Considering that Iceland has only 320,000 people, the number of museums and art galleries in the country is astounding. Photo credit: Alexander Matukhno, Iceland Airwaves Flickr. Despite its physical isolation some 500 miles (800 km) from Scotland—its nearest European neighbour—Iceland has remained throughout its history very much a part of European civilization. So knowing a baby name well before the baby is born, that used to be totally normal to me. Much of Iceland is underlain by basalt, a dark rock of igneous origin. What are the islands of the Maldives made of? Obviously, by defining a nationality, you’ll end up classing them into stereotypes.  When does the midnight sun take place in Iceland? Favorite Answer. This can be frustrating for people that are trying to master the Icelandic language; in spite of being very nice, patience is not a virtue that many Icelanders hold. Where are the gyms and swimming pools in Reykjavík, or where’s best for a simple jog? The country’s national sport is handball. Unlike most European countries, however, it is ethnically homogeneous, so much so that genetic researchers have used its inhabitants to study hereditary disorders and develop cures for a host of diseases. You may be told that the word 'please' doesn't exist in Icelandic, but it does: 'vinsamlegast'. The main island, which lies south of the Arctic Circle, covers an area of 103,000 km, which is roughly the size of the U.S. state of Virginia or slightly bigger than Ireland. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). One Nordic language (most commonly Danish) and English are mandatory subjects in school, with the additional choice between French and German and sometimes Spanish. Soil and climatic conditions are favourable, and it is close to the country’s largest market, Reykjavík and its environs. Continue reading to learn all about what makes the people of this island nation traditionally Icelandic. Some foreigners, for example, are puzzled by the fact that the word ‘please’ is not commonly used in Icelandic, although it can be substituted with the word ‘thank you’. Eyjafjallajökull volcano, beneath an extension of Mýrdalsjökull (Mýrdals Glacier), erupted in March 2010 for the first time since 1821. I apologise beforehand if some of the following descriptions don’t apply to every Icelander you will encounter, but can guarantee that they are true for the most part. Aurora borealis over the Snaefellsnes peninsula, western Iceland, March 2013. Photo from Happy Hour | The Cheapest Beer in Reykjavík. In a fast-paced world of sprawling development, Iceland's pure nature and empty expanses stand out as a luxury. Iceland, the lonely island in the middle of the North Atlantic, has become a popular spot for Hollywood blockbuster films. This means you're bound to bump into some people wearing pretty kooky attire, and that's normal. The basalt sheets tend to tilt somewhat toward the centre of the country. undir. While tourism has boomed over the last 10 years, there are still plenty of places to explore where you’ll be mostly alone. Icelanders are not known for being particularly easy to get to know, except when we are drunk. Phytogeographically, Iceland belongs to the Arctic province of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom. Explore similarities and differences. Continuous eruptions took place in the Krafla area in the northeast in 1975–84, damaging a geothermal generating project in the area. Sparkling glaciers, such as Vatna Glacier (Vatnajökull), Europe’s largest, lie across its ruggedly beautiful mountain ranges; abundant hot geysers provide heat for many of the country’s homes and buildings and allow for hothouse agriculture year-round; and the offshore Gulf Stream provides a surprisingly mild climate for what is one of the northernmost inhabited places on the planet. Icelandic society and culture has a high degree of gender equality, with many women in leadership positions in government and business. Iceland is an island that lies in the middle of the northern Atlantic Ocean.It has a size of about 102,000 square kilometers and lies just south of the Arctic Circle.. Iceland is about 1000 km away from the European mainland and about 300 km from the coast of Greenland. The western fjords have numerous well-sheltered harbours and good fishing grounds but little lowland suitable for agriculture. Iceland’s best-known volcano, Hekla, erupted four times in the 20th century: in 1947, 1970, 1980, and 1991; it also had a series of small eruptions in 2000. Glacier ice and cooled lava each cover approximately one-tenth of the country’s total area. Earthquakes are frequent in Iceland but rarely result in serious damage. Iceland, island country located in the North Atlantic Ocean. Central Intelligence Agency - The World Factbook - Iceland, Iceland - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Iceland - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). The early settlement, made up primarily of Norwegian seafarers and adventurers, fostered further excursions to Greenland and the coast of North America (which the Norse called Vinland). So the 'rudeness' of Icelanders is partly due to language barriers, but also because Icelanders don't like to beat around the bush. It also means that Icelanders will not go out of their way to please you unless they genuinely like you, so if someone invites you around for dinner, take them up on the offer because you'll know they like you with no falseness. Sort out the facts about islands across the globe. Iceland is almost the size of Kentucky, which has 4.4 million residents. 1 decade ago. Vatnajökull covers an area of more than 3,000 square miles (8,000 square km) and is about 3,000 feet (900 metres) deep at its thickest point. Iceland family life: Violence within the family, as violence in general in the society, is strictly forbidden. The glaciers are a reminder of Iceland’s proximity to the Arctic Circle, which nearly touches its northernmost peninsula. Bolludagur (Bun Day) - 2 days before Lent, all bakeries and restaurants will make sweat buns. Place - The human and physical characteristics of a place 3. Coastal Economies, Cultural Accounts: Human Ecology and Icelandic Discourse , 1990 . When meeting someone new, most opening sentences revolve about finding out who you know in common. The southern lowland comprises the main farming region. The oldest rocks were formed about 16 million years ago. Iceland has a long coastline with many fjords and bays.. iceland human characteristics  Icelanders registered in the state church, the Church of Iceland, is declining at a rate of more than 1% per year. Read on to find out all you n... Guide to Iceland | The Story of the Leading Travel Agency of Iceland, How to Purchase Property in Iceland | A Homeowner's Guide, Fitness in Iceland | Sports, Exercise & Wellbeing, Icelandic Friendliness and Language Skills, Icelandic Independent Working Environment. If you make friends with two different groups, it is quite likely that people within one group will know someone from the other (depending on age and location, obviously). Settled by Norwegian and Celtic (Scottish and Irish) immigrants during the late 9th and 10th centuries A.D., Iceland boasts the world's oldest functioning legislative assembly, the Althing, established in 930. I consider this ‘rudeness’ or 'straightforwardness' to be a virtue and not a flaw; people want to get things done quickly and thus by being direct, you tend to get effective results. 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