10 Icelandic habits we must always all adopt

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1. Letting babies sleep outside in freezing temperatures.

For generations, Icelandic babies have napped outside in freezing temperatures. Today, it’s altogether commonplace to check out strollers sitting just outside of shops and cafés while parents enjoy coffee indoors — no matter what the weather. Since Iceland has on the list of lowest crime rates on the earth (below two murders per annum), the prospect any particular one of them outdoor-snoozers may very well be kidnapped is all about as slim for a Christmas without snow in Reykjavík. A lot better danger associated with infant outdoor napping is high winds — now and then, it’s easy to witness a single stroller blowing across the road within the wind. Still, Icelanders firmly believe babies sleep better when they’re covered with nature and therefore the white-noise from the wind soothes these questions method indoor clamor cannot. With Iceland having a few of the cleanest air on the planet, it’d be a shame never to let these tiny Vikings get their fill quickly.

2. Behold great and bad the fish (enzyme).

Being an island nation have their own benefits and Iceland is able to take full advantage of that. Scientists have created a fish-derived enzyme called Penzim which happens to be composed of the North Atlantic Codfish. The potent enzyme has been made into both a facial gel and crème that works including the nectar in the gods for wrinkles, acne, and simply about what you can think about. Rumor has it that Penzim even offers virus-killing properties and the a simple spray on the nose or about the throat has the strength to eliminate whatever you’ve got brewing in that room. Think Icelandic sort of Windex at my Big Fat Greek Wedding. That’s Penzim.

3. #poollyfe

There are costly all around you in Iceland. That’s no exaggeration; every town, it doesn’t matter how small, has a pool. And each and every pool, regardless of how small, includes a hot spa tub. A lot more remarkable is that often these types of pools are geothermally heated, which supplies the water a rather slippery think that does wonders for dried-out skin. But perhaps even more important, costly in Iceland serve a beneficial cultural purpose. During long, dark winters, and also in remote towns and villages far away from the main town where there’s not a whole lot to carry out, swimming pools become meeting points for relatives and buddies. They’re a wholesome and fun method to relax and let off steam (pun intended). And if that doesn’t already tickle your spa-craving fancy, pool goers are even offered coffee once they’re immersed comfortably in 100-degree waters!

4. What weather?

Blizzard dumping snow from the meter upon your driveway? No hassle. Can’t go to Reykjavík for the reason that mountain road is included within a sheet of ice? There are worse matters in life. White-out on your way? Hope your car or truck feels safe — you’re just going to be there for quite a while! To say which the weather in Iceland is harsh is really an understatement — house-high snow drifts and (regular) hurricane-force winds might supply you with a a feeling of it — nevertheless, Icelanders now utilize a c’est la vie attitude on the weather, however rather they say “ekkert mál” (no issue) in spite of how severe the stipulations can be. Rather than major nearest grocery to get water and canned food just as if these folks were getting yourself ready for the apocalypse, Icelanders now relax industry by storm stormy weather. Relax is paramount word here; to Icelanders, bad weather just means spending more quality time with family, and also a cozy evening (or three) inside a geothermally-heated home.

5. The Merry Christmas rule

There are few things more unnerving than seeing Christmas décor in your own local Bed, Bath & Beyond… in October. Try since we might, most Americans can’t often shake their dependence on every item and fixture Christmas-y well before the vacation arrives. In Iceland, everything’s a bit different; specially when you’re looking at wishing others Gleðileg jól (Merry Christmas). Here, nobody says it until 6 PM on Christmas Eve, believing that your holiday does not officially “arrive” before. This required aback whenever i entered my first Party in Iceland around noon over the 24th. “Gleðileg jól!” I said jollily into the crowd and was greeted with looks of shock in reply. “It’s not six o’clock yet,” someone shown to me. “We don’t wish 1 another Merry Christmas for the time being.” After waiting patiently with the hrs till the holiday utterance was deemed appropriate, the hands of time struck six and every one of intense a chorus of “Gleðileg jól!” sounded around me. Like on cue, everyone started hugging everyone, exchanging gifts, and pouring shots of Tópas — a licorice-based liquor — truly residing in when.

