Wednesday, November 01, 2006

October 2006

From the President’s Desk
‘Thicker than Water"

A couple of our members went to the recent international film festival in Chicago to see the Icelandic movie ‘Blóðbönd’ or ‘Thicker than Water as its title translates into English (not a direct translation (blood-bands), but that’s another story). It’s a story of a doctor who discovers that “his” son is in fact not HIS son and how the walls start crumbling down around him and everyone connected to him. The movie got some predictable plots but was surprisingly good. The actors did a superb job and so did the young director, Árni Ólafur Ásgeirsson, who also wrote the script. ‘Blóðbönd’ is Árni’s first feature film, which, as he told the audience in a Q & A session after the show, he’d be traveling with to several film festivals around the world in the upcoming months. The subject matter of ‘Thicker than Water’ got me thinking about some of the cultural differences between the US and Iceland, or Scandinavia for that matter, and in particular, how complicated many relationships/marriages are in the “Old Country” vs. the culture that we live in now. It is common in Iceland that people have one or two children from previous relationships before settling down (getting married) and starting a family with a “long term” spouse. Divorce rate is high and “children” are sexually active at a relatively young age since the age for consensual sex is 16. I wonder if the hole dating thing and courtship common in America is better or if we create mentally stronger and more independent individuals in Scandinavia, I don’t know. What I know is the Icelandic tradition sometimes makes things complicated and now I’m talking from experience. Is it the social network provided in Scandinavia? Is it promiscuity, alcohol, children growing up faster, or something else, that contributes to the family pattern back home? Whatever it is, it’s definitely different from what we’re experiencing here. It’d be interesting to hear your thoughts on this subject. Please send us an email/letter or soon we can start Blogging on various topics on our new webpage.

Back to business! Our Annual General Meeting is coming up on the 12th of November. We need to elect a new board and, hopefully, a new President. I’ve been at the post for eight years and it’s time for me to step down. Not that I don’t like to be the President… Rather, we need someone to step up to the plate and take us to the next level. If you keep me on for 10 years you’d have to buy me a gold watch and that would be pricy!

See y’all soon,
Einar Steinsson
From the Association

From the Editor

This will be the last newsletter I edit and produce. This is the 6th year I do this and is has been fun, interesting and sometimes challenging. I think it is time for other people to take over and bring new force into this. I plan to be an active member in the Icelandic Association of Chicago and maybe I can be of help in other areas. Thank you for your support for the past few years. I will see you at the Annual Board Meeting where I am sure we will find some eager volunteers.


Annual Board Meeting

Annual Board Meeting will be held on November 12 at 4 pm at Piccolo Mondo on 1642 E 56th St. Chicago (773-643-1106). Parking is easy and we will dine a la cart, price about $11-20 per person – half for children. Piccolo Mondo is an Italian restaurant located in one corner of the Windermere, an enormous old Hyde Park hotel gone residential, this spacious, sunny room is two-thirds trattoria, one-third Italian deli. D'Amato's bread, meats, and jars of olives and pasta sauces fill the small grocery up front, where carryout patrons can pick up anything from meatball subs to veal scallopine. Opera music and green and white linens on the table set a different tone in the large dining area. The lengthy menu offers interesting pasta dishes like rigatoni alla Carlo (in a spicy tomato sauce with pancetta and fresh mozzarella) and fettuccine Vicenzo (with tomatoes, mushrooms, basil, and garlic in white wine sauce) as well as expected items like carbonara and eggplant parmigiana, several chicken and veal dishes, and half a dozen daily specials. Desserts include cannoli, tiramisu, and various luscious-looking cakes.
The agenda is as usual:

  • Meeting commencement
  • Last year’s accounts reviewed
  • Board election
  • President election
  • Accountant election
  • Association fees
  • Þorrablót
  • Website and newsletter
  • Miscellaneous
  • Meeting adjourned
Please, RSVP by November 7th, to Einar Steinsson by e-mail or phone (773.489.4621)

Christmas at the Museum of Science and Industry

This year’s theme of Christmas around the World exhibition is ‘Dashing Through The Snow’. We will decorate our belowed Christmas tree at the MSI on Sunday November the 12th 2 PM. Please contact Lena (847-593-4461 if you plan to attend. The tree will be taken down on Sunday January 7th at 2 PM.

New Web-Page

All design for our new web page is now completed and up and running. The final version will be launced soon. The web page will include a guest book. Anyone with ideas/suggestions for material to be on the page should email Marc Johnson our web-master who will edit and post.

Þorrablót 2007

The Þorrablót will be held on February 3rd at Joni and Larry’s club house as we did two years ago. The format will be finalized at the General Annual Meeting but we are leaning towards a BYOB – pot luck event and musicians from Iceland. A special Þorrablót’s flyer will be sent out shortly.

Letters to the Association

The IceKids Project

This website is the home for an online school and community, aimed at helping Icelandic kids living abroad to exercise their Icelandic skills online. This is accomplished by courses and by providing a platform where Icelandic kids and parents can communicate in a safe online environment. Since the project started over 1000 Icelandic kids in more then 40 countries have joined the community. Currently the students are living in 46 countries:


The IceKids project started in 2001 as a development project at the Icelandic Ministry for Education and the Icelandic Ministry for foreign affairs. In the beginning the Icelandic University of Education was in charge of the project. In 2004, privately owned Netmennt took responsibility of project. The owners of Netmennt are all educated teachers and have also been involved in the project for several years. They are currently living or have lived abroad with children, and thus have a first hand experience of the challenge of maintaining Icelandic in a foreign environment.

From the beginning Netskolinn, an Icelandic Learning Management System, has been used as a platform for the project. The system has been developed and features added as the needs arose. The system is available in English as well as Icelandic.

If you would like to receive additional information regarding the IceKids project feel free to send us an e-mail to or contact us by phone: