As I put the Little Passports suitcase back in its spot during post-Christmas clean up, Lily asked if we could do a Country of the Week (we haven’t done one since August). She and Will voted for Iceland because it came with a cool mini volcano.
We kicked off the festivities by playing “Immigrant Song” during a dinner of Icelandic caramel potatoes and baked cod. I got the recipes off the Internet and, to be honest, they weren’t great. I hope we’ll have better luck with something called lummur that’s supposed to be like a thick pancake. I’ve seen Siggi’s Icelandic skyr-style yogurt around somewhere so I’ll be on the lookout for that, too.
We will not be trying hakari, the rotted meat of a dead shark.
After “Immigrant Song” we watched a Björk video for about two seconds. The kids weren’t feeling it, so we moved on to the “Little Talks” video from Of Monsters and Men. Equally strange, I thought, but the kids liked it.
For activities, all we really need to do is go outside and look at the ice and snow. We should probably make a Viking longboat. And read some epic poems.
I don’t think I’ll mention Flengingardagur (Whipping Day). This holiday is part of the Lenten season and involves children “whipping” their parents with paper whips until they’re given a bun or muffin. Good times. From what I’ve read, the custom grew out of the actual practice of self-flagellation. I’m always fascinated by how traditions and customs develop and change over the years—centuries, even.
Were any of you affected when Eyjafjallajökull erupted in 2010? Apparently, people flocked to Iceland to see the volcano after the ash had settled. Have you ever seen an active volcano up close? How close would you be willing to get?