Sat, Nov 11, 2006 - Page 14 News List

Globe trotting -- Norway 世界走透透 --挪威

The worlds biggest replica of a Viking ship, the 30 meter long Havhingsten (Seastallion) sails into the fjord of Roskilde after a trip in Norway.

PHOTO: EPA

Norway

挪威

This week we will explore the Kingdom of Norway, a nation with an extensive coastline that is famous for its beautiful fjords, or long skinny parts of the ocean that cut into the land and are surrounded by steep cliffs. Read on to find out more about the country sometimes known as "The Land of the Midnight Sun."

本週我們將探索挪威,她綿延海岸的狹長峽灣驚艷寰宇,深入內陸且峭壁環繞。往下讀,深入了解這時而被稱為「子夜太陽之國」的國度。

A closer look 說古論今

One of the most important parts of Norwegian history has to do with the Vikings who lived there from the eighth to 11th centuries. The Vikings united the groups of people living in Norway at the time and then expanded to Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and parts of the British Isles. Following Viking rule, Norway entered into a union with neighboring countries Sweden and Denmark. Although Sweden declared its independence in 1523, Norway remained a part of Denmark until 1814. Today, Norway is a land rich in natural resources and has one of the highest standards of living in the world. Its natural resources include petroleum (gas), water power, fish, forests, and minerals. Only Russia and Saudi Arabia export more oil per year than Norway. Norway is also now ranked the number-one nation in the UN Human Development Index. The Index measures how well-developed nations in the United Nations are based on things like how long a person is expected to live, how many people can read and write, and how much money a person can be expected to make. Norway has had the number-one spot since 2001. In the most northern parts of the country, the sun shines all day and all night for part of the summer because it is so close to the Arctic Circle. Because of this phenomenon, Norway is sometimes known as "The Land of the Midnight Sun."

WHO KNEW? 你知道嗎?

In early 2005, a law was passed that stated that every cow in Norway had to have its own mattress to sleep on. The Ministry of Agriculture passed this law for a few reasons. One, of course, is to protect the animals and keep them healthy, but there are some good economic reasons behind the law too. If the cows are more comfortable, they do actually produce more milk. Thus, all Norwegian cows must be provided with a padded resting area, which must be no less than 4cm thick. Studies have been done to determine which types of mattresses are the best for the cows, and many people have found that sand works just as well as other bedding for the comfort of cows.

二○○五年初,挪威通過一項法案,規定國內每隻牛都必須擁有自己的睡眠床墊。農業部通過此法的理由,第一,當然是保護動物且維護其健康,但還有重要的經濟因素,生活愈舒適的牛隻能生產愈多牛乳,因此全挪威境內的牛隻都須有加墊的休息區,且墊子厚度不得少於四公分。更有人針對哪種床墊最適合牛隻進行數項研究,而許多人發現,沙床和其他襯墊一樣能提供牛隻舒適的環境。


八世紀到十一世紀居住在挪威的維京人奏出挪威史上重要的樂章,他們一統當時境內各民族,一路攻克冰島、法羅群島、格陵蘭及部分不列顛群島。維京人統治時期過後,挪威與鄰國瑞典和丹麥組成聯合王國。瑞典在一五二三年宣布獨立,挪威卻一直到一八一四年以前都是丹麥的領土。今日的挪威是天然資源豐富的沃土,生活水平位居世界之冠,天然資源包括石油(天然氣)、水力和漁林礦業,石油年出口量只有俄羅斯和沙烏地阿拉伯超越挪威。挪威也是聯合國人類發展指標排行最高的國家,這項指標根據個人預期壽命、識字率和個人預期薪資衡量聯合國各會員國的發展程度。挪威自二○○一迄今年年蟬聯榜首。挪威北部大半領土因靠近北極圈,夏天有時會出現太陽終日高掛天空的現象,挪威因此被稱為「子夜太陽之國」。(翻譯:鄭湘儀)

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