Slow TV, it's a Nordic Thing
Updated: Apr 27
Have you heard of Sakte TV (or Minutt for Minutt as it's known here)?
It started in Norway in 2009 with the national TV station NRK and a minute by minute train journey from Bergen Station to Oslo Station. The concept is that a journey or activity is filmed in real time and the viewer joins for part or all of the series of programs. At first it was a bit of a novelty here in Norway, but very quickly became hugely popular as people discovered the calm and cosy enjoyment of watching travels around the country or an activity in real time.
Some of the series were real time activities such as the wonderful reindeer migration, or the journey up the Telemark Canal. Whereas other years' series were more of an ongoing event with the journey also becoming part of NRK's summer special series "Sommeråpent" when it's not just an evening of entertainment, but weeks of slow TV that you can dip in and out of. Be it a boat trip around the fjords or a train journey across Norway, the entire film crew will be there, often living for the duration of the filming on board the boat, or train that they are travelling on.
Destinations are announced and whole towns and villages await the arrival of the TV crew ready with local handicrafts, folk art and stories of the area and specialities that the country is excited to hear about and might not otherwise be shared so widely. Not only does it unite a community but the country as a whole.
The informative chats and commentaries by the presenters are interspersed with moments of quiet calm with only the natural sounds of the journey, and carefully curated music by Norwegian musicians and bands to change the mood and accompany the minute by minute events.
Past Minutt for Minutt series have included the Bergen Railway, Telemark Canal and the Hurtigruten boat cruise through the fjords.
People have been known to cancel holidays and events to be able to watch slow TV live and arrange with friends and family to be at the destinations as the crew arrives. It's a party and celebration of Norwegian life.
What better time than this with the the way the world has changed, than to enjoy some virtual armchair travels around Norway.
So where shall we go together today? We can board the Flåm Railway (one of the world's most beautiful train journeys) , or join the reindeer migration across the tundra....
How you can enjoy Sakte TV:
And don't forget to tune in to NRK for the 2020 journey in real time, Svalbard Minutt for Minutt
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