Sunday, December 25, 2005

December 2005

From the President’s desk

What a year – hurray for us – hurray for the Association.

The year is over for us as it ends at the Annual General Meeting in October. Thus, time to review. We had one of the best years in resent history starting with a beautiful Christmas Tree at the Museum of Science and Industry, followed by a great Þorrablót, which was with a little different format than before. Next came the 17th of June celebration, then the first ever Greater Chicago Icelandic Open, then the Scandinavian Day, a big success, followed by Leif Eriksson Day and, finally, a fruitful ending, the AGM at the Ikea store in Schaumburg. In between all of these activities we had several smaller gatherings and board meetings. I also heard through the grapevine that the Desperate Housewives Club – founded at last Þorrablót – is having a lot of fun, and so are, indeed, all of us, keeping in touch and holding up great communications over the web by emails. Talking about the web, we have a new webpage and a new web-master so make sure to check it out. All in all this was a great year thanks to our members who worked hard and unselfishly and who it would take to long to thank individually plus knowing myself I might forget someone. Instead I will list what the future, or next year, holds for us.

Once the Christmas tree is up we will have a Christmas party at Sonja’s on the 29th of December. We take the tree down at the museum on the 15th of January at 3 PM and everyone is invited. The Þorrablót is our highlight as all of you know and this time it will be at the Swedish American Museum on Clark at the 4th of February 2006. We are again flying in a band from Iceland and it will be a BYO event similar to last Þorrablót. Then we plan to celebrate 17th of June in style as next year’s Independence Day finally falls on a Saturday. The 2nd Great Chicago Icelandic Open will be in July/August with the same format but at a different golf course. Then we will participate in the Scandinavian and Leif Eriksson day. I hope you will have a chance to participate in all or most of our events helping us make 2006 an even greater year than this one.

Another headline would be that the economy is growing at a very fast pace, in part, because of the electrical plant that is being built at Kárahnjúkar but also because of the aluminum plant in Reyðarfjörður. This summer many protesters have camped out there to protest what they claim is ruining unspoiled nature.

Lastly, one more topic I have to cover. The board decided to start a Scholarship fund of $300 dollars. We are in the process of setting up a committee that will evaluate applications and, hopefully, we can give out the first check in 2006. Let me know if you are interested in sitting on the committee writing the rules and regulations and helping us make a little difference for several students in the future. Also, donations are welcome. Have a great and a peaceful Christmas.

Einar Steinsson, President

Association Affairs

The Annual General Meeting at Ikea Cafeteria on October 22, 2005

The board for 2006 is as follows:

  • Larry Shaw - Treasurer
  • Lena Hallgrímsdottir - Secretary
  • Steinar Guðmundsson - Editor of Frón
  • Katrín Heiðar - Co-Editor of Frón
  • John Hofteig - VP of Marketing & Membership
  • Joni Shaw - VP of Scandinavian & Leif Eiriksson Day
  • Sonja Johnson - VP of Christmas Party
  • Stella Solis - VP of Þorrablót Committee*
  • Marc Johnson - Webmaster

*On Þorrablót comitte are Svanfríður, Anna and Lena. Unfilled VP opening isVP of 17 Júní. Miguel Solis was elected an Auditor of the association for the year 2005 - 2006.

The association had a profit of $1070.62 which brings the current balance to $4537.60. The approved accounts are pending for Larry Shaw’s audit.

Our Christmas tree at the Museum of Science and Industry

Our traditionally decorated Christmas tree is among fifty other trees now on display at the Museum of Science and Industry. We will take the tree down on January 15 at 3 pm. If you are interested in helping out, please contact Lena.


