Icelandic Culture #16 – National Celebration When Old Manuscripts are Delivered from Denmark


Good day. The manuscript festival is about to start in Reykjavík Harbour And we are attempting to make a live broadcast from there Magnús Bjarnfreðsson reporter introduces the program and we are giving him the word now It’s first time for everything 🙂 even life broadcast away from the warm studio envirnoment Due to electricity malfunction we will have a short pause now The Danish delegation committee is aboard HDMS Vædderen Waiting for the reception ceremony to start The government of Iceland and other guests are waiting here on the dockyard The brass band plays the national anthems of Denmark and Iceland The delegation committee of the Danish parliament walks ashore now The Danish navy ship Vædderen is ready with the first manuscripts Flateyjarbók and King’s Book of Edda poems Under music from The Reykjavik Brass band Honor guard of Scouts and Police Officers And then it’s the big moment when Flateyjarbók and King’s Book of Edda are home after over 3 centuries Flateyjarbók is in 2 volumes The biggest book of all the old manuscripts Jóhann Hafstein Prime minister addresses the gathering now Honored friends and uncles What is it that you bring to us It is 2 books Has the public ever our trough history gathered excited by the coast to receive 2 books? From this question comes another one What 2 books are this King’s Book of Edda Poems and Flateyjarbók Those are 2 Icelandic scripts Written on skin, long time ago In turf houses with smelly lamps However, these were considered royal gifts in the early days And surely the still are as they are now returned after long preservation Furthermore, those books are more than they look like The are symbolic delivery from the Danes to Icelanders of Icelandic manuscripts preserved in Denmark We Icelanders do not do not look at the scripts as unique work of those hands who wrote them But the spirit that created them So you have brought us ancient Icelandic cultural heritage We thank you Danes wholeheartedly and invite you in return our sincere friendship Be always welcome to Iceland. The four wights will welcome you They are taking off now The guests are going to the hotel But the manuscripts will be moved to the University Auditorium for formal delivery ceremony

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  1. My mother always said "Icelanders love their books more than their children". I think she was trying to tell me something…

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