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Fun Facts about Iceland and Icelanders

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12/10/2020 10:10

AN EGALITARIAN NATION

Iceland became the first country in the world to democratically elect a female president in 1980 Vigdís Fimbogadóttir and then an openly gay prime minister Jóhanna Siguraðrdóttir in 2009.

MOST ECO FRIENDLY

Roughly 90% of Icelandic homes enjoy heating and electricity from renewable energy and natural geothermal resources. This is one of the main factors that make Iceland rank one of the greenest environments in Europe. This is also the reason why Icelandic people love outdoor swimming pools in the winter just as much as in the summer as they are all heated geothermally all year round.

NO MOSQUITOES

You can relax and enjoy a summer evening in Iceland without worrying about getting bit.

WE SPEAK ON THE INHALE

This may be a surprise to some Icelanders (only because it is so natural) but we often speak on the inhale, mostly when saying Já (yes). The reason is a mystery but if you pay attention; you’ll notice and hopefully get a giggle.

WE ALL LOVE ICE CREAM

You can find an ice cream parlor in almost every neighboorhood and cold temperature does not discourage us from standing in line for ice cream regardless of the season.

WE PUT OUR BABIES OUTSIDE TO NAP

Again, no matter the season, it is very normal to see strollers and prams outside a coffee shop (or an ice cream parlor) as parents often let their babies nap outdoors (bundled up of course).

THE SMALLEST NATION TO QUALIFY FOR THE WORLD CUPS

A mere year after making it into the quarter finals at the 2016 Euro cup with an epic win against England, the Icelandic football team beat the odds again by qualifying for the world cup finals.

NO SURNAMES OR FAMILY NAMES

The Icelandic phone book lists people by their first name and the reason is that Icelanders do not use family names. Instead they use the traditional Nordic naming system where the last name is taken from their father’s (or mother’s) first name with the addition of -dóttir (-daughter) or -son. Jón Ólafsson’s offspring, for example, might be Einar Jónsson and Sigríður Jónsdóttir.

NOT A SINGLE McDONALDS OR STARBUCKS

Fast food restaurants do exist in Iceland but you will not find a McDonalds or Starbucks anywhere unlike in most other cities.

ICELANDIC POLICE FORCE DO NOT CARRY GUNS

The only officers permitted to carry firearms are on a special force called the Viking Squad, and they are seldom called out. One man has been shot by the police, ever.

The shopkeepers weekend
The weekend all Icelanders have been waiting for is finally here. Verslunarmannahelgi or "Shopkeepers weekend" is the biggest travel and festival weekend of the year! Thousands of Icelanders will pack their stuff and head to different places around the country ready to have the time of their lives. If you are in Iceland, make sure you check out what is happening this weekend so you don´t miss out!
Women's euro 2022
It's that season. It's football time and we love it! The women's EURO 2022 is taking place in England and the Icelandic national team is competing. Following them are the ever so cheerful and a bit loud Icelandic supporters that have followed them to the tournament supporting them in the way we know best by singing, cheering as well as supporting them with the Viking clap!
Icelandic Christmas Season
Icelanders LOVE their Christmas traditions and most families hold onto them very strongly. Here you will learn about some of them.
A Famous Little Tourist Volcano
The volcano in Fagradalsfjall is still going strong, new fissure vents keep opening and the everchanging volcano has not only caught the attention Icelandic hikers but planetry scientist, international news media and even musicians and wedding planners.
A local favorite
Visiting a local thermal pool in Iceland is a great and inexpensive fun for the whole family and a great way to experience the local culture.
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