Christmas is on the horizon, meaning shopping for presents and decorating the tree is on everyone’s agenda. First, however, we must look back, delving into some of the stranger stories to have come out of Iceland this week.
One in Four Icelanders are Dog Owners
We provide cats with a lot of attention here at Guide to Iceland Now. They are, after all, adorable, independent and beloved by our readership. There are also plenty of these free-thinking, free-roaming moggies to be found in Reykjavík.
According to a survey this week, however, it appears that dogs are the pet of choice when it comes to Icelanders, proving once and for all who really is man’s best friend.
Owning a dog can be a touch more difficult in Iceland than other countries, with a number of regulations in place to both appease neighbours and ensure the safety of the animal. While it is no longer so, keeping dogs as pets in Reykjavík was banned in 1924.
Today, a number of hurdles must be jumped through in order to own a dog. For instance, an individual in a flat must gain the permission of everybody in the building before bringing in his canine friend. Dogs must also be microchipped, abide by strict vaccination, worming and lead laws, and have their permits approved by the relevant authorities.
Even so, this doesn’t appear to have stopped Icelanders from wanting to own their pooches; more and more, dogs are becoming a common sight in the city, and as a dog lover myself, I can only praise and celebrate this trend.
Thunderbolt & Lightning, Very Very Frightening
Thunder and lightning are rare in Iceland given the fact that these phenomena require warm air to meet cool air—unfortunately, this dear island falls short on the former prerequisite.
Regardless, Icelanders were privy to a full-blown light show this week, with flash lightning and rumbling thunder emanating from the sky over Tuesday night.
See Also: Weather in Iceland & Best Time to Visit
Despite their experience with both temperamental weather and the stunning Northern Lights, Icelanders are not quite sure how to react to thunder and lightning, falling somewhere between awe-inspired and fearful.
For instance, that evening, one of Iceland’s major news website, mbl.is, wrote a total of four articles about the weather and a high number of blurry, 2-3 second videos, capturing the lighting bolts, appeared on Icelander’s social media.
Jodie Foster at War
Jodie Foster will be directing and starring in the English adaptation of the Icelandic film Kona fer í stríð / Woman at War (2018). Foster will be playing the leading role, a part originally filled beautifully by Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir.
The story follows Halla, a middle-aged choir conductor and soon-to-be adoptive mother of an orphaned Ukrainian child. Halla is compelled to fight for the environmental rights of her homeland, destroying or tampering with all of the infrastructure associated with the Rio Tinto aluminium plant in the Icelandic highlands.
See Also: The Story of Icelandic Cinema
Some claim she is an activist, ever prioritising nature, whilst others deem her to be eco-terrorist. The remake will switch locations from Iceland to the American West.
Kona fer í stríð is Iceland’s contribution to the Academy Awards this year. The film was directed by Benedikt Erlingsson, who has already won the Nordic Council Film Prize following its release.
This was the second time Benedikt has won the award, having previously received it for his 2013 film, Of Horses and Men. Kona fer í stríð also won the script prize in the Critic’s Week section of Cannes Film Festival this year.
Of the original film, Jodie Foster commented “This movie thrilled me beyond words; I am so excited to helm a new American imagining of this relevant, beautiful, inspiring story. The character of Halla is a warrior for the planet, a strong woman who risks it all to do the right thing. But not without some serious mishaps along the way.”
Danish Films mark 100 Years of Iceland’s Sovereignty
In 1918, Denmark and Iceland signed a federal act that dictated Iceland would become a sovereign state, sharing its monarch with Denmark.
This act came into effect on the 1st December 1918, though it was stipulated that the agreement could be denounced at any time by either party. Iceland would go on to declare full independence in 1944.
1918 was a momentous year in the history of both countries. To mark the occasion, the Film Centre of Denmark has released a series of films shot in the early twentieth century that portray Icelandic life, a rarity given the time period. These films show a variety of snippets from Icelandic life, from days in the countryside to fishing fleets and horse riding through town.
They also clearly portray the rapid modernisation that was affecting Iceland at that time, be it in the construction of dams or the introduction of the automobile. This technology stands in stark contrast to other footage of farmers toiling their land with horses and antiquated equipment.
Other interesting footage comes in the Danish Royal Family paying some of Iceland’s most well-known sites a visit, including Þingvellir National Park. One video specifically show’s Iceland only ever king, Christian X.
For those fascinated by Icelandic history, these videos are a true cultural gem. Short documentaries reporting on life in Iceland did much to bolster international interest towards the island, as well as inspired and enthused local Icelanders to develop their own domestic industry.
Blac Chyna & Kid Buu Spark Dating Rumors After Vacation In Iceland
Social media stars and hip-hop artists, Blac Chyna and Kid Buu, have sparked dating rumours after recently vacationing together in Iceland.
Both shared pictures and footage of the same Icelandic landscape. A woman, thought to be Blac Chyna, was also seen on Kid Buu’s Instagram story sitting on a couch, with the added caption “LookN like a snack”. The pair were also seen walking hand in hand at Keflavík International Airport.
See Also: Music in Iceland
The pink haired rapper has made headline before with claims that he is a second generation clone and alien abductee. Blac Chyna is most famous as a model, social media icon and as the ex of Rob Kardashian.
In Other News
- Paying for Klausturgate: Comedian, actor and former mayor of Reykjavík, Jón Gnarr, has offered to raise funds to pay a potential fine for the Klausturgate informant, Bára Halldórsdóttir. Despite the Icelandic public standing behind Bára’s decision to record a group of MPs at Klaustur bar, her action was, strictly speaking, illegal.
- More trouble for WOW Air: The airline has had to fire 111 full-time employees as it continues to face financial difficulty, only a week after their majority stock was purchased by US company, Indigo Partners. They have also made the move to reduce the fleet from 20 aircraft down to 11.
- Ice Blocks and Art: Danish-Icelandic artist, Ólafur Elíasson, has placed 24 blocks of ice in front of Tate Modern in London to highlight the growing concern of climate change. The exhibition is free to the public and closes December 20th.