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How to Piss Off an Icelander

by Lara Michelsen Dec 1, 2016

Tell us you’ve never heard of Iceland.

Us Icelanders suffer from a small nation complex. When you say you’ve never heard of our beautiful, magnificent and geothermally rich island, it’s insulting. We feel hurt, insulted at the fact that you dare not know about our gorgeous country and then also angry. We end up being pissed off at your ignorance, and we will respond by being sarcastic and passive-aggressive.

Assume we all know each other.

Again, we suffer from a small nation complex. Asking us if we all know each other or the mountain from the Game of Thrones or some other famous Icelander is just rubbing our noses in it. Seriously, if an Icelander knows a famous Icelander, from the same town or even went to school with them or something like that, then I can guarantee you we will mention it. If anything we will probably brag about it and tell you a detailed story about how we know them.

Make a joke about the 2008 crisis or volcanic eruption in 2010.

A quick surefire way to piss off an Icelander is to say jokingly “You stole our money” or “I want my money back” or “We wanted cash, not ash.” Why? Well, because just about EVERY ICELANDER is fed up with talking about the crisis, explaining the crisis or even thinking about the crisis. We just want to move on and prefer not talk about that, like ever. Also, it’s not our fault Eyjafjallajökull decided to erupt and cancel everybody’s flight. We didn’t want that volcano to erupt. We were also on vacation or were going to go. Our flights got cancelled too. Not to mention, many farms ended getting so much ash it did not only ruin their crops, they ended up not having enough hay to feed the animals for the winter. With that said, please just GET OVER IT!

Tell us our food is gross.

Ok, to be fair we know that some of our traditional dishes don’t look pretty or even smell appetising. We can understand that a foreigner would immediately be turned off by our delicacies such as whale, fermented shark’s meat, and sheep’s head. What we refuse to be understanding about, however, is when someone insults our food. Especially when it’s someone who hasn’t even tasted any typical Icelandic food. Someone who only ate food from trendy restaurants in downtown Reykjavík and thinks they know all about real Icelandic food. What that someone doesn’t realize is that Icelandic food is awesome and that there is much more to it than fermented shark meat and sheep’s head. Try going to a restaurant in the countryside or even Sægreifinn (one of the few restaurants in downtown Reykjavík that serve traditional Icelandic food) and taste real Icelandic food. You will find out that it is, in fact, delicious.

Be shocked that not all of us are tall, blonde and blue-eyed.

Contrary to popular belief, we Icelanders are not all tall, blonde and have blue eyes. Although there are many Icelanders who fit this stereotype, they are most certainly not the majority. Plenty of us have black, brown, red hair and everything in between. Same goes with eye color; there are people with black and brown eyes too. You get the picture. We are more diverse in appearance than most think.

Treat the environment like crap.

Iceland´s nature is very delicate and with more and more tourists coming to Iceland, Icelanders can’t help but despise people who treat our beautifully unique landscape like one big trash can. One of the best ways to piss off an Icelander without even speaking to them is to treat our beautiful country like crap. Taking a dump in Þingvellir National Park, driving off-road and camping illegally will make you a hated individual among many Icelanders.

Insult Eurovision.

Although we sometimes do talk crap about Eurovision, it is either because:
a) We didn’t make it to the semi-finals. The only reasonable explanation for this is that Eurovision is shit, and Iceland is amazing. Always.
b) The country we were rooting for didn’t win. Obviously, Eurovision sucks if the rest of Europe doesn’t agree with us on who should have won.

It may not make sense why we would care so much about Eurovision since we have never won. However, we have magnificently landed in second place twice. The only reason why we didn’t win was a frustrating amount of people were obviously tone deaf.

Therefore, do not insult Eurovision to an Icelander. We love the corny, overly cheesy and over the top music. It’s one of the highlights of the year. We love our annual Eurovision party, where we play a drinking game while watching. Remember; we can insult it, but we will be pissed off if you do.

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