Today, December 1, marks 87 years since Iceland became a sovereign state. [Whoo-hoo!]
At that time, Iceland was the poorest country in Europe. Today it is one of the richest. In the past decade alone, Iceland’s contribution to aid in the developing countries has quintupled.
However, this nation would still remain under the Danish crown for a few years more, before gaining full independence in 1944.
AND TO COMMEMORATE THE DAY…
Today’s Fréttablaðið has a ‘What if?’ article – i.e. what if Iceland had not claimed its independence and were still a Danish colony. I’ll take the liberty of translating a few of these excellent points for Weather Report readers, hoping that the one patron from Fréttablaðið that shows up here daily reads through his/her fingers on this particular occasion.
THE PROS OF INDEPENDENCE:
- We don’t speak Danish. Based on the general dissing of the language among primary school students it is clear that having to speak Danish on a daily basis would be a torment for this country’s young people.*
- Our writers are not permanently drunk. Instead they are politically aware and live in 101 Reykjavík. They write about Icelandic reality but not their miserable lives in Copenhagen.**
- We build ourselves large houses and pay for them with state-funded mortgages. We don’t rent like the majority of Danes.
- We drive around in expensive SUVs and don’t ride bicycles around like our friends the Danes.
- We don’t have to worry about the lives and loves of the Royal Family – we have Ólafur and Dorrit who are always stupendously happy.
THE CONS OF INDEPENDENCE
If we were still a Danish colony:
- Our national dish would be fleskesteg and not some rotten pickled food from the Viking Age that foreign visitors force themselves to eat when they’re here.
- We would have won the Eurovision Song Contest and could sing Fly on the Wings of Love with a happy heart.
- We could buy beer at the grocery store instead of having to work around the closing times of the state-run liquor stores.
- The price of food wouldn’t bankrupt the average family.
- We would have one of the most fun football teams in the world and Eiður Smári could dream about playing in the World Cup – and it might actually come true.
AND OUR INDEPENDENT WEATHER IS
Finally there is a wee spot of sun out there – what a relief after the dismal gloom of the past few days. Went out for a walk at noon with the sole purpose of staring into the thin line of diffused sunlight off in the distance. It was quite beautiful, I might add – golden, like you get at twilight, and played very prettily on the steel blue of the sea. Temps at the moment are 2°C and sunrise was at 10.46, sunset due for 15.48.
* I can confirm that this is absolutely true. AAH loathes having to learn Danish. [Although it may have something to do with the fact that her teacher is, by her own assessment, ‘a perv’.]
** As they used to do before independence.