is, in Norway, it is not that people don’t speak to each other; it’s that socialization takes part in a much more framed and organized manner. I was not expecting this man as a stranger to come and talk to me.
However, this is surprising, because I come from the French-speaking part of Canada where that type of behavior is totally normal. However, my mental programming has changed. My brain has been rewired, because during the last five years I’ve lived in a tiny little country in the north of Europe which is called Norway.
When you move to a different country, there are three ways that you can relate to the culture: you can confront, complain, or conform. When you confront, you believe that your behaviors are the right behaviors.