Tables Turn for Icelandic Immigrants - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Tables Turn for Icelandic Immigrants

Published December 8, 2009

Icelanders who immigrate to other countries often find themselves doing the same kind of work that Polish people who immigrate to Iceland do, according to professor of anthropology Unnur Dís Skaptadóttir.
According to RÚV, Skaptadóttir has followed the discussion about Polish immigrants to Iceland – who arrived by the thousands in recent years – and sees many similarities between their situation a couple years ago, and that of Icelanders today. For example, it was often speculated that it was perhaps a part of Polish culture for men to travel abroad, leaving their families behind, engaging in entry-level blue collar work, for the purpose of either sending money home or bringing the rest of their families over later. Today, Skaptadóttir says, many Icelandic immigrants are doing the exact same thing.
About 4,000 Icelanders have left the country, most of them to Norway or other Nordic countries, in search of a better economy. This figure is higher than previous years, and is expected to raise even more in the months to come – about 1,500 people left Iceland in the past two months alone.

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