Iceland Culture

Iceland can be described as one of the most majestic and breathtaking countries on earth. It is rich with history and culture, and its people are among the friendliest of anywhere in the world. Here are some things to know about Iceland that will help you fit in among the locals when you visit.

Language
The official language is Icelandic which is considered a Nordic language. It has not changed much from the first settlers of Iceland. Danish and English are mandatory languages to learn, and the literacy rate is over 99{d12c25610243042b09500b0060ea6d37dace7f22fb8ef1db378f2f4a8d1039ec}, which is the highest percent in the world. Many people are known by their first names, as opposed to their surnames; for example, Horoson means the son of Horo; this can make it difficult to look someone up in the phonebook.

Religion
The majority of Icelanders are of Lutheran religion, although there are other faiths that exist throughout the region. There are a small percentage of other faiths, such as Catholic, Mormon, Muslim and Baptist.

Politics
Iceland is a republic entity, with a written constitution and a parliamentary government. The president is elected by popular vote and serves a term of four years. There is both a president and a prime minister.

Food
Due to its proximity to the ocean, one of the food staples of Iceland are fish; other popular fare include lamb, cured meat and dairy. Various types of meat will always be found in buffets and private homes alike.

Currency
Iceland’s currency is the Krona, or Kronur in plural terms. One U.S. dollar is approximately 115 ISK. Currency is issued by the Central Bank of Iceland.

Climate
There is a popular saying in Iceland, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes.” Weather can vary greatly due to its proximity to the ocean. Northern Iceland summer temperatures don’t get much warmer than its winter temperatures; Southern Iceland can get considerably warmer, sometimes reaching as much as 30 degrees Celsius.

Industry
The main exports are marine products, aluminum, machinery, software and woollen goods. Most of the exports go to the European Union, Japan and the United States.

Iceland has a rich history and culture and provides you with some of the most beautiful sights on earth. Nowhere else will you be able to catch a glimpse of the beautiful northern lights or see the beautiful glaciers and ice burgs that nature has created. Chances are, your trip to Iceland will be second to nothing you’ve ever experienced before.

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