PDA

View Full Version : Is Iceland Considered Part of Europe?


Gangster Octopus
03-31-2004, 04:49 PM
I was sitting around witha couple of friends, one form ENgland, one form Northern Irela d and one from Belgium. I asked whether they thought of Iceland as part of Europe and the two from the UK said No and even seemed surprised that I had to ask. The one from Belgium was quite emphatic, that yes, it was. So is it or isn't it?

I know Iceland is in considered part of UEFA the European Football association, but so is Israel, which clearly is not Europe. Iceland is not part of the European Union but several European countries are not, so.....

Horatio Hellpop
03-31-2004, 05:06 PM
Culturally, yes. It's culturally Scandanavian, and has been for over a millennium. It's an outpost of Europe, but Europe nonetheless.

What I wanna know is, are Georgia and Armenia considered part of Europe?

pulykamell
03-31-2004, 05:09 PM
I've never really heard it refered to as part of Europe. AFAIK, it's considered southwestern Asia/Asia minor.

clairobscur
03-31-2004, 05:51 PM
What I wanna know is, are Georgia and Armenia considered part of Europe?



I'm wondering the same, and once asked about it (on another board) but could got only unconclusive answers. I suspect there's no clear-cut definition of what europe is exactly. I hope there will be some enlightened responses, though.

mancunian
03-31-2004, 06:09 PM
I've never really heard it refered to as part of Europe. AFAIK, it's considered southwestern Asia/Asia minor.

What are you talking about? It's Northwest Europe. If not, it's certainly never anywhere near a thousand miles of any part of Asia, whether minor or otherwise, it's near the Arctic circle ffs. Jeez.

http://www.sitesatlas.com/Maps/Maps/Europe.htm

clairobscur
03-31-2004, 06:11 PM
What are you talking about? It's Northwest Europe. If not, it's certainly never anywhere near a thousand miles of any part of Asia, whether minor or otherwise, it's near the Arctic circle ffs. Jeez.

http://www.sitesatlas.com/Maps/Maps/Europe.htm


He was responding, I believe, to the previous post/hijack regarding Armenia.

mancunian
03-31-2004, 06:14 PM
He was responding, I believe, to the previous post/hijack regarding Armenia.

Maybe a quote would've made that clear.

Apologies.

Strutur
03-31-2004, 06:35 PM
Iceland is in most aspects European and most Icelanders feel Icelanders first, Scandinavian second and European third. A bit of trivia: Iceland is torn by as much as 7cm every year between the American raft and the NW European. Buy a hektar now, on the faultline and watch it grow.

We are also more American in many aspects than most European countries. American produce is more visible here than in the rest of Europe. The US has a base here and american culture permeates the whole island. Our "sister" nations are Norway, færoyar and Denmark, then Sweden and finland.

InTransit
03-31-2004, 06:40 PM
Completely off-topic, but I adore Iceland! I've had the opportunity to visit twice and are always surprised at the people and land.

JRDelirious
03-31-2004, 06:47 PM
Socioculturally, and politically, European. Scandinavian. And way :cool:

Geologically, though, it's not part of the continent of Europe, it's a large mid-oceanic "hotspot" island, arising out of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge's volcanic activity.




As to the Caucasus, Armenia is historically considered a SWAsian nation.

AngelicGemma
04-01-2004, 06:54 AM
I have always thought of it as part of Europe.

Frame Dragging
04-01-2004, 07:18 AM
I'm American and lived in Germany for a year as a student. Not on a US base. I've visited Iceland twice. I find Iceland more European than North American. Why? It's the toilets and urinals. The bedding in the beds. The foods served at meals. The high gasoline prices. The lack of English words used in everyday language - you Icelanders should be proud of that. I find too much everyday English creeping into German usage. International symbol traffic signs used on the highways. Strong coffee. Small cars. And my favorite souvenir - the Icelandic phonebook. Probably the only phonebook in the world where you look someone up by their first name. You read that right; you look someone up in the book by their first name. Guess that's kinda American because I worked with some Germans for weeks before I learned their first name.

I returned to Germany in 2002 via Iceland. Iceland provided the passport control for Germany, stamping my passport with the European ring of stars with IS in the middle. Upon arrival at Frankfurt, there was no passport control just customs. The return home was the same. Passport was stamped again in Iceland not Germany providing proof I'd departed the something agreement nations.

On the American side, Iceland does have a shopping mall or two - very American.

Icelandair has some great deals from North America especially from October to March. Check them out on the web, buy a package, and see for yourself.

Aeschines
04-01-2004, 07:22 AM
Island is a Nordic country, NOT Scandinavian. There are four Nordic countries: Iceland, Findland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. On the last three are Scandinavian.

Mops
04-01-2004, 07:23 AM
Let's put it this way: if Iceland were to be considered part of America, the 9th century discovery of Iceland would have to be considered the European discovery of America, and I for one have never seen this stated anywhere.

Snooooopy
04-01-2004, 08:05 AM
Island is a Nordic country, NOT Scandinavian. There are four Nordic countries: Iceland, Findland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

Check your math?

Aeschines
04-01-2004, 08:08 AM
Check your math?Whoopsadaisy--five?

Colibri
04-01-2004, 10:03 AM
Culturally, yes. It's culturally Scandanavian, and has been for over a millennium. It's an outpost of Europe, but Europe nonetheless.

What I wanna know is, are Georgia and Armenia considered part of Europe?

Traditionally, the Caucasus Mountains are considered the boundary between Europe and Asia in that region. Georgia, Armenia, and most of Azerbaijan are south of the Caucasus ("Transcaucasian") and thus technically Asian. (A small part of Azerbaijan is in Europe.)

Otherwise the traditional boundary between Europe and Asia is through the Black Sea (and its outlet to the Mediterranean), the Caspian Sea, and along the line of the Ural River and Ural Mountains.

UselessGit
04-02-2004, 09:05 AM
Geologically, though, it's not part of the continent of Europe, it's a large mid-oceanic "hotspot" island, arising out of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge's volcanic activity.



Actually, though, the ridge splits Iceland roughly in half between the North-American and Eurasian continents. So I guess everyone wins. We are European through and through, mixed norse and celtic blood.

Let's put it this way: if Iceland were to be considered part of America, the 9th century discovery of Iceland would have to be considered the European discovery of America, and I for one have never seen this stated anywhere.

No, it took us just over 100 years to discover America, around 985 A.D. The first child of European descendant born in America was Snorri Thorfinnson in 1003, the son of explorers Thorfinnur Karlsefni and Gudrun Thorbjornsdottir. The discovery of Iceland is not considered the European discovery of America but the two do go hand in hand.

Lemur866
04-02-2004, 10:16 AM
In yet another nitpick, Finland isn't a nordic country. Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Icelandic are all very similar languages, and are more distantly related to German and English. But Finnish is a non-Indo-European language completely unrelated to the other Scandinavian languages. It is related to Estonian and very distantly to Hungarian and some other minority languages spoken in Russia.

z1221z
04-02-2004, 10:54 AM
Traditionally, the Caucasus Mountains are considered the boundary between Europe and Asia in that region.

There two schools of thought regarding the boundary between Europe and Asia in the region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. By one definition the boudary is the Caucasus main mountain range, by the other it is the Manych basin, which is significantly north of the Caucasus mountains.
I donīt know what the traditional definition is, but I was taught in school itīs the Manych basin, and it still seems to be the "official" definition in Austrian geograhpy schoolbooks.

Also depending on which convention you use, the highest mountain in Europe is either Mont Blanc or Mt. Elbrus. The "boundary" between Europe and Asia is somewhat arbitrary anyway, but I personally think using a mountain range makes more sense geographically.

Headcoat
04-02-2004, 11:04 AM
What are the primary industries and exports of Iceland? Is it racially homogenous? And are the women as hot as they say?

Captain Lance Murdoch
04-02-2004, 01:26 PM
Iceland is not a part of any continent. It was (and still is) created by volcanic eruptions and stands alone - just like Hawaii.

Culture is irrelevant to this discussion.

