Recently, Icelanders have been discussing immigration quite often. The amount of people of non-Icelandic heritage living in Iceland has increased rapidly in recent years, and now almost 10% of the population comprises immigrants. I asked two non-Icelanders, Jashi and Momo, what it was like to live in Iceland.
The first, Jashi, is originally from the Philippines and moved to Iceland with her husband, who is Icelandic, three years ago. She currently works at the student cafeteria at the University of Iceland. I asked her what she thinks of Icelanders and Iceland. She said that she finds Icelanders to be friendly and hospitable. She said that the country is “cold” – which she prefers to the heat of the Philippines. She is also learning Icelandic, and although she thinks the language is difficult, she likes to use it because Icelanders make you feel welcome when you do – “you don’t feel like a foreigner”.
After talking to Jashi, I went with my friend in the program, Courtney Cook, to Ramen Momo to talk to another non-Icelander. Momo is a Japanese student at the University of Iceland and works part time at Ramen Momo. She came to Iceland to study the language and history, and she quite enjoys living in Iceland. Like Jashi, she too finds that Icelanders are very friendly.
Momo also mentioned that Iceland’s gorgeous nature is a definite plus to living in this country – and I have to agree!