Since my last post was last year, I should apparently write something and what could be a better topic than one of my most Icelandic experiences: Þorrablót. This word was used in the for sacrificial feasts of the old religion, which of course included blood and now all the linguistic specialists can make the connection from “-blót” to blood oder “Blut”). And even though there are no longer sacrifices on this occasion, it is still pretty brutal, especially for foreigners. Because these days, the holiday is about eating the food that you get to hear about in lists like “The top 10 most disgusting dishes”… The Icelanders are having a huge lot of fun making you eat all the highlights of the Icelandic cuisine, featuring rotten shark (hákarl), sour testicles of sheep (súrsaðir hrútspungar) , sour whale (hvalur) and the heads of sheep (svið), to mention the most popular and disgusting ones. Still, the real problem is not to eat these things (or to at least try a tiny bite) but to be watched by Icelanders who, in the majority, have never even tasted what they make you eat. 😉 But no, I don’t want to complain at all, cause we had a lot of delicious food (smoked lamb, dried fish, laufabrauð, jafningur, potatoes) and I had Steinni with me, who actually likes to eat the eye of a sheep or the rotten shark, so I was totally okay with him telling me to try. Plus, my adventurous self made me eat these “delicacies”, no one needed to force me (I know, I don’t recognize myself either). After all, I finished the dinner with a weird feeling in my stomach and I’m still wondering if alcohol would have been helpful or not to “endure” this procedure 😀 Anyways, Þorrablót isn’t only about the food (thank god for that) but also about having fun. This having fun already began during the dinner, thanks to 6 wonderful people, who were responsible for the preparation of the evening and most of all, for the amusement of the audience. I experienced all the effort they put into it at the example of Alli, who was part of the committee and didn’t really get any sleep the week before Þorrablót. The same could be found at school, because of half of the committee being teachers there, the only topic during the coffee breaks was “the big evening”, the copy machine went hot with flyers that were printed and with every day Saturday night got closer and the faces of the people involved got more tired. But to come back to the actual event, all this effort was worth it, because, even though I didn’t understand a lot of the jokes I had a really good time and it was obvious, that everybody was really happy about the evening.
The other part of the night (from 11 pm to 3 am) was dedicated to dancing and something happened there, that would have never happened in Germany, EVERYONE danced! Not just a few people who are really professional dancers (even though it seemed as if most of the Icelanders are pretty professional) being watched by all the others but just everyone having fun with each other. I realized quite some things while dancing:
- My Icelandic is so much better on these occasions than in everyday life.
- I need to go to some dancing lessons again, I forgot nearly everything from when I was 14 and I enjoy it so much.
- I really am part of the community here (as far, as this is possible for someone, who is not born here and who doesn’t even come from the same country), I knew most of the people and could have a nice small talk with them and the people I didn’t know, I could at least put into the families of people I know.
- And I will miss this attitude of just having fun and getting drunk together, no matter how old you are, or if the person you are dancing with right now is your teacher or your boss or your grandfather.
Thanks to all the people of Reykjadalur, who made this evening as unforgetable as it was! And now I’m looking forward to my second Þorrablót at the primary school tomorrow 😉