Customs and traditions
The contact networks between Icelanders are
usually dense and a large part of the population know
each other. What happens in public life often affects
Icelandic society is socially equal in comparison
with most other countries. Everyone addresses each other
with first names. Only the president and the bishop are
addressed by title. Good day (good day) or
hello are common Icelandic greetings and you take
care when you meet.
Overview of the capital city of Iceland, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
The interaction is usually informal and it is not
uncommon to spontaneously visit each other without the
invitation. At the same time, many people are accustomed
to managing themselves in a country with long winters
and isolated settlements.
The culture within the Icelandic business community
is usually described as highly targeted and youthful.
Young people have a relatively easy career path,
breaking down bureaucratic obstacles, hierarchies and
Business meetings are more focused on making quick
decisions than on reaching consensus. One should be
prepared for open and straightforward communication,
which can sometimes seem insensitive from a Swedish
perspective. The relationship with employees can be more
severe than in the Swedish business sector - the person
who succeeds is well rewarded, the one who fails risks
losing his or her position.
"Life is salty fish," claimed Nobel Prize-winning
author Halldór Laxness. He may have been referring to
the traditional buffet Thorramatur, which was
eaten at the midwinter party (Thorrablót).
Then yeast is served shark meat (shark),
smoked lamb (hanky meat) and a variety of other
fish and meat dishes along with dark rye bread and
brandy wine (called the Black Death).
Seafood is number one on the Icelandic menu, but lamb
is also popular and is served in many varieties. Smoked
mutton is advantageously eaten on thin brine baked on
rye. Seasonally, whale or seal meat is available, and
puffins are sought after.
Skyr, which is a kind of yogurt made from
skim milk and a sourdough-like bacterial culture, is
often on the table. Lactic acid meat is also common.
Many Icelanders prefer to dress in jeans and sweaters
for everyday wear, but it is customary to dress up on
solemn occasions. National costume is often used at
holidays. The cool weather means that warm clothes are
needed almost year-round.
National Day is celebrated on June 17. Easter,
Christmas and New Year are great holidays. Christmas is
celebrated with both Christian and Old Nordic elements.
Thirteen different plots (Grytslickaren, Dörrsmällaren,
Korvtjuven and others) are said to come down from the
mountain to people's dwellings, one a day until
Christmas Eve. Then they return, one every day until the
thirteenth day. At New Year, fires are lit, and around
the fire, howls and elves are considered to mix with
humans, one of many examples of the place of legends and
superstition in Icelandic culture.
Schools and museums reopened
15th of May
The government is lifting the restrictions introduced in March to try to
prevent the spread of the corona virus. Large sections of the community function
as usual with schools, hairdressers and museums that are again open while public
gatherings with more than 50 people are again allowed. The government explains
that it is now considered to have the infection under control since only two new
cases of covid-19 were discovered during the past week.
The government launches support packages
Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottír announces that the government will inject
an additional SEK 60 billion into the economy. The crisis measures are
particularly targeted at small and medium-sized companies that have been
affected by the corona crisis. They can get loans directly if they risk going
bankrupt or compensated if they have had to cancel their production. Special
support will also be given to the unemployed and low-income households.
The spread of corona increases
Nearly 600 people are said to be infected by the corona virus in Iceland and
about 6,000 are in home quarantine after living in risk areas abroad. As the
spread increases, new stricter rules are introduced. Prohibition is imposed on
people gathering with more than 20 people. At the same time, bathhouses,
training rooms, entertainment venues, museums, hairdressers are closed. In
addition, measures are planned for around SEK 230 billion to support the
economy. This includes, among other things, loans to companies, deferral of
public contributions, employer contributions and income taxes, increased child
allowance, reduced bank tax and more. The package of measures also includes 750
million to support cultural activities and sports associations.