Next year's Þorrablót will be held at the Swedish American Museum in Andersonville, 5211 N. Clark, Chicago, IL 60640, February 4, 2006 at 6:30 PM. The format will be similar to past years' Blót, we will have musicians from Iceland, Mæðrasynir (Mamas' Boys)*, our famous raffle, sing-along with the Þorra choir, and imported Icelandic þorrafood but members would bring in other food items, which the Þorra committee will coordinate. We tried this at last Þorrablót, with excellent results. Furthermore, attendees would be responsible for bringing their drinks, except for Brennivín! And the Association would offer soft drinks and welcome punch. As always, we need to know as soon as possible if you plan to attend or not, so kindly return the census form in a timely manner. If we do not hear from you we will be calling you :-) The price of the entrance ticket purchased in advance will be $35 for members, $40 for guests, $25 for students, $15 for ages 13-16, and $10 for ages 7-9. Admission for children 6 years and younger is free of charge. Please note that we will add a $5 fee on each ticket purchased at the door. The deadline for purchasing advance tickets is January 15, 2006. Please make checks payable to the Icelandic Association and mail to Dr. John Hofteig 1942 Lehigh Centre, Unit C, Glenview, IL 60025, tel., 847-493-9065. Remember to visit our web page for any new information about the Blót.

We are looking forward to seeing ya all at the Þorrablót. Holding out this event needs your participation.


*We are especially excited over our musicians this year, Mæðrasynir, but they are well known in Iceland for their talent and lively performance. Their names are Símon Hjaltalín from Stykkishólmur and Stefán Örn Gunnlaugsson from Hafnarfjörður and they both play the guitar and piano and, of course, sing. Stefán is currently the official piano player in Hemmi Gunn’s popular TV show in Iceland, Guess the Song, where musicians of all ages come together and try their luck reckognizing tunes from couple of notes played by Stefán

Membership in the Icelandic Association of Chicago:

Annual membership fees are due January 10, 2006. Please, send to Dr. John Hofteig, 1942 Lehigh Centre - Unit C Glenview, IL 60025, a check made payable to Icelandic Association of Chicago.

The fees are the same as for previous year: $15 for an individual and $25 for a family. We are actively soliciting new and renewed memberships in our group. If you want to join, re-join, or know people in the Chicago area of Icelandic descent or who want to know more about Iceland, please contact John H. Hofteig, VP, Membership, [Phone: 847 + 493 – 9065] our President, Einar Steinsson, or any of the other Board Members listed on our website:

Web Page is now the association’s official web page. Our new web-master is Marc Johnson who replaces Orri Hallgrimsson.

Jólabarnaball 2005 (Yulefest 2005)

Sonja Johnson will have the Jólabarnaball at her house on the 29th of December. Please R.S.V.P by the 27th if you would like to attend with your young ones. It will be from 1-4 and those would like to come need to contribute a dessert or appetizer for the table. Please e-mail or call Sonja.

News You Can Use

Extra, extra, read all about it

Iceland wins Miss World again and again

This is something you definitely can use: Iceland’s beauty queen Unnur Birna Vilhjálmsdóttir won the Miss World contest that was held in China on December 10th. This does probably not mean anything to you if you did not reside in Iceland in the 1980´s but that is when Iceland really made history in this contest. Naturally we are all very proud of our Unnur. Just as Meastro Megas ones said in a bad translation of an english quote: “Ef þú smælar framan í heiminn þá smælar heimurinn framan í þig” or “smile and the world smiles with you”. (It looses the sarcasm when you translate it back to English).

Letters to the Association

The Snorri Program –The Adventure of a Lifetime –

the Snorri Program the Snorri Program

Would you like to... and learn something new?
...experience something completely different? new people and make friends?
...stay with Icelandic relatives?
...learn about Icelandic culture and language? around Iceland’s most exotic spots?

If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, prepare yourself for the biggest adventure of your life – The Snorri Program!

Anyone of Icelandic descent between the ages of 18 and 25+ living in North America can apply for this exciting adventure. The Snorri Program is a unique opportunity for young people to discover the country, culture, nature and language of their ancestors, and to create or strengthen bonds with relatives living in Iceland. The program is six weeks long, running from mid-June to the end of July.

The Snorri program is a cooperative assignment between the Nordic Association and INL Iceland. It has been running since 1999 and all 75 participants highly recommend the program. The Government of Iceland, Icelandair and various municipalities and companies sponsor the program.

For more information, an application form and information on grants, please write to us at or visit our website at 15 applicants will be selected to participate in the 2006-program. Deadline: January 16, 2006If you are over 30 years old please visit our website at and read about The Snorri Plus Program.

