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How are the Icelanders?

How are the Icelanders is a translation of the original article Cómo son los islandeses? on the blog

Read the full article in Spanish

Read Morgunblaðið article about the cultural aim of this blog

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How are the Icelanders? contrasts in people and nature
How are the Icelanders? contrasts in nature and people as well

How are the Icelanders?

My name is Jordi Pujolá, I am a Spanish- Catalan writer who lives in Iceland since 2013, my wife is Icelandic and my kids were 4 and 6 when we moved, so I am very familiar with the Icelandic traditions and integrated into society quite well

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How are the Icelanders? neutral point of view
How are the Icelanders? Jordi Pujolá Spanish writer in Iceland

People want to know how the Icelanders are

I´ve been asked many times how the Icelanders are. I wrote about their traditions, the best, the worst, the weather, the nature…, but never about their character or personality. Right now I am going to tell you the 10 characteristics that describe the Icelanders  better for me in general from a neutral position

First of all, I see many contrasts, they can be ice but also lava

Report of the Summer 2018 in Iceland (English link)

How are the Icelanders?

  • Impatient: They are used to be few and don´t like waiting. The problem is worse when they are driving because many don´t respect the give ways, so you always have to keep your food over the brake of your car in Reykjavik. They can´t stand the lines in shops and get very frustrated. They only wait if the police close the roads for bad weather

    Cómo son los islandeses vista Faxaflói desde Höfði
    Faxaflói from Höfði
  • Unpunctual: Icelanders are known in the Nordic Countries as the southerners of Scandinavia, you have to tell them that the party starts one hour before to have them in time

Þetta reddast!

  • Competitive but apathetic: Even though they are few people,  they are very competitive and patriots (the best example is the success of the National Football team). Although the whole country cheers up the karaoke team as well. On the other hand, at the time of solving problems that don´t concern them directly, they behave quite careless and always say this sentence: Þetta reddast (it will fixed by itself)
  • Business persons: Some people say they are greedy. The main cause of the recession of 2007 was because Icelanders went into debt over the assets of the country to run bigger business. And we are on the verge of a new crisis because the tourism has grown up with no control and  no money  invested in new infrastructures or better service

    Cómo son los islandeses conocen los límites del tiempo y la naturaleza
    The beauty of Seljalandsfoss waterfall

Range Rovers 15.000.000 ISK worth on the streets

  • High standard of living: the Icelanders are proud of their status in the world and they like showing off all the expensive houses, cars and clothes they can buy. However, the prices in Iceland are so high (due to no competition, monopolies, isolation, habit…) that they are also very expensive for them. So getting into debt is something common, people buy luxury things with no money and went to bankruptcy when the crisis comes. Besides, the Icelandic Króna is very sensitive and the mortgages are updated according to the inflation


  • Workaholic: they are addicted to coffee but also to work. Moonlighting is very popular, may be for 2 reasons: little population needs to cover all the jobs and to keep their high standard of living. Check my interview to the guys of HAM (English link)
  • Trusting: In the 80´s there were no tourists in Iceland, they only allowed some Polish and Thai colonies to work on the fish. Iceland is still a rural country (you see it clearly when you go out from the city) and Reykjavik is a village. Icelanders are used to leaving their laptops on the bar´s table, going to the toilet, come back and find them. On the other hand, they are not idiots and there are not second chances, if you cheat on them, they put you on the black list and everyone notices that

Drinking to fight shyness

  • Shy: They are not cold (but quit cold-natured, they are used to chip heating and their houses are very warm despite the bad weather), Icelanders are honest and nice people, they need a good hug as anyone in this world, but in the beginning they are extremely shy (I think they prefer to find a tiger rather than a neighbour in the elevator). On the other hand, when they drink, became too much affectionate. My personal reflection is: Iceland is the forbidden country (beer, cheeses, TV, foreign currencies… were forbidden) and the land was over other Northern kingdoms til 1944. The Norwegian king took over Iceland after the Commonwealth (930-1262) because chieftains were in constantly fight. In conclusion: Do the Icelanders need an extra control in order of not behaving as the wildest vikings?

    Cómo son los islandeses tomar cerveza en las terrazas de Reykjavik
    The summer is short, everyone has the obligation of going out if the sun shines

The plumber takes the shoes off

  • Follow the rules. I really feel well on this civilised world: No one smokes in the disco or the airports, the streets are clean, cars don´t honk if your vehicle stalls in front of a green traffic light, the plumber takes the shoes off before coming in your house…

Give a book as a present´s Christmas

How are the Icelanders is an article by the Spanish writer Jordi Pujolá

Novels by Jordi Pujolá (FNAC, Bóksala Stúdenta, Penninn, Casa del Libro, Amazon…)

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Por jordipujola

Escribo novelas, creo contenidos relacionados con Islandia y llevo a cabo un proyecto de unión de culturas española e islandesa