The Icelandic honour system is complicated. If you have a shitty reputation, it will literally be more difficult for you to get a job than for those that have a good reputation.
This can be especially true in smaller towns. But if you have been an idiot, pissing everybody off—or worse—there is still hope.
The phrase “Að fá uppreisn æru” literally means, restoring your honour. We even have this term integrated into our laws, in English that would be a pardon, but we use the legal term ‘uppreist æra’ when pardoning. Honour has always been a big thing in Iceland and many even quote a verse from our old Edda Poems, Hávamál, that says: “Orðstír: deyr aldregi: hveim er sér góðan getur.” Meaning, your reputation will outlive you. In short; don’t be an asshole.
Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.
You can also check out our shop, loaded with books, apparel and other cool merch, that you can buy and have delivered right to your door.
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!