By Kimberly Miller from Edmonton, Alberta
Having grown up in the world’s second largest country by land area (Canada, for those unknowing of this factoid), where the population is much higher and considerably more spread out, and yet denser at the same time, Iceland is a funny little country. Not funny ha-ha, mind you, but funny huh-I-didn’t-realise-that-was-a-thing. I have been staying in Selfoss, a small-ish town outside of Reykjavik by roughly 45min in a car. The population is around 8,000 persons, and I don’t know how many horses. I have to mention the horses because not only do my cousins own seven—and had one competing in this year’s Landsmót—but so do their neighbours. And Icelanders have as much pride in their horses as anything else, so it is a massive sporting event. Unlike some sporting events however, where the human is the object upon which judgement is made, at Landsmót the horse is the athlete, and the jockey merely an accessory—or a way through which to judge how smooth a horse’s stride is. This year at Landsmót, I was able to attend for free in exchange for volunteering. It was during this weekend that I learned that, indeed, Iceland is a very small country, and makes the world feel exponentially smaller. Especially when considering my cousin’s wife went to school with Björk, and I am technically related to The Mountain. I also learned that, while the theory Six Degrees of Separation is all swell, it does not quite apply to this beautiful, fascinating nation. Here, it is much more like Two Degrees of Separation, or perhaps Three Degrees of Separation, if you really push it. I saw a friend also on Snorri over this weekend, and one of the guest’s staying at his cousin (of some distant relation)’s guesthouse is an instructor of some fashion at her school, and that he worked on the same farm as my cousin’s brother (so… my cousin). The world is a small place, my friends, and Snorri helps to shrink it just a little more!