Farsælda Frón- The Icelandic Association of Chicago’s Newsletter. Editor: G. Steinar Guðmundsson, E-mail: &Associate editor: Katrin Heidar. (Lena and Einar were the editors of this issue as Steinar and Katrín are in Iceland). Website: Correspondence: The Icelandic Association of Chicago, Einar Steinsson, President, 1218 N Rockwell St. Chicago, IL 60647-3004. Tel. 773 – 489 - 4621.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

September 2005

From the President’s desk

Iceland Today

Lena and I often get the question: “What is happening in Iceland these days?” One reason people ask us is that both of us were born and raised in Iceland so we still have very strong ties to the old country. Another reason is that our friends know we read the Icelandic newspapers almost daily and listen or watch the Icelandic news over the computer.

The headlines, in short, are: Owners/executives of one of the biggest company in Iceland have been indicted on 40 counts of misconduct. The firm is Baugur, which controls many markets in Iceland and has many firms in other countries as well, e.g., Britain, Denmark, and more. The growth of this firm has been very fast and the owners/mangers are a constant presence in the news, between jet-setting around the world. It will probably take many months until we know if they are guilty or not, but the accused claim it is all a political persecution.

Another headline would be that the economy is growing at a very fast pace, in part, because of the electrical plant that is being built at Kárahnjúkar but also because of the aluminum plant in Reyðarfjörður. This summer many protesters have camped out there to protest what they claim is ruining unspoiled nature.

Lastly, Icelanders are getting ready for local elections and the party that has controlled Reykjavík for almost three terms is splitting up into four smaller political parties. This, many claim, will result in them losing the city to Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn, which is the biggest political party in Iceland and once controlled Reykjavík for many years.

There you have it, but what is happening with us in Chicago? Well, you can read all about it in these pages of Frón, and I hope to see you soon at our gatherings.

Have a great rest of the summer!

Einar Steinsson, President

Association Affairs

Scandinavian Day

Date: Sunday, September 11, 2005. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m..
Location: Vasa Park (Scandinavian Park), Route 31, South Elgin, Illinois.
(Scandinavian Park, Inc: Phone: 847 – 695 – 6720 &

We'll be there and, hopefully, you too! If you want to volunteer with preparations or help out in our booth, please contact Lena 773-489-4621,

We'll be selling rúgbrauð and rice pudding, and soda and Icelandic water, and giving out brochures and literature about Iceland. The Scandinavian Day is an ideal venue to get in touch with your ethnic roots and spend a day in good company with friends and family. Beside our fantastic booth, there is lot of other vendors selling their specialty products and various entertainments for kids and grown-ups alike. A very special moment of the day is when representatives from all the participating countries present their flag accompanied by each nation's national anthem. We could make that moment even more special if you practice the lyric to the first verse of Ó Guðs vors Lands and join the Ice-Quire on stage! The ultimate special touch would be if you could dress up in the national custom!

Anyhow, in shorts or skotthúfa, we look forward seeing you in Vasa Park

(Our Joni Shaw is a Board Member of the not-for-profit Scandinavian Park, Inc.)

Annual General Membership Meeting

Date: Saturday, October 22rd, 2005, beginning at 9:30 a.m.
The Icelandic Association of Chicago’s Annual General Membership Meeting will be held in Schaumburg in the Schaumburg IKEA Cafeteria, 1800 McConnor Parkway, Schaumburg, IL 60173 (North of Woodfield Mall and visible from the intersection of the Northwest Tollway / I-90 & Route 53 / I-290.) The agenda will be as follows:

Meeting Agenda:

  • Last year’s accounts review,
  • Board election,
  • President Election,
  • Accountant election,
  • Association fees,
  • Þorrablót,
  • Website and Newsletter,
  • Miscellaneous,
  • New Business,
  • Meeting adjourned

Reservations are not required in the Cafeteria, but please do let Einar or Lena know, preferably before the 15th of October, whether you will be able to attend: Via email ( or phone (773 – 489 - 4621).

