Today is the Day of the Icelandic Language – deliberately timed to coincide with the birthday of the famous poet, author and naturalist Jonas Hallgrimsson (1807-1845).
The day has been celebrated annually for 15 years and is intended to focus attention on the Icelandic language, its intrinsic beauty, and the threats it faces from outside — especially from American slang. The day is especially aimed at young people; and schools all across the country have a special programme of events for the day.
In many schools, children will have learned a poem by Hallgrimsson over the previous weeks to share today. They will also be encouraged to drop the imported slang words to the best of their ability for at least one day.
A key proponent of the day is former President Vigdis Finnbogadottir.