History and Culture of Iceland


History and Culture of IcelandIceland was first discovered by some Scandinavian sailors. They came across Iceland during the mid-ninth century. Ingolfur Arnason was the first known settler to arrive in Iceland. This settler arrived in the year eight hundred and seventy four.

A Norse Viking by the name of Floki set sail for Iceland. However, he spent too much time fishing and hunting. This meant he did not have any lay for his livestock. Sadly, his livestock died during the winter season. Following this, Floki named the island, Iceland.

The Scandinavian’s soon brought many slaves and settlers. Norse decent and Irish blood were among these people.

During the year nine hundred and thirty, a General Assembly formed. In the year one thousand, the General Assembly decided that Iceland would become Christian. Between twelve sixty two, and twelve sixty four, Iceland then became a part of Norway. In thirteen eighty, Iceland went along with Norway, who went under the Danish rule. In June, nineteen forty four, Iceland soon became an independent republic.

Geography and Location

Iceland is situated on the northern side of the Atlantic Ocean. You will find it sitting between Norway and Greenland. The Arctic Circle is sitting a little south of the island. There are many glaciers, lakes, wastelands, sands and lava in and around Iceland.

Iceland’s Capital City Is Reykjavik

Economy and Food

History and Culture of IcelandIceland is home to a wide range of events throughout the year. You will often find the food at many of these events often include some sort of meat. This meat can range from fermented shark meat, through to smoked lamb. These are often found at festive events. Icelanders also love their coffee. Not to mention very large amounts of sugar.

The food at ceremonial events and food customs often range from: a wide range of pastries and delicious cakes. Thin pancakes with whipped cream, and crullers are always on the menu at these events.

Basic Economy

In ninety ninety one, fish processing, agriculture and fishing were all popular occupations. Major industries include: communications, building, public sector, commerce, finance and insurance, and transportation. The most exported items are fish products and fish. All grain products are imported from other countries. However, meat and dairy products are all produced within Iceland. Several vegetables are grown in green houses, whilst potatoes are produced locally.

Statuses and Gender Roles

Iceland is big on gender equality. More so than a lot of other countries throughout the world. They are very open to women in politics, as well as in the clergy system. Whilst it is mostly men who do the fishing, women are more likely to be in the fish processing departments.


History and Culture of IcelandThe main church in Iceland is the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Ninety two point two per cent of the population of Iceland are practicing members. There are a small amount of Catholic, general Lutherans and other. Iceland is home to many Lutheran churches. A Catholic church and other groups can be found in Reykjavik.

Secular Celebrations

Many of Iceland’s holiday’s will have some sort of religious background to them. All holidays involve giving workers a day off work. Most workers are likely to give themselves a small vacation.

6 Most Popular Icelandic Cuisines

Iceland’s long winters and cold climate naturally limit the Icelandic cuisine. Fish, dairy, lamb and cereals used to be the mainstay of locals before more vegetables began to be introduced in the 1980s. Traditional Icelandic cuisines involve a lot of smoking, curing, drying or pickling in fermented brine or whey. Today you can eat many of these local classics at restaurants or in Icelandic homes at special times of the year.

1. Har ifiskur or Wind-dried Haddock

6 Most Popular Icelandic Cuisines

The tastes of local Icelanders is changing to become more European, so there’s less of fish in the diet than there used to be. But there are some classics that you can still find all over the country. Wind-dried haddock is a popular snack all over Iceland. It’s like beef jerky, only it’s made of stockfish. The fish is dried out in the cold air and the bacteria in the cold air ferment it in a similar way as cheese is fermented. It’s delicious eaten with butter.

2. Hangikjöt or Smoked Lamb

6 Most Popular Icelandic Cuisines

If you think smoked lamb is ordinary, you’ll find Icelandic smoked lamb is better than that. The sheep are allowed to roam all summer unsupervised on the highlands. The sheep graze on grass as well as herbs and plants that give the Hangikjöt a complex flavor. A popular item on the Christmas spread, smoked sheep is prepared traditionally by fueling the fire with dried sheep dung or birch to give it a distinct flavor. Hangikjöt is eaten with potatoes, peas, red beets and bechamel sauce.

3. Skyr Cheese

6 Most Popular Icelandic Cuisines

Skyr is the king of Icelandic soft cheeses that is often mistaken for yogurt because of its wonderful rich texture similar to yogurt and slight sourness. But it is a soft cheese made from gelatinous milk curds, and served with blueberries or sugar. Skyr is also good for you; with as much as 12% protein and only 3% carbs and less than 1% fat, plus vitamins and calcium.

