Iceland .:. Manners & customs
Our dating culture is rather informal. On a night out a boy might ask for a girls phone number, make her wait anxiously for two or three days or longer, then call her and of course on her mobile phone. If it is the typical date they will meet and go to a coffe bar downtown and like everywhere else the rest is up to them !!
It is not neccesary to introduce your date to your parents at once as in some countries, we Icelanders are very relaxed about this. If you start staying overnight at each others house the parents would definetely want to know everything ! But of course there are limits, so our dear parents don't know the whole story.
Living at home
When you live at home you have to live by certain house - rules, like
letting your parents know where you are, tidying up and doing laundry. Most
of us have a private bedroom with stereo, tv etc. That is something we often
get from relatives on a special religious occasion (confirmation).
Our friends are welcome to our home and most parents know the friends of
their children. In my case my parents are very open to letting me throw
parties for friends.
Most young people in Iceland have a summer job. The summer vacation is
rather long or whole three months so that is the reason most youngsters work
hard, during the summer, to earn money to keep them going financially
I will take f.x. my financial year....
I worked all summer at the local swimming pool, and the salary will do until
Christmas, then I take a Christmas job at The Body Shop and the salary will
"hopefully" last until late May when I get my tax-return, and this is how it
goes year by year.
I use my salary to do "normal" things like going to the movies, discos,
restaurants, clothes, haircuts, and food at school is expensive so there
goes a lot of money.
This is the swimming pool where I worked last summer.
Icelandic name system:
We have a unique name system here in Iceland.
When people get married the women do not take their husbands last name but
keep their own.
Both boys and girls get their father's first name as a last name when they
My name is Martha and my fathers name is Harald so my name is Martha
Haraldsdaughter (Martha the daughter of Harold) our friend Thorvaldur D.
Kristjansson (Thorvaldur is the son of Kristjan.)
We celebrate Christmas December 24th, 25th and 26th.We get Christmas vacation from school 20th december till 4th of January.
A lot of young Icleanders have a Christmas job during the vacation.
December 23rd is the day we get into the real Christmas spirit by going downtown in the evening, buy presents till midnight, go to pubs with friends
and listen to choirs sing in the streets.
If you are visiting Iceland and you want to look me up in the phonebook, you would have to know my first name as the phone book is listed by first names and secondly last names.
This is an example how names are listed in the phone book.
María Gísladóttir Miðstræti 25 101 Reykjavík 692-2858
Martha Sandolt Haraldsdóttir Hreiðarás 110 Reykjavík 895-3378
book is also available on the internet: www.simaskra.is
Foreign visitors in Iceland
Foreign visitors often say that Icelanders are a "cool nation" meaning, that
we are cold amongst others, for example when we are walking and pass someone, we don't smile at them or look them in the eye.
The reason is not coldness to vistors, but a kind of self awareness and
always beeing in a hurry. Most often we only smile towards people we know,
cute members of the opposite sex and if we get a glimpse at those extra happy who can't stop smiling and seem to be liking Iceland so much, we can't resist smiling towards them.
The majority of Icleanders belong to the National Church - Lutherian
protestant. Most of us do not attend church regularly or pray before bed
time (now I am talking about young people), we consider us religious but
most of us are not very good at practising our faith.
Many believe that something "good" is up there wathching over us during hard
times and that there is life after death because it can't be so short.
Behind the cows is a historic church, it is in Skálholt.