New Webmaster

Our great web-master and friend, Orri Hallgrímsson, has landed a dream job with Icelandair in Akureyri, Iceland. He is looking to get out of his duties as a web-master for us so the position is up for grabs! You get to participate in our fun filled board meetings and volunteer your work for the good cause of keeping our association visible and accessible. If you are interested, please contact Einar and Lena at 773.489.4621 or via email:

The Greater Chicago Icelandic Open

The first Greater Chicago Icelandic Open was held at Marquette Park, Chicago, the 6th of August with an awards ceremony immediately following at the Mexican restaurant, Mi Tierra, on Kedzie Ave. Tom Fox and AsgeirÓlafsson walked away with the first prize, a traveling trophy donated by Einar and Lena. Miguel Solis and Frank Burk took second place and Lena Hallgrímsdóttir and Einar Steinsson third place. All of them received a medallion to keep. Tom also won a driver for the longest drive and Ken Hynes, husband of Dísa from Dalvík, won the closest to the pin shot and a brand new putter. And there is more: Joni and Larry Shaw won one hour of a private lesson from Chris Otis, a golf pro at the Diversey Driving Range, 773 - 330 - 5623. It was a beautiful day, everyone had a great time, and we’re looking forward to playing again next year. Our sponsor for this event was ProTacTic Golf Factory, 4701 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago 773 – 728 - 0123. If you like to check them out, please talk to Dan and say Einar sent you! We have pictures from the event at the webpage:

Christmas Around the World & Holidays of Light

Yes, it's time to mark your calendar for decorating our Christmas tree at the Museum of Science and Industry. We're putting the tree up Sunday, the 13th of November at 2 PM and taking it down the 15th of January at 3 PM. Meeting at the museum at the beginning of the holiday season has become an enjoyable tradition for many of us, young and younger, and we'd love for you to take part in the action. In addition, it's a great opportunity to explore this great museum, for free! Please call or email Lena to sign up (Phone: 773 – 489 – 4621 & Email:

To help you get into the Icelandic Christmas Spirit, you might want to do a Google search under: Jolasveinar and then visit several links to articles with beautiful full-color illustrations about the Jólasveinar, the traditional young Christmas lads who appear and then disappear over the course of several days before and after Christmas:

We look forward seeing you in holiday spirits

Leif Eiriksson Day

Date: Saturday, October 8, 2005. 10 AM to 4 PM
Location: The Des Plaines Public Library, 1501 Ellinwood Avenue, Des Plaines, IL (Phone: 847 – 827 – 5551 &

For the past several years, the Nordic community has gathered in various Chicago and suburban venues to celebrate the true discoverer of America, the Icelandic Leifur Eiriksson. This year you'll have an opportunity to take part in and enjoy a day of educational and informative lectures given by various scholars on subjects such as: The Viking Spirit in Modern Scandinavia, Norwegian Sweaters, and Leif Discovers America. Our John H. Hofteig will be among the speakers, and, without doubt, shed a light on the earliest Viking settlements in the New World, drawing on recent research by the Icelandic Sagas scholar, Dr. Jónas Krístjansson, whom our Joni Shaw met in Iceland, earlier this year. Other ethnic activities will include story telling, dancing, singing, and learning how to "krila", which is a form of a finger knitting, taught by our board member, Joni Shaw.

The Leif Eiriksson Committee would very much welcome our display of Icelandic art work, photos, crafts, jewelry, books, maps, etc. Please contact Joni Shaw [Phone: 630 – 466 – 5555 & Email: to let her know what you could add to our display. Complimentary coffee will be available and food items will be available for purchase throughout the day. Donations of food are solicited, but please only bring store-bought, professionally-prepared items. Homemade food will not be permitted. Again, please contact Joni for further info.

News You Can Use

Sigur Rós in Chicago

The world famous Icelandic band, Sigur Rós,will perform at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., September 21st at 7:30 PM. Price: $30-$35, Ticket master: 312-559-1212, Box office: 312-462-6300.

Icelandic Frozen Haddock and Cod

You can buy at L. Isaacson & Stein Fish Co.,800 W. Fulton, Chicago. Tel: (312) 421 - 2444 and at Rubino’s Seefood Inc., 735 W. Lake, Chicago Tel: (312) 258 – 0020.

