A Grapevine service announcement Take note: Holiday Opening Hours

Name Committee Decision Challenged

Published July 6, 2012

A university student has been trying to convince the Name Committee to reserve a decision they made about the name her parents wanted to give her.
As many readers are aware, Iceland has a Name Committee; a government body which approves – or rejects – new names that parents want to add to the lexicon. The basis for their decision is usually attributed to historical precedent for the name, and how well or poorly it applies to Icelandic grammar. Vísir reports that a young university student named Þuríður Blær took it upon herself to try and convince the Name Committee to reverse their decision on the name her parents wanted to give her, Blær.
At the time, the committee rejected the name as they could find no precedent for it, and because “blær” (which means “tint”) is a noun with a masculine gender. However, she has been called Blær unofficially throughout her life, but was not able to use the name officially.
Blær did her research, and found that there was another woman named Blær, born in 1973. In the letter she wrote to the Name Committee over the matter, she also pointed out that “blær” being a masculine noun prevents it from being a woman’s name did not stand up to reason – the words “auður” (wealth) and “ilmur” (scent) are both masculine, and are both female names.
The request to reverse the decision is not alone, either. Morgunblaðið reports that a woman is filing a lawsuit against the Ministry of the Interior for the right to name her daughter Blær. Her request to the Name Committee was originally rejected, and her daughter has had the name Stúlka (“girl”) ever since. She is now fourteen years old.



News
Red Cross, UNHCR —And Prison Director— Agree: Stop Arresting Irregular Migrants

Red Cross, UNHCR —And Prison Director— Agree: Stop Arresting Irregular Migrants

by

“I don’t understand how a society can afford to break people this way,” said the UNHCR’s Pia Prytz Phiri at the Red Cross’ press meeting last Tuesday, referring to the conditions asylum seekers in Iceland have endured in recent years. Lawyer Katrín Oddsdóttir has described the situation of at least one imprisoned asylum seeker as slavery. Phiri says the UNHCR will continue to press Iceland to cease arresting and imprisoning those who, seeking asylum, enter the country on false IDs. This was reported by DV. On Sunday, RÚV reported that Páll Winkel, Director of the Icelandic Prison Service, called the

News
Gáttaþefur Breaks Nose, Will Have To Wait Month For Treatment

Gáttaþefur Breaks Nose, Will Have To Wait Month For Treatment

by

The eleventh Yule Lad, Gáttaþefur (Door Sniffer) was admitted to hospital yesterday after slipping on a stretch of icy pavement in downtown Reykjavík. “I had just caught the scent of some Laufabrauð when I slipped and fell flat on my face,” Gáttaþefur told the Grapevine over the phone. “I was really lucky that a passerby stopped and drove me to the hospital but since I got here nothing has happened. Apparently my case is non-critical.” Gáttaþefur, who leaves his home in the mountains each December 22, is known for his trademark large nose and his unparalelled sense of smell which

News
John Grant Presents Icelandic Music In BBC Special

John Grant Presents Icelandic Music In BBC Special

by

American musician, John Grant, who recently relocated to Reykjavík hosted a winter solstice music special on BBC 6 called “Songs from a Dark Place”, reports RÚV. The show documented the rise of Iceland’s music scene and included tracks by Björk, The Sugarcubes, Sigur Rós, Ben Frost and contributions from Ólöf Arnalds, Ásgeir and Mammút and Fufanu, who were recently handpicked by Damon Albarn to support him at the Royal Albert Hall. Listen to the programme yourself on the BBC iPlayer Radio.

News
National University Hospital Dealing With Leaky Roof

National University Hospital Dealing With Leaky Roof

by

The Reykjavík Fire Department were called to Landspítalinn (the National University Hospital of Iceland) yesterday to deal with several roof leaks, reports RÚV. As the temperature rose and the ice on the roof began to melt, water started to pour through holes in the ceilings of the main building and the psych ward. Although water poured into a few offices and pooled in the hallways, little damage has been reported. The Icelandic healthcare system has been straining under the weight of the national doctor strike and austerity measures. To read a comprehensive overview of the state of the Icelandic healthcare system

News
Jon Hamm Claims To Have A List Of Reasons To Like Iceland

Jon Hamm Claims To Have A List Of Reasons To Like Iceland

by

As reported by RÚV, Mad Men’s Jon Hamm appeared on Craig Ferguson’s Late Late Show, last Monday. While admitting that he had never been to Iceland, after Ferguson briefed him on former Mayor of Reykjavík, Jón Gnarr and his Best Party, Hamm replied: “This is why the list of why I like Iceland keeps growing and growing.” Hamm’s gestures at that point seemed to indicate he had a somewhat extensive list in mind.

News
Artificial Christmas Trees More Popular Than Actual Pine

Artificial Christmas Trees More Popular Than Actual Pine

by

If you spend your holidays at an Icelandic household, you will most likely see the living room decorated, or perhaps occupied, by green plastic in the shape of a pine tree. The artificial Christmas tree seems to be taking over. It is likely that you will be served smoked pork —hamborgarhryggur— on Christmas Eve, and you will almost unavoidably be offered smoked lamb or mutton —hangikjöt— on Christmas day. This is according to a recent poll, conducted by MMR. Most likely to deviate in any of the above are supporters of the Pirate Party, and the poll’s highest wage group.

Show Me More!