6. Þorrablót

Every February, Icelanders gather in their community halls to celebrate the Pagan and deeply underrated holiday: Þorrablót. Why this holiday so special may be the food. When I first moved to Iceland, I believed this meant roasted lamb and buttery potatoes; works out, I’m right in regards to the animal, but wrong in regards to the regions of it we’d eat. I returned to my table at our town’s annual Þorrablót celebration which has a plateful of shark, ram’s testicles, and sheep eyes. My fellow diners, stuffing my face with his or her sheep eyes, sensed my distress. “This really is, very special food,” one exclaimed, clamping documented on a hunk of shark before washing it down which includes a shot of Tópas. “Try it!” And try I did so. The shark enjoyed a sharp taste, not altogether unlike a pickle. Your balls were paying homage to a strange type of gummy bear, and mildly lemony. Sheep eyes reminded me of tapioca balls, and I’d be lying merely said I didn’t as if it.

7. Five-star jails

Iceland’s six prison facilities have a very good name for being extremely comfortable, housing about 140 convicts daily (crowding is actually a non-issue, of course), whose time is spent making such things as tic tac toe games, benches, and license plates. In Icelandic prisons, the cafeteria-style canteen is nowhere can be found; each prisoner cooks their own personal meals in dorm-like environments. Rumor has it that Icelandic prisons use a similar beds countless of your country’s hottest hotels. Of course, if that isn’t shocking enough, prisoners in Iceland can bring electronic items (think small TV, computer, or radio), and after completing the first part of their total sentence, prisoners can apply for “leaves” allowing you these to exit the ability monthly to travel to loved ones throughout the day. If that’s not just a luxury prison experience, I don’t really know what is.

8. Cabin getaways

One within the (many) wonderful reasons coping with Iceland is basically don’t will need to leave the land to take a vacation; the wonders of untouched nature are outside your doorstep. Icelanders understand how to take advantage of employing cabin holidays, or sumarbustaður. These rustic, cozy cabins is found practically everywhere, whether for a mountain inside of a far corner from the West Fjords or edged up against the ocean in Vík. Of course, if you’re doing work in Iceland, you’re automatically eligible to rent one of those cabins — additionally is that often a lot of the rental fees are subsidized through the labor unions, coming up with a sumarbustaður rental far less expensive than any AirBnB. Oh yeah, every cabin is included with its very own spa.

9. Size doesn’t matter.

Iceland has not been a nation that’s let its small size impede of products. From health to school systems in addition to a superb emergency response team to whom rescuing hikers from the inside of cracked glaciers isn’t problem, the united states provides extensive found out. Maybe the country’s financial and economic recovery from the 2008-2011 banking crisis has become coined a textbook success story. Having a similar “ekkert mál” (no trouble) mindset that Icelanders embody with regards to weather, the nation rebuilt itself with grit and determination and it is now among the list of wealthiest economies on earth. But that’s only one way Iceland shows its power; just a couple weeks ago, it was crowned smallest nation to entitled to the World Cup in soccer, proving once more that small countries are able to do major things.

10. The Hidden People

When you board an Icelandair flight to Reykjavík, a captivating video plays for the seat-back screen in front of you. Did you know Icelanders have faith in magic? it says at one thing. Though this could be described as marketing gimmick (and in all probability is), it’d be wrong to convey there wasn’t some truth it. Magic can be something that Icelanders know quite nicely, whether it’s a night sky filled with green-pink ribbons (a.k.a. the Northern Lights), or things of a more invisible nature, particularly: the hidden people (huldufólk). Depending on Icelandic folklore, the hidden folks are elf-like creatures who supposedly live inside rocks. Belief about the hidden people is firmly rooted in society that construction projects have even been halted for the fear of disrupting their precious abodes. The lure of your Hidden People also includes tourists, too; the Icelandic Elf School in Reykjavík even organizes special excursions for visitors!

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