Informative Icelandic Media Resources

There are several informative English-language Web Sites, with information about Iceland, including:

This site takes you directly to the very informative, “Daily News From Iceland,” feature.

This is the web site for the Icelandic National League of Iceland, for which our 2005 Þorrablót guest, Almar Grímsson, was such an articulate ambassador.

This is the web site for the Snorri Exchange Programs, which the INL of Iceland and the INL of North America coordinate. Almar invited our group to nominate participants for future Snorri exchange programs.

This is the web site for the Icelandic National League of North America, which works closely with the INL of Iceland and related groups throughout Canada and the United States.

I & I: Issues and Images ICELAND

I & I is an excellent monthly, English-language publication, profiling the diversity of contemporary life in Iceland, everything from the arts to nature to high finance. It is produced by Iceland Review and Heimur Publishing Ltd for the Trade Council of Iceland. It is liberally illustrated with wonderful photography and art work. Complimentary copies are available from major Icelandic Trade Consulates and Embassies. Board member, John H. Hofteig, can provide more information.

Notice Board

Lena Hallgrimsdottir is looking for a job! It’s time to move on – I’ve worked for Online Interpreters-Language Line Services for the past 5 years Head Recruiter, managing a team of assistant recruiters and working with management on developing recruiting strategies. Furthermore, I’m an HR Representative, and a Language Tester. These years of hands-on experience in a fast paced, deadline-oriented, multicultural environment, added to my Master’s degree in Communications from DePaul University, have given me a solid foundation on which I’m ready to build. My goal is to find a challenging job with a stimulating relationship benefiting both the employer and me. I’m open to any interesting opportunities that come my way and I know that my strengths in interpersonal communication, innovative thinking, and getting-things-done-attitude, along with excellent organizational and analytical skills and the help of the Icelandic Association’s network, will get me to a good place. Thanks for any referrals or job leads! einarandlena@ameritech, home phone: 773 – 489 - 4621

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

January 2005


Annual Icelandic Winter Celebration

The Þorrablót will be held on February 12th at the Cheshire Clubhouse, 15 Winthrop New Road in Prestbury. This year´s Blót will be different, placed in a smaller venue which hopefully will make it more intimate and more fun. All members will bring a designated food item and we’ll have our Icelandic dance music played from CDs.

The Blót will begin promptly at 6 pm with gravlax and cocktail. Dinner follows at seven, sing-a-long, open podium, home made desserts and our famous raffle where you could win two airline tickets to Iceland! Other prizes include tickets and parking stickers for a Wolf’s game, Icelandic and other CD’s, smoked lamb, T-shirts, tickets to next year’s Þorrablót and many more surprises. And then, just like Cinderella, we get to dance until midnight…

Price of ticket purchased in advance for members is $25 – non-members $30. Ticket price at the entrance for everyone is $35. Please note that although you plan on purchasing your ticket at the door you must reserve your ticket and commit to bringing a food item. Included in the ticket price is a cocktail, Þorrafood, soft drinks, coffee, Brennivín and any other food provided by members of the Association. Please bring your own beverages other than mentioned above.

Advance purchase/reservation of ticket must be made before February 8th. Please make checks payable to the Icelandic Association and mail to John Hofteig, Dr. John Hofteig, 1942 Lehigh Centre - Unit C Glenview, IL 60025. Please contact Lena Hallgrímsdóttir 773-489-4621 ( to sign up for a food item to bring. For further information visit our web page

On the menu you will find: smoked lamb, ham, herring, gravlax, sweet peas, mashed rutabagas, mashed potatoes, potato salad, boiled potatoes, red cabbage, béchamel sauce, fresh salad, flat-bread, rye-bread, toast points, butter, dried fish, shark, ram's testicle, sheep head pate, pancakes, rice pudding and more.

Directions: From I-88 west take the Sugar Grove exit (Rte 56 to Rtes 30-47). Once you take that exit you'll turn right on Golfview (Bliss Creek Golf Course). Don't miss this turn - it's soon after you go under the Hankes Road bridge. Golfview dead ends at Hankes. Right on Hankes Road and left on Winthrop New Road. It's just a block away with the clubhouse on the left and tennis courts on the right.