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Thread: Talking to an Icelander

  1. #1
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    Talking to an Icelander

    So, I guess I can say that I've spoken with essentially an average Icelandic teenager I was friends with. I always knew she was entirely for the preservation of Icelandic culture and language (the spiritual part, not so much, though she did find it interesting) and we would often talk about things of those nature.

    One day, I started talking about the Icelandic people, and was immediately called a racist. Apparently, to her, preserving the people wasn't important, only the language and culture (although I have to say, I'm not sure if she really identified with the culture that much, she seems to be a little heavily into the MTV style "punk" culture or whatever one would call it - dyed green and blue hair, whatever, she still supported the culture which is good).

    Apparently, after I brought up the increasing asian population (and her desire to adopt an asian baby someday), I found out that she wouldn't mind if in 100 years it was the Asians that were the ones speaking Icelandic and inhabiting the country, as long as they spoke Icelandic and were culturally Icelandic. I found it completely asinine to say the least, as of course culture, spirit, language, and ethnicity are all intertwined.

    However, I was wondering (since I am not an Icelander) is that really the common belief? That there is little pride of the Icelandic people themselves? I'd hate to see no more true Icelanders in their homeland (Not that anyone is better than anyone else of course.).

    Yeah I think this post might be a bit hard to understand since I am sort of just writing whatever is coming to mind here, but anyway, I was just wondering. I'm new here.

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    Lost in Melancholia
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    I was quite often in Iceland the last few years, and I have to state that the opinion of that girl is not common sense in Iceland. I guess she came from Reykjavík or the suburbs, since that is the most urbanic city in Iceland. The post-modern lifestyle can be found there, so it´s no wonder that there´re people who dont care for their tribe and nation. But I can say that people with this opinion are very clearly in the minority. I´ve met many people, esspecially in smaller cities and on the rural side, who are very proud of their country, their island, their unique culture and it´s people.

    "Judge of your natural character by what you do in your dreams" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Ah okay, yes she is indeed from Reykjavík. And a little strange needless to say.

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    Population
    Iceland: 310 000
    Reykjavik: 117 000
    Greater Reykjavik Area: 190 000

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceland
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reykjav%C3%ADk

    So, more than 60% live in and around Reykjavik. Now you are from Canada Svartljos, and I don't know if you have the same practices there, but in the US I understand that race is a concept related to by the authorities on a daily basis. If someone were to say that races don't exist it would as a result be much more controversial than in Europe, where a multiracial society is something new. The presence of entirely foreign elements and what that brings is more controversial in Europe, but that problem is hardly debated. It is scraped under the rug. We are being subjected to a lot of government propaganda about these things, unfortunately, and it does not only come in the forms and shapes of the mass media, but also in our education systems. This simplified understanding of culture as cultural artifacts merely has become far too common.

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    Senior Member SineNomine's Avatar
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    Isn't race a rather controversial matter in Europe as well? At least in England it is, to my experience. We have the BBC chanting away constantly that it is a fictional concept, so I suppose that contributes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesDexterWard View Post
    Population
    ...It is scraped under the rug. ...
    Just wanted to quote you for a second so you knew I was talking to you. Well, I am not really sure how race is looked upon in Canada. Obviously people talk about it sometime, but people who aren't white are obviously considered normal Canadians by the government/media/most young people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SineNomine View Post
    We have the BBC chanting away constantly that it is a fictional concept, so I suppose that contributes.
    Its another one of those asinine myths they think we're dumb enough to believe, like: "its impossible for minorities to be racist", "all cultures are equal", "diversity is our strength", "the world is flat", etc.

    If race was fiction, we wouldn't be able to tell the difference between an African and an Englishman.

    Just because a concept is ideologically pleasing to some doesn't make it fact.

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    It's not a common belief but nor is it an uncommon one. Reykjavik is full of leftists, the same goes for the neighbouring cities around Reykjavik. Immigration is rather a small problem(about 6% are foreigners) and most of them are Polish and Baltic. There are also some from the south east of Asia, mostly "mail order brides" married to overweight bus drivers who no woman would go for. And of course, then there is also the stereotypical humanitarian wannabes who adopt, which has become quite a popular phenomenon in the west, and then their are the temporary workers, apparently companies make every effort to get to the cheaper foreign labour force. The people in the countryside seem to oppose immigration more then the city dwellers.

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    Hm I see, I went to Iceland once, and I guess I definitely did notice (in hindsight) what you were talking about with the villages outside of the city in terms of the people that made up the populations. I saw actually a few part black people in Rvk (maybe they were tourists, I don't know) but when I went out to the countryside, I only saw one person that really stood out (some Asian).

    It was a pretty cool place (the entire country) I must say, and while I have (and had) learnt a bit of the language before I went (basic stuff, numbers, etc.) it was pretty awesome when random people would come up to me and initiate conversations in Icelandic and I'd have pretty much no idea what they were saying. Hopefully I can fix that in the future eh? It's such a great place there, hopefully I'll visit again someday soon.

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    The black people probably live there, unfortunately. There was (and I think still is) a U.S. military installation in Iceland and you know what those consequences are. It seems as if the country has recently been "found out" by travelers and people who work for companies that have units there (i.e. steel, and I actually talked to an American man on my way to Keflavik who has a place in some fishing village because of his company in the country.) It is becoming more mainstream too. The film producer Quentin Tarentino visited there once and said it was like "a bunch of supermodels getting wasted and dancing on bar tables." So as you can see, it's growing popularity will no doubt bring in outsiders, a big percentage of them racially alien. What you said about her wanting to protect culture and language but not race is really typical nowadays. There were a lot of leftist wannabe Communist people that I met when I lived in Sweden who were really sensitive to the race issue.. and one girl I just had to tell her flat out, "you have beautiful people here and should protect it." but she waved me off as one of "those" people. This disgusted me. It seems more and more people just take their indigenous cultures for granted. Families don't stress their cultures as much to their children, and people who are exotic are welcomed.

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