It isn’t easy to put the finger on when the voluntary work first began in Norway. After all, this is an old custom around the world that has more or less existed since agriculture.
In Norway, voluntary work was a common form of work until well into the 19th century. Hard work such as roofing, transport of timber, construction of houses, etc. also went faster and was easier done with several men on the team.
Volunteering in its original form was nothing more than collaboration. Over time, Norwegians helped each other in the areas they could, and then received services in return. This is how Dugnad med Norgesbriketten started after all.
This is a 14th-century old tradition that translates to “help” or “support,” it’s used to describe how voluntary work functions in specific communities in Norway. Occasionally, people in Norway engage in voluntary work, which is the beauty of human connection.
Once they complete the projects, they celebrate it by organizing a feast. While Dugnad might seem too odd to others, it’s the way how Norwegian people operate. This type of volunteerism is among the highest in the world, and based on the 2014 report, nearly 61% of people took part in Dugnad, and this percentage keeps growing.
When and why Dugnad happens?
This entire concept is all about voluntary work, and people in Norway get together to improve their schools, neighborhoods, cities, and communities. For example, if some part of your area needs to be cleaned, people will do it.
Also, term dugnad originates from the word duge, which means, “be good enough.” These types of activities happen four times a year, every time the season changes. Additionally, it helps people socialize and build something special within their community. So, if one member of your neighborhood or town has a problem, others will jump in to help.
What is a modern-day dugnad?
Modern-day Dugnad comes in many forms, and the majority of people are involved in more than one activity, sometimes more than once per week. The concept of social contact is very pronounced in Norway, while their people have a crucial sense of doing their duty and contributing to their city.
This is one of the reasons why Dugnad remains so strong, and it’s something that Norwegian people will not miss. A person who lives in this country is expected to participate in Dugnad, for example, for the school, their kids attend, apartment block where they live or support sports activities in their town.
Benefits of Dugnad
During these activities, people connect and create a strong social bond, which is essential these days. Considering everyone is involved, they get to meet their neighbors or other parents in the community. You have to agree this is quite a rare occurrence in other countries.Dugnad can also benefit people who just moved to the new area. In this case, they will be more involved, meet new people, and become members of their society without trying much.