Iceland Mag

6 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


5 Questions you should avoid asking an Icelander

By Staff

  • Musician Björk Guðmundsdóttir While we all know who she is, not all of us know her. Photo/GVA


Iceland might be scarcely populated place, which means we are few in numbers (only around 323 thousand), yet we don’t all know each other. Here are 5 questions you should avoid asking an Icelander.

1.    “Do you know Björk?”
All Icelanders have been asked this question too many times to count. Björk is undoubtedly the world’s most famous Icelander. While we all know who she is, not all of us know her.

2.    “Aren’t you all related?”
No. Although, most of us would be able to find a common ancestor if we go back far enough, we aren’t one massive family. And, as the world becomes smaller, some of us have been expanding the gene pool even further by marrying spouses from foreign countries.

3.    “Do you know X? She/He’s Icelandic?”
We get it - finding a common friend is great but despite being few in numbers we don’t all know each other. In fact, there are loads of fellow Icelanders we’ve never met and probably never will.

4.    “Do you believe in elves?”
A survey conducted by the National University’s Department of Ethnology showed that very few Icelanders believed elves really and truly existed. So there’s that cleared up.

5.    “Did you vote for the Progressive Party (Framsókn)?”
Iceland’s Prime Minister and head of the Progressive Party, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, was forced to resign after news of the Panama Papers broke. He also became an international laughing stock after he stormed out of an interview with Sweden's public broadcaster, after being questioned over his use of an offshore company.
So, refrain from asking this question, it will not only annoy those who didn’t vote for the Progressives and are forced to endure them, but also those who did vote for the party and are now riddled with shame.


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