Iceland…it seems has full of hidden surprises.
The island boomed its tourist industry by using the enormous volcanic eruption. 35 active volcanoes actually made the country a top destination. In 2010, Eyjafjallajökull erupted splashing thick ash clouds into the European skies. Lots of people suffered at the airports,could not travel for days. The world got to learn about this island with this eruption. Foreign news media came to the island and showed the world images of the spectacular landscapes. They struggled a lot to pronounce the local names and specially the volcano names.
They were also surprised to find out that Icelanders are the only Viking country to maintain patronyms which means the father’s first name is the child’s last name.
And ofcourse they found out,besides the phenomenal landscape,volcanoes,the largest glacier of Europe, Vatnajökull, there is literature.
People of Iceland when they are not at their day jobs,dabble in writing poems,verses and etc. David Oddssonn who was prime minister in 2002 and Britta Jonsdottir,the leader of the Pirate Party are both successful poets. Many of the citizens of Iceland believe that ‘ it is part of being an Icelander.’ In earlier times ,verses were part of the social gatherings. Poetry contests were held. Books of poetry sell well in Iceland. Poetry is the third largest category of books published in the country. Long winter nights,cold climate also has something to do with it. More interesting news…
Icelanders have their trolls,elves,dwarfs,yudalads all being called as the ‘Huldufólk’. Such an interesting country to believe in the huldufólk. The elves,who are about the size of ordinary people but mostly stay hidden from the eyes. There are trolls which live in the mountains. There are also dwarfs,very tiny and live in the rocks. Children of the trolls are named as the yudalads. This whole group is known as ‘Hudufólk-Hidden people’. People believe that any attempt to built something to hudufólk area will fail. Hammers will brake,something bad will happen. According to studies,it is found out that 62% of the population believe in the hudufólk existing. So, making fun of them is risky.
‘OF THE ALMIGHTY AND THE HIDDEN PEOPLE’
Once upon a time,God Almighty paid a visit to Adam and Eve.They welcomed God and showed Him all their wordly possessions. They also showed Him their children ,who seemed to Him very promising.
“But don’t you have more children than the ones you’ve shown to me?” He asked Eve.
“No,”she replied. But this was a lie. As it happened,Eve had not been finished bathing some of the children and was ashamed to let God see them,so she had hidden them from Him.
God knew this and said:”That which was to be hidden from me shall henceforth be hidden from mankind”.
These children now became invisible to humans and lived in hills and mountains ,cliffs and stones. Theis descendants are the elves,or the hidden people,while mankind is descended from those of Eve’s children whom she showed to God. Mortals can never see elves unless the elves themselves wish to be seen. But they can always see humans and decide whether to be visible to them.
Another wonderful aspect of Iceland is the ‘Icelandic Horses’. The country exports nearly 4000 horses a year mostly to Canada and the USA. Icelandic horses are purebred. When once they are exported prohibited from returning due to fear of contamination.These horses have 5 gaits and can walk very long distance.
Local senior people of Iceland often complain about not being able to speak their own language because of many foreigners coming for work and some see Reykjavik with its booming tourism as a Disneyland town.
So,after using this big volcano eruption as a benefit,tourists from all over the world are coming to Iceland and triple the amount of people in the country specially during summer.
They chase the Northern Lights,see the glaciers and the Arctic Circle. Watch the whales, puffins and ride the Icelandic horses.
Also lately,visit the filming locations of Game of Thrones.
ICELAND THE LAND OF FIRE AND ICE.