Three Norwegians and a Swabian: Sina, Zoe, Anita, Jorg Schmidt Photo: Lg/Zweygarth
It will be a hot dance on Monday evening in the Mercedes-Benz Arena at the international match between the Germans and Norway. At least, if the Norwegians can kick like they celebrate Christmas. They are almost as good at that as they are at cross-country skiing, ski jumping and running 400 meter hurdles, Swabian Norwegians assure us.
Stuttgart – Grandma was in command. She dictated when to reach for the small glass with the line aquavit and when for the large glass with the festive beer. "Cheers with the little one", she said quite often. The grandmother sipped, the father-in-law tipped. Jorg Schmidt as a good guest followed the example of the host. After all, it was the first Christmas with the family of his future wife in Tranby near Oslo. And regretted it at the latest when he was entrusted with the honor of handing out the presents. Almost 25 years later, he still remembers that day vividly.
They are sitting on the roof terrace of media GmbH on Marienstrabe. At the private college, Jorg Schmidt (47) is managing partner. His wife Anita (43), who has a degree in business administration, also joined the company after several years at an advertising agency and at Stokke. And the two children Zoe (14) and Sina (13) do a vacation job there. Three Norwegians in one place, that’s pretty rare in Stuttgart; 76 Norwegians live in the city.
76 Norwegians live in the city
A manageable bunch then. Once upon a time, people met once a month for a regulars’ table, says Anita Schmidt. And at the joint Christmas party – which made a powerful impression, even on the hosts. "We were allowed to celebrate exactly once in each pub," says Jorg Schmidt and grins. Exactly: Cheers with the little one. In VfB’s club restaurant, the Scandinavians’ polonaise raged through all the rooms – even the kitchen.
The Norwegian likes to do sports as much as he likes to celebrate Christmas. And looks on. 1994 the Schmidts were in Lillehammer at the Olympic Games. When Jens Weibflog beat Espen Bredesen in the ski jumping competition, the mood was briefly "on the wane," and one Norwegian even pampered Jorg Schmidt. But this was the big exception, he assures. Norwegians are patriots. At the festivals they wear traditional costumes. The Schmidt family is also equipped accordingly. Every balcony has a flag holder, when a family member has a birthday, or a member of the royal family, the flag is hoisted. Likewise on the national holiday, the 17. May. But they are always fair, Schmidt assures.
His father-in-law, like his compatriots, watches every team sport in which Norwegians are involved. Sometimes they win, quite often the handball players, but most of the time they lose. Which elicits the in-law’s comment, "Let the better men win." For Schmidt completely incomprehensible. And even if the others are a thousand times better, VfB still has to win. What makes the daughters grin, who tell that dad spends the games standing in front of the TV, you are not allowed to talk to him. So it goes on Monday to the international match of the Germans against Norway ? They still don’t agree. The girls would like to, the parents waver. "The game will be on TV," they say. One suspects, there is still negotiating.
They met in Mallorca
For a while, they had considered inviting Anita Schmidt’s father as a birthday present. Then they decided to take a boat trip to a fjord. What immediately awakened the longing in Anita Schmidt. "Here I don’t notice that I’m missing anything. It’s only when I’m back in Norway that I realize what I miss: the smell and the sound of the sea."
In 1992 Anita and Jorg got to know each other. In Mallorca, in a disco. It was love at first sight. In 1993 she flew to Stuttgart. And marveled. At home she had been told there were no forests in Germany. Because people think that the Ruhr region with its coal dumps is typical of Germany. The airplane flew over Echterdingen a curve; she saw everywhere trees.
As a descendant of Vikings you have wanderlust in your blood. "After graduating from high school, everyone leaves," she says. "There were none of my friends left."So it was easier for her to say goodbye. And despite all the differences, such as the absence of the sea, the more contemplative Christmas, the fact that in Norway no one locks the door and you don’t eat lunch until 5 p.m., some things are also similar. In Oslo, people like to clean. "At my parents’ house, there’s a sweeping sign."
The cane break has made it into a proverb
It’s clear that Schmidt, the Swabian, feels at home there. He learned Norwegian, eats a hunk of pork belly, cabbage, specially imported Christmas sausages at Christmas at home in Leonberg too. Thus equipped, he explored the Norwegian soul. And white, even if all Norwegians watch soccer today, nothing beats the enthusiasm for cross-country skiing. A common saying there is: "Do you know where you were when Odvaar Brå was there? the stick broke."That was in 1982 at the World Cup in Lillehammer. In the relay race Brå rushed in a race with a Soviet Russian through the snow, his stick broke. He still won. Maybe that changes today, maybe in the future they say: "Where were you when Nordtveit scored the winning goal against Germany."That would be like Christmas. Cheers to that with the little one.