4. Rúgbrau or Rye Bread

6 Most Popular Icelandic Cuisines

This delicious dark and dense, sweet bread made of rye is served with fish and meat at traditional meals. You’ll find it commonly served with Hangikjöt. It is either steamed in wooden casks buried near a hot spring or baked in a pot. You’ll find the hot-spring steamed variety hverabrau (hot-spring bread) in M vatn at the northeastern part of the country. The bread is a wonderful addition to any Icelandic meal.

5. Kjötsúpa or Meat Soup

6 Most Popular Icelandic Cuisines

Meat soup is another traditional way of eating the ubiquitous lamb. It used to be made with tougher pieces of meat but modern Icelandic chefs stress on freshness and quality. So today you’ll find high quality meats being used in the Kjötsúpa at restaurants. To prepare it, the meat is cut into small pieces and boiled on the bone with potatoes, rice, turnips, onions, carrots and herbs. The result after several hours is a delicious soup that improves in flavor when consumed the next day.

6. Ein me öllu or Icelandic Hot Dog

6 Most Popular Icelandic Cuisines

The pylsa hot dog is a very typical Icelandic food – also containing lamb. The lamb gives the hot dogs their unique flavors when combined with the fantastic sauces. This includes remoulade (a sauce of relish and mayonnaise), sweet mustard, and ketchup, fried and raw onions. Look for these delicacies on your visit to Iceland and you’ll agree that Icelandic cuisine is underrated!

7 Reasons Icelanders Are Proud to Being Icelanders

Iceland is a Nordic nation that lies on the Atlantic Ocean and south-east of the Greenland region. It’s not a particularly large country as it covers 103,000 square kilometers but the native Icelanders are proud of it and here’s why:

1. The Human Rights Record

Very few countries have a record that comes close to what Iceland has achieved in terms of gay rights, gender equality, the level of democracy and freedom of expression. Human rights are cemented in the constitution of Iceland and there have been no reports of state violence and security forces are under civilian authority.

Of course, there are different human rights groups that challenge the few misgivings in the country but they are allowed to exist without any restrictions. It’s not uncommon to view protests going on without fear of government interventions through violence. The first female president in Europe was elected in Iceland.

2. Icelandic Scenery

7 Reasons Icelanders Are Proud to Being Icelanders

Iceland is a popular tourist destination mainly because of its Icelandic nature. Here the beautiful beaches are covered in silky black sands and expect to see the northern lights work their magic on the sky (provided the sky is clear). There are numerous mountains and Iceland has the biggest Bird cliff in the world known as the LatrabJarg. Other tourism attractions include the Dettifos waterfalls and Vatnajokull Glacier.

3. Sports

Iceland Handball team is the envy of many countries around the world. They won the silver medal in the 2008 Olympics, the Icelanders are so proud that the handball team received a hero’s welcome when they got back from the Olympics. Other competitive teams usually hope to avoid the handball team during knockout stages. Another sport that they are proud of is World strongest Man contest, The Icelander Jon Paul Sigmarsson has won it four times.

4. Beautiful Iceland Women

7 Reasons Icelanders Are Proud to Being IcelandersPer capita, Iceland is considered to contain the most beautiful women in the world, thanks to the four times that they have won the Miss World Competition. They were successful in 1963 (Gudrun Bjarnadottir), 1985 (Holmfridur Karlsdottir), 1988 (Linda P.) and 2005 (Unnur Bina).

5. People’s Acceptance of Refugees

Many refugees have been fleeing the deadly countries of Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq thanks to terrorists and other social injustices. Iceland is among the few countries in Europe that have happily opened their borders to these refugees.

6. Movies Filmed In Iceland

Film and TV directors are ever increasingly going to Iceland to shoot movies for those iconic mountainous and snowy scenes. Not only is it cost effective, but Iceland has predictable weather compared to areas such as the North Pole thus making filming much easier. Popular movies and tv shows that have been shot in Iceland are Tomb raider, Batman Begins, Game of thrones, Hostel, Star Wars, James Bond: Die another Day, Prometheus, Thor and much more.

7. Icelandic Coast Guard

Iceland is the only known country in recent history to have recorded a significant history of the British Navy. Iceland and Britain were arguing over the Fishing in territorial waters, this was later known as The COD Wars. This led to a series of confrontations of which Iceland won each and every one. This is a piece of history that Icelanders are very proud of.