The most peaceful country in the world

Posted on Categories Equality, Iceland, Peace, SafetyTags , , , , , ,

We can proudly say that Iceland remains the safest country in the world according to the 2017 Global Peace Index, a position it has held since 2011.  Our children play freely outside and babies are even left outdoors in their prams for nap time and Icelandic people are generally unconcerned about the possibility of other people causing them deliberate physical harm.

But what makes Iceland so safe?

 

No Class system

97% of Icelanders describe themselves as middle class so a class system is barely existent which reduces jealousy and crimes associated with poverty. Children have equal opportunities for education and go to the same schools.

 

An egalitarian nation
Iceland is also nr. 1 in gender equality and was the first country in the world to elect a female president in 1980, Vigdís Fimbogadóttir.

The LGBT community is also respected and the first openly gay prime minister, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, was democratically elected in 2009.

 

Iceland does not have an army, navy or air force.
Iceland has only waged one war, ‘Þorskastríðið’ or the The Cod War and it was barely a war but political disputes between the governments of Iceland and the UK over fishing grounds. The only weapons Icelanders used in the war were scissors (to cut the fishing nets of the enemy). Iceland won!

 

The Icelandic police does 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.

 

Plenty of guns but very little violent crime
In spite of high rate of civilian gun ownership, Iceland still has one of the lowest crime rates in the world with a murder rate of 0-1,5 per year, none that involve a firearm.

…but why is that?
Besides the above factors (and that there are no mosquitoes in Iceland); acquiring a gun and a hunting licence in Iceland is not an easy process.
Steps to gun ownership include a lot of paperwork, prospective gun owners also need to prove they have no criminal record, they need to have a full medical examination and take a three-day course and a written test on gun safety, management, what animals are allowed to be hunted and when and so on. So basically to get a gun in Iceland is a schlep and there are a lot of legal checkpoints to ensure public safety.

 

Enjoy your peaceful day in Iceland!

Illumination of the Imagine Peace Tower

Posted on Categories Events, Iceland, ReykjavikTags , , , , , , , , ,

In 1967 John Lennon asked Yoko Ono to create a peace tower for him in his backyard in England.  Although this never happened, 40 years later on October 9th 2007 on what would have been her late husband’s 67th birthday, the Imagine Peace Tower rose in Reykjavík, Iceland.

You may wonder why Iceland?  Well for many years Iceland has been ranked as the most peaceful country in the world and this is why Yoko considered Iceland to be the perfect place for the peace tower to be situated.

The sculpture is in the shape of a wishing well and shoots out a powerful tower of light beams into the dark evening sky. The tower symbolizes Lennon’s and Ono’s continuing campaign for world peace and the words IMAGINE PEACE are inscribed on the well in 24 different languages.

The electricity for the light comes entirely from Reykjavik Energy, which produces the electricity from geothermal power.  Another good reason why Iceland is a great location for the memorial.

The Imagine Peace Tower is located on Viðey Island, a short ferry ride just outside of Reykjavík Harbour and every year, on October 9th, the tower is lit with an illumination ceremony.  The tower stays lit until December 8th (the anniversary of Lennon’s death).  Yoko Ono visits Iceland every year to attend the illumination of the tower and she also offers free ferry rides to and from the island to encourage people to come and attend the ceremony.

You can also experience the light glory from a distance at the rooftop restaurant SKÝ Restaurant and Bar located at Centerhotel Arnarhvoll. From there you should be able to view the light beams coming from the island while munching on a delicious meal and/or sipping on a refreshing cocktail.

Peace and Light