Forreign influence on Icelandic society. Niceland is a fun game where one can learn about a few things that have come here from abroad and affected the Icelandic society.
What in picture is especially interesting?
Wellington boots created a revolution in Iceland. Many have mentioned them as the greatest improvement in the the history of the nation in the 20th century. They came to Iceland just after the turn of the century in 1900. One could say that wellingtons are of multinational origin. In 1852 the American, Charles Goodyear, discovered a method of boiling rubber. Another American citizen Hiram Hutchinson thought it would be sensible to use this process to make rubber boots. Hutchinson was of British origin but he set up his business in France. The wellingtons became very popular all over the world and they made a great improvement in the physical and mental wellbeing of people by helping them keep their feet dry all day.
Coffee was first brought to Iceland in the eighteenth century. It is thought that the coffee plant came originally from Ethiopia. It was imported into Arabía in the fifteenth century and there it was probably used for the first time to prepare the drink that is most consumed today. It was not until the middle of the seventeenth century that coffee came to Europe and a further hundred years before it was introduced to Iceland. Coffee is an import which has been well accepted in most societies in the world and people have adjusted well to drinking it. To begin with coffee was considered a luxury here in Iceland, only drunk at weekends. Today it a necessary part of daily life for most Icelanders. Some say they can´t even think in the mornings without a cup of steaming, aromatic coffee.
Yoga is an Indian practice of training the body and mind that has been used for thousands of years. Yoga became very popular in the 1970s in the western world as a type of physical exercise, rather than mental, since the positions of yoga are very demanding for the body. Yoga took its time to reach Iceland but when it did, it became extremely popular and is taught in most fitness centres today. Many types of yoga are popular in Iceland, Hatha yoga, Raja yoga and especially hot yoga, which is practiced in a very warm room so the body becomes as flexible as it possibly can during the practice. It is fairly common now days for example, that Icelanders practice hot yoga during their lunch breaks. From horrible cold weather they enter the steaming yoga practice, stretch and sweat and when they finish they take a shower (hopefully) and go back to work, totally refreshed and detoxed!
Who would believe that Pizzas are not Italian? The story goes that the Greeks were the first to bake a round flat bread which they covered with olive oil and herbs. Pizzas came to Italy in the eighteenth century and were adjusted to suit Italian cuisine by adding tomatoes. That is the origin of the pizza we all know today. Pizzas were first made in Iceland in the latter part of the last century and was named Yeastcake with toppings. Icelanders have adapted well to this import and it is quite common for Icelandic families to enjoy a Friday night pizza party together every week.
Asian Food Culture
In 1985 the first asian restaurant was opened in Iceland. The owner moved here from Malaysia in 1978 after visiting the country and being impressed by the land and people. His restaurant was called Shanghai and was on the main street, Laugarvegur, in Reykjavík. It was very popular. Other asian restaurants were quick to spring up. Some owned by Vietnamese refugees whom the government had invited to Iceland They had suffered a difficult escape from their native country in all manner of badly equipped boats.
In those days Icelanders were not used to spicy food nor was it easy to get any kind of exotic spices or ingredients. ( They didn´t even start appreciating Red pepper in their food until the 1990s.) Icelanders have adapted well to asian cuisine since then. Asian restaurants are to be found all over the country and Icelanders have developed their taste for well spiced and peppered cuisine.