Faroe Islands: cultural identity and harmony with nature

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Dal Kikin
October 4, 2018

Photo: iStock/Josefine Karlsson

The Faroe Islands are a small archipelago located between Iceland, Norway and Scotland. Formally, the Faroes are part of the Danish Kingdom, but since 1948 they have independently taken all government decisions regarding domestic policy.

Photo: iStock/stone973

The first thing that surprises when landing on a runway located in the middle of a rocky landscape is the weather. Wind and rain are the most familiar weather conditions for any Faroese. As locals say: if it did not rain in the morning, it will definitely rain in the evening.

Photo: iStock/Neurobite

Surprisingly, harsh weather conditions make the descendants of formidable Vikings good-natured and hospitable people. Locals are very proud of their identity, culture and way of life. Today, the island’s population is about 50,000 people, which makes the islands look like one big village, the history of which can be studied on the genealogical trees of particular families. 

Photo: iStock/typo-graphics

Ever since ancient times, the issue of freedom and independence remains one of the most important in the life of any Faroese: the Faroes, although nominally considered to be part of Denmark, have the right to autonomy for more than half a century. In the Fámjin village on the southern island of Suvura, the first Faroese flag is kept in the church - as a symbol of independence and freedom. And although the Faroese people feel themselves Europeans, politicians are still pretty cool about the European Union and do not seek to become part of it: this can undermine the system of their quotas and take away the fish - the main line of export of a small state.

Photo: iStock/stone973

The special relations of Faroese to fish appeal to the ancient traditions - the mass slaughter of whales. The brutal event allows local men to once again remind about their identity and Nordic roots.

Photo: iStock/Dimitrios Karamitros

Even participating in such a brutal event, Faroeses do not cease to be cordial and careful people who live in harmony with nature from an early age. Nature and native land are sacred for any Faroese: indeed, looking at the surrounding dazzling meadows of emerald green color and houses with grass roofs, there is a feeling of complete unity with nature and the indescribable comfort of local houses. The grass cover performs several functions at once: it makes the roof heavier and makes it impossible for the gusty wind to carry it away, helps keep the house warm and simply decorates the house in any weather, pleasing the eye of passersby and tourists.

Photo: iStock/miroslav_1

Where to go?

Sørvágsvatn is the largest lake in the Faroe Islands, but it is not famous for its size. It is necessary to reach the top of the cape (it can be seen from the road), from which a unique view opens: it creates the illusion that the lake is hanging over the ocean. Believe me, walk and climb to the cape are worth it!

Photo: iStock/Dimitrios Karamitros

Gasadalur is an incredible place to see the river forming an amazing waterfall drops tons of water directly into the ocean. And on the horizon is the island of Mykines.

Photo: iStock/miroslav_1

Mykines offers incredible views of the coastal strip caressed by the sea wind and ocean. You can get to the island by boat from Sørvágu. Life hacking: go to the bow of the boat and watch the seagulls escort the ship all the way to the island, stumps dive under the water and emerge with catch in their red beaks, deep blue ocean waters form waves, painting the ridges with white foam, and diving under the boat, throwing up her nose is getting higher, and low clouds are still covering the sleepy tops of the islands.

Photo: iStock/FedevPhoto

Saksun, Kirkjubøur, Tjørnuvík, Fuglafjørður, Funningur, Gjogv, Vidareidi - not the names of the players of the Faroe Islands national football team, but villages that are worth a visit in order to plunge into the flavor of the fishing villages. The settlements are similar not only to the red-white-black houses, but also to the fact that in all there is a complete failure with food!

Photo: iStock/balipadma

Gjogv is a small village, located 63 km from Torshavn with a population of 49 people. The main part of tourists likes to take pictures of a picturesque bay and a rocky beach, but not all climb to the top of the cape, which offers a panoramic view of the mountains, the ocean and the village itself. If you are lucky with the weather, you will witness an incredible spectacle of light and shadow - a dance of all shades of green against the backdrop of majestic mountains.

Photo: iStock/FedevPhoto

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