Norway just keeps getting more and more awesome. A Norwegian news site is reporting that the Norwegian foreign ministry has begun training diplomats in True Norwegian Black Metal. after several diplomats have been enquired about the musical genre from world leaders. Indeed, the popularity and scale of the black metal phenomenon were demonstrated recently as one of the style’s foremost proponents, Dimmu Borgir, took the stage in Oslo with an orchestra and choir in a collaboration that has gained widespread media attention.
The head of the foreign ministry’s centre of excellence, Kjersti Sommerset, told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv that “we now have 106 foreign service missions and they get many enquiries from people who want information about Norwegian black metal as a phenomenon. In the training program, we have a large cultural program in order to give the trainees a good understanding of Norwegian culture and the cultural industry."
Black metal “is clearly a part of this,” Sommerset added.
Author Håvard Rem, the author of a leading book on TNBM called Infødte skrik (“Native calls”), described the phenomenon to Dagens Næringsliv as “a global awakening that gets the children of the ‘68ers to search for their roots from pre-colonial and pre-Christian times."
Rem suggests that "young people all over the world identify with this search," and explained that where young Norwegian boys might find “Norse religion and Odin” in their cultural roots, “in Asia, Vedic metal has arisen with TNBM as its inspiration.” Rem supports efforts to train budding diplomats in the subtleties of black metal, stating that “for people under 40, it is this that they connect to Norway” and that “even if one does not like the music, it quickly becomes a topic for discussion."