Its official name is Kingdom of Norway, and the ridge of the peninsula serves as its border and touches Sweden, Finland and Russia. Its coast line borders the Arctic, the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Skagerrak Strait. Svalbard, Jan Mayen Island and Bouvet Island in the South Atlantic belong to Norway.
Though its land is positioned in the far north, its climate is relatively mild due to the Western Boundary Current that begins as the Gulf Stream and exerts its influence to the Arctic. There is a wide difference in the average temperature from the coast to the mountainous inland. It is cool along the coast in summer and mild in winter, while further inland the larger the temperature range. There is relatively plenty of precipitation in the southern and western coastal areas and relatively very little precipitation in the northern areas and inland.
The length of day light from summer and winter differs greatly and the ‘white night’ is seen in northern Norway in summer. Because tundra covers much of its mountainous areas, its forest land consists of only about 27% of its territory. Coniferous forests are common in the southern and central areas while boreal coniferous forests are found in the north. Only 3% of its land is agricultural.
86% of its people are Evangelical Lutheran, its national religion, although the Norwegian Constitution guarantees the freedom of religion. Christianity penetrated Norway when the royal members studying abroad returned baptized as Christian around the 10th century. Norway is considered one of the last countries in Europe in which Christianity propagated.
Its natural environment of tough terrains, harsh climate and not having enough natural resources has produced a people of imagination, patience and adventurism. Their creativity can be found via legends, myth and the folk songs prevailing in the country, as well as the many great writers the country has produced. Viking patience and adventurism are perhaps not only the basis for their outstanding shipping industry today, but also the reason why many great explorers have been Norwegian.