I recently visited Bodo, a small city in the northern part of Norway. This was to attend the prestigious Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference (BCERC).
When I left India, temperatures were well over 50 (yes, 50 degree celsius). When I eventually landed in Bodo, it was raining and temperatures were around FOUR degree celsius. I and a fellow doctoral consortium candidate got out of the airport and experienced the cool Arctic winds for the first time. We were simply praying that the bus arrives quickly. This was summer in the Arctic and all of sudden the weather Gods had decided to give us a different experience. We eventually reached the Nordland University Business School and settled into our warm rooms. There was something planned for the evening and so we took a little break and quickly changed to join in for a trek.
When I arrived with the heaviest jacket I had, the leader of the trek looked at me and said – you may require more layers! I smiled and wore one more. We wore a little raincoat over it and hiked. The rains persisted and made the bonfire a wet experience. But the company of fellow scholars made the entire evening enjoyable. My hosts were so caring about every one of us. They were all the more careful when they realised that I had just come from a place which was ten times as hot!!
The next couple of days were all spent in the conference sessions. But every evening the group was exposed to different aspects of Norwegian culture. I especially enjoyed the Samei cultural experiences provided. The weather improved and on the last day, many of the doctoral students joined together and trekked a little hill from where one could see the whole of Bodo.
The experience of the midnight sun was another wonderful experience. As one who comes from a tropical country it was rather strange that there was no night at all. It never got dark!! It was fun.
I liked Norway as a country for many reasons – punctuality, hospitality, ethics and cleanliness. The people are so good to interact with and helpful. I hope I will get opportunities to visit, interact, know more and collaborate with scholars in Norway. It feels good that I now have friends in the Arctic region too. I hope some of them will visit India and give me an opportunity to play host.
Overall a lovely experience. I had in the recent past gone to Indonesia (just below the equator) and now I went past the Arctic circle. I am enjoying where entrepreneurship research and teaching is taking me. Hope to see more of the Earth, interact with people and learn about the various cultures. All of this, I hope will make me a more sensitive and matured human being. Hope I can contribute to the society in my own small way.
For now I am back in India. The temperatures have eased a bit, only eight times that of what I experienced in the Arctic. Isn’t it cooler now? I am waiting for the monsoon to arrive and cool the Earth around here.