If you happen to be in Iceland throughout March, you might notice an abnormally high amount of men rocking moustaches. It’s not because of a new trend for hipsters though, it’s for a good cause.
March is recognised in Iceland as ‘Mottumars’ or ‘Moustache March’. The name combines a nickname for a moustache ‘motta’ with the Icelandic word for March ‘Mars.’ Mottumars is a month-long campaign dedicated to the awareness of cancers that affect men.
In native English speaking countries this is generally in November and affectionately referred to as Movember.
Above is a slogan from the Mottumars campaign. It translates to ‘Pull up your socks! The battle begins here!’
Mottumars aims to bring awareness to cancers specific to men like testicular and prostate cancer, while also raising money to help fund research.
Above is a moustache suggestion called ‘The Scrubbing Brush’
There are a few main activities people can take part in throughout Mottumars to assist in the cause. One of these is to grow a moustache. If you happen to be follically gifted enough, you can use your ‘yfirvaraskegg’ (the Icelandic word for moustache – which means ‘over-lip-beard’) to bring attention to the cause.
If you are unable to push that hair out of your top lip, you can buy a pair of socks. Many stores, barber shops and cafes throughout Iceland have socks for sale for the month of March. The proceeds from the sale of these socks go straight to cancer research and awareness campaigns.
Above, a video of the Icelandic President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson encouraging people to buy socks in support of Mottumars. Credit: Mottumars Facebook
Each year, the Icelandic cancer association releases a video to help promote the awareness of Mottumars. The videos are well-known for their light-hearted approach to the subject and are typically filled with Icelandic celebrities. This year’s video doesn’t disappoint.
Above is a moustache suggestion ‘The Batman.’
The film clip is set in the showers at a local swimming pool, possibly one of the most Icelandic settings you could choose to pique the interest of locals. It includes Icelandic celebrities like MMA fighter Gunnar Nelson; singers Friðrik Dór and Friðrilk Ómar; a legend of Icelandic entertainment Ingvar E. Siguðsson (aka Ásgeir from Trapped) and comedy icon Laddi.
The song they’re singing is inspired by a military classic, and as the men are showering and getting themselves ready, they are singing about the importance of getting checked.
If you would like to support Mottumars you can buy socks at many retailers around Iceland, just look for the moustache logo, or visit www.mottumars.is