Armenia and Georgia are both in Eurasia. Dividing the continent because of cultural differences is pointless. The ground doesn't care who trods upon it.

Horatio Hellpop
04-02-2004, 01:53 PM
Dividing the continent because of cultural differences is pointless. The ground doesn't care who trods upon it.

"Continent" is a cultural construct, not a physical one. Japan is considered Asia, even though you can't walk to the mainland from it, and the British Isles are European because of millennia of interaction with other Europeans.

Frankly, Iceland has stronger cultural ties to Norway and Denmark than Zanzibar has to Tanganyika (despite the latter two being technically the same country). That makes it European.

yabob
04-02-2004, 02:17 PM
What are the primary industries and exports of Iceland? Is it racially homogenous? And are the women as hot as they say?
1 - fish.
2 - very.
3 - subjective. You have a thing for Bjork, is that it?

Actually, they are a first world nation, and are making very concerted efforts to diversify their economy. Nevertheless, 70% of their export earnings are still from the fishing industry, which employs 12% of the population, according to the CIA World Factbook (aluminum and ferrosilicon are also exported).

They grow bananas, believe it or not (lots of available geothermal = hothouse operations, and bananas turn out to be a good hothouse crop).

Cartographers have traditionally considered it part of Europe, just like they consider Greenland part of North America for the purpose of publishing atlases. Their considerations are probably just as valid or invalid as anybody elses.

z1221z
04-02-2004, 03:00 PM
"Continent" is a cultural construct, not a physical one.

Iīd say it is somewhere in between. Obviously, in Europe vs. Asia there is a strong cultural influence. But there is also a sensible definition of "continent" in the geographical sense, meaning a large mass of land with itīs own tectonic plate.
Of course itīs not clear - cut, India should really be a continent of itīs own in that definition etc. and traditional definitions of "continents" are surely rooted in cultural constructs.
But to say itīs only cultural is not true - Antarctica is widely accepted as a continent, and itīs not because the cultural uniformity of itīs inhabitants.

GorillaMan
04-02-2004, 03:28 PM
Iceland is not a part of any continent. It was (and still is) created by volcanic eruptions and stands alone - just like Hawaii.

Culture is irrelevant to this discussion.

Armenia and Georgia are both in Eurasia. Dividing the continent because of cultural differences is pointless. The ground doesn't care who trods upon it.

Fine. Define continents as 'geographic continents', then obviously politics becomes irrelevant. But you cannot simply state that Iceland is not part of any continent, for the reasons stated above. As it's generally considered part of Europe due to political reasons, putting your fingers in your ears and humming doesn't add to the discussion. And politically-speaking, Hawaii is part of N America.

Captain Lance Murdoch
04-02-2004, 03:30 PM
India was a continent in the past, but no longer is since it's now part of Eurasia. Africa will be two continents in the future as it is splitting apart.

To my mind a continent is a major, individual land mass and the satellite islands that are connected to that land mass' plate(s). If anyone wants to go by a different definition, so be it.

Using culture, however, strikes me as foolish. By that measure, North America became part of Europe at some point in the last few centuries. After all, most North Americans trace their roots back to Europe. We speak European languages. So do almost all South Americans.

When geologists look at continents of the earth's past they don't divide them in silly ways because the Dimetrodons of one area behaved a little differently than the Dimetrodons of another area.

Horatio Hellpop
04-02-2004, 09:27 PM
The continents were named--and defined--before tectonic plate theory was formulated, so I do define them differently from you. Respectfully.

UselessGit
04-03-2004, 11:17 AM
What are the primary industries and exports of Iceland? Is it racially homogenous? And are the women as hot as they say?

Fish is the main export and industry of Iceland, tourism is also coming in strong these past few years. Lately we are not as homogenous as we had been, we import a lot of foreign labour to work in the fish-processing plants (as we are now too good to work with fish), mostly oriental and Polish people. The town I grew up in is now around 20% foreigners - mostly Polish and Portuguese - but many are about to become Icelanders.

