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
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 & firstname.lastname@example.org)
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, email@example.com
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:
- Last year’s accounts review,
- Board election,
- President Election,
- Accountant election,
- Association fees,
- Website and Newsletter,
- 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (773 – 489 - 4621).
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: email@example.com
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: http://www.simnet.is/chicago/
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: firstname.lastname@example.org).
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 & www.dppl.org)
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: AmmaJoni@cs.com 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.
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