The prices of essential commodities like electricity, fuel and food have gone up sharply in the last few months. And live calmly. Many for the first time in their lives.
It gets harder and harder. But it is possible. Ask your parents or grandparents. Or think back to your own childhood.
It was my mom’s birthday last week and she invited us over for dinner. She was getting minimum pension and was going out to buy things. After a while, the message ticked:
“Potatoes cost 30 kroner a kilo! I stopped buying potatoes.
At the time, the term “inflation” seemed more clear to me than the definition: a steady rise in the general price level.
This is more convincing than last week’s news that food prices have risen 5.6 percent from last summer – Also meat and grain products have gone up by 10 percent.
This is the biggest price increase in the same period in 40 years. And it will be more expensive.
My mother has talked a lot about electricity prices, she doesn’t have a car, so she doesn’t notice that petrol costs almost 25 kroner per litre. She’s debt-free, so she won’t notice an interest rate hike when it comes in full force in the fall.
But when mom avoids buying potatoes. Then I knew there was danger on the way.
Because she is sober. A mother on the minimum pension who always has money left over to buy birthday presents for her eleven grandchildren.
She is not vain. She belongs to a different generation, a different group of women.
Many of his generation don’t eat out at restaurants very often. Who doesn’t throw away a vacuum cleaner if it doesn’t work, but who tries to fix it. We go from store to store for the best deals. It turns off all the lights in rooms they don’t use.
They eat everyday food in their daily life – the best food on Sundays – or on Fridays for the mother’s part, because Friday is a public holiday for Muslims. So even a minimum pensioner like her can have a secure and dignified life in a sense.
Living large in small
But rising inflation is making it difficult.
And then they tighten – like my mother does now. She fixes a birthday dinner lavishly, but other accessories. We who eat do not notice anything. We don’t miss potatoes.
That’s how I grew up. In a poor immigrant family in a four-room apartment in Krorudalen, Oslo. The large freezer is always filled to the brim with food for a family of seven. Mostly because mom was sober. It is a matter of conjecture.
Today, mine and I feel that a typical dinner isn’t dinner unless everyone at the table has a good portion or two of meat. Ideally, it should be fancy, you need a recipe and 10 ingredients.
Vegetables and fruits and other foods are usually thrown out of the refrigerator because we don’t have time to eat them.
When I was a kid, I remember my parents buying one or two whole lambs at a seasonal settlement in Greenland. It was cut into small pieces and placed in half kilo packets in the freezer. It was this pound that was seven dinners.
Very tasty curry dishes. Lentils with lamb, spinach with lamb, cauliflower with lamb, potatoes with lamb. Thin lefser on new forehead, chapati.
We usually have a 25-kg sack of rice, a 1kg packet of whole wheat and bar-kilo packages of different types of lentils lying around at all times. Vegetables were bought at low prices. If it leads to a Saturday trip to Greenland for the whole family.
Everything was made fresh by my parents. We were full and good. The only thing I remember well from my childhood is good food.
Lots of community
Norway, and therefore the children of immigrants, has seen a sharp increase in prosperity in recent decades. There are some ordinary families who have to flip the crown while at the grocery store. Our eating habits are characterized by abundance.
Although the cost of living in this country is currently on the rise, it is common for many to eat fresh fish on Tuesdays and have a coffee latte as a snack.
But it’s inevitable that hundreds of thousands will prioritize differently and harder. Costs should be cut and consumption should be reduced.
It will be difficult for a generation that some have never seen anything but very low house payments and good and predictable finances.
However, it is possible to live sober for a period of time and be happy at the same time.
Did you know that immigrants score high in happiness in Norway? Norwegians of Somali background Topping the stats Who feels happiest in Norway?
I think sobriety has something to do with it. I think it has something to do with “immigrant women”. They support entire, large families on one income.
I want all women to engage in wage labor, especially migrant women. But at the same time, it is unfair to underestimate the important role of housewives in reducing consumption.
Consumption should decrease
Now it’s a matter of reducing consumption in Norway. This is the only way to stop the rise in prices.
It’s not that the big consumers are poor immigrant families and single mothers. They already live tight.
There are people who need to be tight.
Here is something we should all learn from the older generation. Single mothers, disability benefits and immigrant families, especially women. Those who do nothing are those who live calmly.
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