I can only compare the women here with those in Scotland, England and Denmark. Our women are definately hotter than the ones in the U.K and a tad hotter than the Danish women, but their best trait is their legendary promiscuity. Fancy a dirty weekend in Reykjavik? :D

Torpor Beast
04-03-2004, 12:23 PM
Hello everybody.

I've been lurking for a while but now that I've registered, catching this little error is as good way to start posting as any...


In yet another nitpick, Finland isn't a nordic country. Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Icelandic are all very similar languages, and are more distantly related to German and English. But Finnish is a non-Indo-European language completely unrelated to the other Scandinavian languages. It is related to Estonian and very distantly to Hungarian and some other minority languages spoken in Russia.

Sorry Lemur, Finland is indeed politically a Nordic country, as you can see at the Nordic Council website (http://www.norden.org/web/1-1-fakta/uk/index.asp?m=botmenu1&lang=6).

I can see how the language difference can confuse you, but the definition of a Nordic country is more of a political and cultural than linguistic one. Besides, swedish is the second official language of Finland.

cabdude
04-03-2004, 01:04 PM
I can only compare the women here with those in Scotland, England and Denmark. Our women are definately hotter than the ones in the U.K and a tad hotter than the Danish women, but their best trait is their legendary promiscuity. Fancy a dirty weekend in Reykjavik? :D

Fancy sharing any of these legends?

Sternvogel
04-03-2004, 06:50 PM
Using culture, however, strikes me as foolish. By that measure, North America became part of Europe at some point in the last few centuries. After all, most North Americans trace their roots back to Europe. We speak European languages. So do almost all South Americans.

Just to complicate matters further, North America and South America are considered to be a single continent in many quarters. For example, the Olympic Charter (http://www.learntoquestion.com/seevak/groups/2002/sites/decoubertin/olympicflag.html) explains that the five-ringed symbol of the Olympic Games "represents the union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games." Since Antarctica was (and essentially still is) uninhabited, the relevant landmasses are Africa, America, Asia, Australia, and Europe.

Of course, just as North America is connected to South America by the Isthmus of Panama, the Isthmus of Suez links Africa to Asia/Eurasia, resulting in what could logically be termed a modern supercontinent. So the concept of "continent" is indeed at least as cultural as it is geological.

hibernicus
04-03-2004, 07:04 PM
I was sitting around witha couple of friends, one form ENgland, one form Northern Irela d and one from Belgium. I asked whether they thought of Iceland as part of Europe and the two from the UK said No and even seemed surprised that I had to ask. The one from Belgium was quite emphatic, that yes, it was. So is it or isn't it?

The question of whether Iceland is a part of Europe being well-covered by others, I think another interesting question is why your Irish and English friends were convinced that it isn't.

Part of the reason might be that the word Europe is commonly used in Britain to mean the European Union. The first time I heard this usage it was in the context of a British TV competition: "in what year did the UK become part of Europe?". Needless to say I was pretty confused, but what they meant was, when did the UK join the European Union (1973, in case you're wondering).

Another reason might be a casual use of "Europe" to mean the mainland of Europe, excluding Britain and Ireland (famous possibly apocryphal headline, "Fog on the Channel - Europe cut off").

All this is not to exclude the possibility that your friends are just ignorant. ;)

Gangster Octopus
04-05-2004, 11:55 AM
The question of whether Iceland is a part of Europe being well-covered by others, I think another interesting question is why your Irish and English friends were convinced that it isn't.

Part of the reason might be that the word Europe is commonly used in Britain to mean the European Union. The first time I heard this usage it was in the context of a British TV competition: "in what year did the UK become part of Europe?". Needless to say I was pretty confused, but what they meant was, when did the UK join the European Union (1973, in case you're wondering).

Another reason might be a casual use of "Europe" to mean the mainland of Europe, excluding Britain and Ireland (famous possibly apocryphal headline, "Fog on the Channel - Europe cut off").

All this is not to exclude the possibility that your friends are just ignorant. ;)

Well, I asked someone I work with who is from France the same question and they also did not think of Iceland as part of Europe.

I get the feeling that it has more to do with the fact that they just don't think of Iceland...at all. :)