The day started off a little slowly as I was tired from little sleep last night, after watching the sun I couldn’t sleep right away because I was so happy with what I had just saw. Anyways, the morning was a little difficult but doable. Started out with other day of language class where we learned family names like pabbi, mamma, afi, amma, sonur, dottir, bróðir, systir and learnt how to count to 10 as well. Numbers 1-4 each have three different ways of being used/said/written, masculine, feminine and neutral. Our professor joked saying that “it’s very unpractical, I’m very ashamed of the language” and told us a story about a young girl who had come to Iceland from Norway to work as an aupair. This girl didn’t like to do things wrong in any way so when she would go to the grocery store she would ask for 5 of everything just to make sure she wouldn’t make a mistake. This woman ended up going on to become a professor of language at a university in Copenhagen. Some of us wanted to how to say thank you and sorry (12 of us in the class are Canadian, fitting words to learn eh?) Takk is for ‘thanks’ takk fyrir is ‘thanks for’, afsaka is ‘for excuse’ and það var ekkert is ‘it was nothing’.
After language we had a history lecture. Did you know that Christianity came to Iceland in 999? They also allowed for pagans to continue to worship their own gods (in private, but still allowed). We learnt that Alþingi is the oldest parliament in the world dating back to 930. It was placed at Þingvellir and held for a fortnight every summer. Also, Iceland has only ever been involved in one war, the civil war between 1200 and 1262 called Sturlungaöld and ended with the union with the Norwegian monarchy. It was 1380 when Norway and Denmark united Iceland became part of the Danish kingdom.
In the lecture the discussion of the British Isles was brought up again and the statistic was shown that 63% of women came from Celtic backgrounds and 37% percent Nordic were as men were 20% Celtic and 80% Nordic. (unfortunately I didn’t write down at what point in time…) Anyways I bring this up because the speaker decided to show us this Icelandic Beer Commercial which I found hilarious…
After the lecture we went to the Canadian embassy which was quite a nice visit as we got to ask many questions and learn a lot more about the foreign service and relations with Iceland. Apparently the only real opposing policies between Canada and Iceland is in regards to whale hunting. Canada isn’t pushing too much against it (compared to the US for example who actively bring this up… according to yesterdays visit). The ambassador said that this isn’t exactly being pushed by Canada as Iceland has helped quite a bit with our seal hunting laws. Oh also, did you know the Canadian Embassy helps out Australians in Iceland? There is an agreement in a couple of different places that if Canadians or Australians don’t have their own embassy they can go to each others (or British). This isn’t everywhere, only where there are agreements. Also, John Baird isn’t wearing a tie in his official portrait? What the what?
Anyways, that’s all for today. Tomorrow after classes we head to the National Museum then hike Mount Esja and… I turn 23!