Are the Icelandic people strange? Iceland, like any other country, has some quirky, odd, peculiar things about it and its inhabitants. For some people certain things are strange while for others they aren’t.
These are top 3 strangest things about Icelanders (that are all perfectly normal to them!)
- There are no surnames or family names in Iceland
There are exceptions to this. There are a few family names in Iceland, mostly Danish. Some of them have lasted for decades but these family names are not that common and mostly originate from foreigners marrying into an Icelandic family.
For the majority of Icelanders people have a last name that is comprised from their father’s (or mother’s) first name with the addition of -dóttir (-daughter) or -son. F.ex. my father’s first name is Gunnar, so my last name is Gunnarsdóttir (Gunnar’s daughter). This means that a member of a family will have a different last name to both of their parents and their siblings of a different gender. Women also do not change their name when they get married (because they obviously don’t become the ‘son’ of their husband’s father).
Using titles such as Mr, Mrs, Miss or Dr is not common either. So, don’t get offended if an Icelander doesn’t know your last name or calls you by your first name the first time you meet (and every time afterwards), we’re just not used to anything else!
- BBQ and grills all year round in Iceland
Now, it may be freezing and a storm outside – but Icelanders are known to have a BBQ in any kind of weather, acting like they live in the blistering Australian sunshine. Come rain, come shine, we still want to have our lamb/fish/whale grilled with proper coals (or gas). And then smothered with sauce. Strangely enough, we can also eat ice-cream all year round.
Also, Icelanders love sauces. Gravy, dipping sauces, condiments… Basically, we have a sauce for everything. And we like to drench our food in sauce. Even though the meat or the fish or the vegetables are to a great standard, it’s only going to be better with sauce.
- Stay awake for 24 hours – it simply does not get dark
In the summertime day and night merge into one and it simply does not get dark at all. This is due to Iceland geo location on the planet. Some Icelanders do not see the point in sleeping at all when this period is. Instead they use the nights for e.g. midnight golf and they even have a International Arctic Open Golf tournament. The only limit is you own imagination what to do in these summer nights. In the picture you can see a idea what you can do – make balloons and put them on the roof!