Culture of IcelandIceland is an island south of the Arctic Circle between Greenland and Norway. Its position may make a person unfamiliar with the area perceive it as harsh and lacking in civilization. On the contrary, Iceland is just as vibrant as many developed countries in the world.

History

The settlement in Iceland dates back to the 9th and 10th centuries when the Celts from the British Isles and Norsemen from Scandinavia settled there. The population grew from about 30,000 in 1930 to 329,100 in 2015. Even though most notable events in Iceland have been shaped by the Nordic countries, the state was on the forefront in attaining various feats not realized in other countries. For instance, it was the second country worldwide to allow women to vote in 1915, had Vigdís Finnbogadóttir in 1980 as the first female president to be elected democratically, and had the first openly gay Prime minister in 2009.

People

The people in Iceland have limited heritage strata among them. In this manner, they do not classify themselves as belonging to the Scandinavian or Irish roots. All of them speak Icelandic which is a Germanic language closely related to Norwegian. More so, Iceland is a country with minimal gender bias since men and women all have equal opportunities to hold political offices and work in whatever field they choose.

Clothing

Culture of IcelandRegardless of the season, Iceland is known to have significantly varying weather. Therefore, you may end up feeling irritably hot when you dress like an Eskimo during the winter or very cold when you wear shorts during the summer. Thus, the only way to beat the challenge is by adopting clothe layering. This technique implies that you dress in such a way that you can load or offload some clothing depending on the state of the weather. There are three layers of clothes that you should be accustomed to. The first one is the base layer which entails thermal underwear and t-shirts. Wool jackets and fleece sweater will form the second layer while the outer layer will consist of waterproof jackets. As for pants, you should settle for the lightweight pants instead of jeans. All these types of clothing can come in different styles thus one can easily choose to appeal to their fashion sense.

Traditions

Value their century-old ceremonies and customs. For instance, many Icelanders have the habit of meeting as family or counties from January to February to celebrate the Thorablot. During the celebrations, people eat traditional foods such as boiled heads of sheep, fermented shark meat, and pickled ram testicles. One unique thing about such ceremonies such as Bun Day, Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday is the fact that people get the chance to eat a lot of food.

Icelanders are also a superstitious lot. In this way, there are numerous things that one has to consider first when carrying out specific activities. For instance, when moving into a new house, you must carry salt and bread first so that you do not lack food for the period of your stay. Additionally, you cannot accept a knife as a gift from another individual since it will strain your relationship. The superstitions have also infiltrated into modern day things. For instance, you cannot accept one piece of licorice candy opal from someone. You can only take two so that you get a right relationship partner or stay with the current one forever.