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Archive for 'Icelandic customs'

Can Folklore Express Iceland’s ‘National Soul’? Posted by on Apr 8, 2018

These past few months, I’ve had the interesting challenge of reading Icelandic folktales in Icelandic. The use of language is, as one might imagine, slightly different than reading a contemporary text – terminology and spelling conventions vary, as does prosody and phraseology. But those changes don’t preclude a deeper understanding of Icelandic culture through a…

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Icelandic Fisherwomen, Ruling the Sea One Pair of Trousers at a Time Posted by on Mar 18, 2018

Happy March, everyone! We´re just approaching the end of the old Icelandic calendar month Góa, and I thought it might be nice to pay tribute to a few Icelandic women. And not just any women, but women of the sea– so-called sjókonur. Many of you certainly know of the densely-populated Icelandic fisheries – mainly women…

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About That Icelandic Book Flood… Posted by on Nov 25, 2017

As per usual, I’ve been drowning in Icelandic lit projects again this month; just a few weeks ago, my cabaret show, The Poetry Brothel Reykjavik (Rauða Skáldahúsið) put on a masquerade show, right after I visited the director of the new Vigdís Finnbogadóttir World Language Centre to discuss an upcoming translation project for the organisation…

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Menntun, Menning, Minning: Education, Culture, Memory Posted by on Aug 25, 2017

Last Saturday, a friend and colleague (who I’d never met before) arrived in Reykjavik. Belgian by birth, she is a world traveler, entrepreneur, artist, and yoga teacher. She’d just returned from a trip to the desert, where she finds poetry, and was on her way to produce and direct an event in Antwerp called Poëziebordeel…

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It Started With Donald Duck…And Became a Revolution. Posted by on May 26, 2017

My initial intention with the somewhat winding road of a blog entry below started out as a look at translations of the names of storybook and fable characters – like Donald Duck (as below) – but my research and persistent questions took me down a rabbit hole that I couldn’t bring myself to climb out…

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The First Day of Summer, Icelandic-Style (and a Knuckle-Calendar, Just For Fun) Posted by on Apr 20, 2017

Today in Reykjavik, it was a whopping 3 degrees (C), even though it is, according to the Icelanders, the first day of summer. The old Icelandic calendar is called the misseristal, or semester-count, and it’s been used since the Settlement Age. It emphasizes the two “semesters” of the year – summer and weather – with…

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Quirks of the Old Icelandic Calendar: Þorri, Bóndadagur, and Hopping On One Foot Posted by on Jan 16, 2017

Þorri is the name of the fourth month of winter, according to the old Icelandic calendar (more on this later). It starts on a Friday – falling between the 19th and 26th of January, this year the 20th – and ends on the Saturday before the month known as Góa commences.   Many of you may…

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