ICELANDIC TRIVIA

  1. Icelanders are really into the supernatural
    President Grímsson: "Icelanders are few in number, so in the old times we doubled our population with tales of elves and fairies"
  2. Women and elf men used to be a thing
    When men would come home from long travels away to find their wives pregnant, the explanation was that the elf men were so potent as to have impregnated the women in their dreams
  3. It is high praise to be described as a good knitter
    Like Steinunn the lady whose ghost haunted Dómkirkjan when she wasn't properly buried (because she was a convicted criminal)
  4. Icelandic names are patronymic or sometimes matronymic if preferred (go gender equality!), no family names to be handed down
    And sons and daughters in the same family have different last names, e.g. Jónsson and Jónsdóttir
  5. New first names must be approved by the Icelandic Naming Committee
    Approved: Bambi; rejected: Harriet, Duncan
  6. There's an app for Icelanders to bump their phones and know how closely related they are
    So they don't accidentally hook up with relatives that are too close
  7. Because Iceland hasn't been involved in too many wars its cemeteries actually have wrought iron for crosses and other decorations
    In other countries all that iron was used for weapons
  8. Speaking of cemeteries, they were a great hookup spot back in the days when families and neighbors lived in close quarters
    Although I'm still not exactly sure how that worked it being nearly freezing even in summer...