For me, one of the most interesting parts of the Snorri West program was meeting people of Icelandic descent and hearing their stories. It is amazing to meet these people. Some of them have been to Iceland 1-2 times in their lifes and they speak Icelandic fluently. Most of them learned from grandparents or parents. I also met people who wish that they had learned Icelandic. The reasons why they didn't learn to speak Icelandic are many, but I heard from more than one that parents had used Icelandic as a "secret" language so they could speak in front of their children and the children would not understand. Some people spoke Icelandic when they were younger but then they started school and just spoke English at school. It is wonderful to see how proud people are of their Icelandic heritage and many keep the Icelandic traditions, for example they celebrate Þorrablót and make food like kleinur and vínarterta. In the summer there are Icelandic celebrations in the USA and Canada and they take place on the same weekend. Deuce of August is a Icelandic heritage celebration in Mountain, North Dakota. It was the 117th time that the Deuce took place. We went to the Deuce on Saturday and participated in the parade with the newspaper Lögberg-Heimskringla and then we went to the Heritage Program, where there were speakers from Iceland and USA and a choir from Kópavogur, Iceland. Hecla parade was on Hecla Island on Sunday. In the parade, there was everything from Zumba dancing Viking to Icelandic X-files. The Icelandic Festival of Manitoba "Íslendingadagurinn" is a celebration in Gimli, Canada. It was the 127th time Íslendingadagurinn was held. We walked in the parade with Lögberg-Heimskringla, volunteered in the Snorri booth, saw the traditional program on the main stage and listened Fjallkonan, some speakers from Iceland and Canada and then went to the reception of the president of Islendingadagurinn. All of these Icelandic celebrations were amazing and fun to experience. It is great to see that people continue to celebrate their Icelandic heritage in this way.
A note from the editor: The Fjallkona of 2016 is Karen Botting, a former Snorri Plus participant.