In Iceland, where folklore is more than just stories, concern for elves holds up road project

Published December 22, 2013
Associated Press

REYKJAVIK, Iceland – In this land of fire and ice, where the fog-shrouded lava fields offer a spooky landscape in which anything might lurk, stories abound of the “hidden folk” — thousands of elves, making their homes in Iceland’s wilderness.

So perhaps it was only a matter of time before 21st-century elves got political representation.

Elf advocates have joined forces with environmentalists to urge the Icelandic Road and Coastal Commission and local authorities to abandon a highway project building a direct route from to the tip of the Alftanes peninsula, where the president has a home, to the Reykjavik suburb of Gardabaer. They fear disturbing elf habitat and claim the area is particularly important because it contains an elf church.

The project has been halted until the Supreme Court of Iceland rules on a case brought by a group known as Friends of Lava, who cite both the environmental and the cultural impact — including the impact on elves — of the road project. The group has regularly brought hundreds of people out to block the bulldozers. (more…), retrieved 24 Dec 2013

My first news post…hope I did it right! :smiley:

Elves in Iceland. I heard somewhere that many Norwegians believed in the trolls of folklore. A few of my lawyer colleagues (and judges) fit the profile of ogres.

What next??? Stopping a highway across the lava fields for elves??? Oh well, I guess they can believe in elves if they wish to. After all, it’s not politically correct to be a practicing devout Christian nowadays either!

It sounds like that is one of many objections. But can you imagine looking a judge square in the eye and saying, “But the Trolls your honor, the trolls.”


The smurf village will be next.

I remember watching some kind of documentary years and years ago about peoples beliefs in this part of the world, I remember they interviewed hundreds of town elders and other older people who had lived there their entire lives and these people truly believed in little elves, most of them had seen them with their own eyes, and knew exactly where they lived, but have never tried to gain from this in anyway, wrote books, etc. and when asked, they would not show the producers where these beings lived. I admired them for this, as anyone else would be wanting to prove themselves right and want video of them posted on youtube!!

Im not in a position to even guess whether these types of beings exist, but it is strange the number of people that say they do, and accounts of these elves go back hundreds and hundreds of years, so there may be something to it.

But, if they do exist, they are just another creation of Gods, nothing more, nothing less, so with God, anything is possible and if he wanted elves to be real, they are real. Furthermore, I think it is quite foolish to make fun of people who claim these beings exist, or laugh at the general idea, as God CAN create ANYTHING he wishes, for all we know, there could be 1000s of strange types of beings that exist out there, but the general public is not aware of them…this is highly possible imo.

Since it is Christmas Eve, allow me to help you out with this one.

They don’t exist.

Well, IMO, I dont think we know every single thing that exists on the planet! I think to even suggest that is foolish. Only 5% of the oceans have been explored, so Im sure there are plenty of aquatic creatures yet to be discovered, and just like the ocean, there are plenty of places on land that have not been explored, so we cannot know for sure what lives there.

But to think we have it all figured out and discovered everything there is to discover is common in our society today, many people think we are so advanced, there cannot possibly be anything left we do not know about on this planet!! Yet if we look back thru history, people thought this same thing all thru out. lol

I love that they are preserving their native culture!

Great Quote:

“Some feel that the elf thing is a bit annoying,” said Magnason, adding that personally he was not sure they existed. However, he added, “I got married in a church with a god just as invisible as the elves, so what might seem irrational is actually quite common” with Icelanders.

In fairness to them, I’ve seen posts both here and on many other websites that made me believe in the existence of Trolls, so I guess believing in Elves isn’t that much of a stretch…

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Between elves and “gay marriage,” governments have gotten involved with a lot of fictional enterprises lately… :rolleyes:

“Some feel that the elf thing is a bit annoying,” said Magnason, adding that personally he was not sure they existed. However, he added, “I got married in a church with a god just as invisible as the elves, so what might seem irrational is actually quite common” with Icelanders.

must not have been a Catholic Church, our God is not invisible at all. He took flesh and condescended to be with us. We see him now in Iconography and in the poor, but physically in the Eucharist. Shame to think Iceland was catholic, even a hold out before the deformation was forced on them by Denmark.

Are these kebler elves or LOR type elves?

I think he was referring to God the Father. We have not seen Him, we have seen the Second Person of the Trinity, the Son. Although Jesus did say that those who have seen Him, have also seen the Father. However, to be fair, there are no authentic icons or paintings of God the Father — since He is pure Spirit. The closest we can come is Jesus, who took His human form from His Mother, not from the Father.

I think he was referring to God the Father. We have not seen Him, we have seen the Second Person of the Trinity, the Son.

I’m not trying to figure out what he believes, just that what he said isn’t “Catholic”. It’s core to our faith that Jesus is the image of the invisible God and he is here with us through the incarnation.

What this guy is trying to defend is superstition, which is stupid and a waste of time. This is one place where Catholics and atheists stand together in refuting.

Elves… absolutely stupid for anyone in Europe to believe in such things.

My parents are Icelandic (and so am I, though I was born in the States) and I’ve spent quite a bit of time there over the years. Belief in the hidden folk is common and goes back thousands of years. My grandparents are very intelligent people and they have “elf houses” that are more than 100 years old on their property near a mound where the elves and huldufolk are said to congregate. They still keep them up and repaint them every couple of years as their parents and grandparents did. Poking fun at other people’s cultural beliefs (especially ones you don’t understand) is kind of rude, in my book. Every culture has things in it that seem ridiculous from the outside. Giving the huldufolk the benefit of the doubt when it comes to infringing on ancient geographical, ecological, and historical landmarks doesn’t really sound all that crazy to me. I wish more people here were as considerate of Native American mounds and other places.

I don’t think anyone cares what other cultures believe except you could rightly imagine using tax payer funds to maintain a latrine for werewolves, or rerouting a major highway with excess cost due to it being near a kobold lair.

Not to mention, we aren’t talking about odd beliefs per se. We are talking about believing in things that do not exist, period. Physical impossibilities, currently anyway.

If you encountered an adult at your workplace who was serious when he tried to convince you of Santa’s existence, you’d rightly think him odd.

  1. Please do not presume what I would and would not think odd. I have a great many colleagues with a great many different beliefs that you would probably think very strange indeed. And to be frank, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest and I don’t think they’re odd for believing what they believe. They have their reasons for what they believe, and it’s none of my business nor does it affect me in any way.

  2. If the majority of people of Iceland believed in werewolves and wanted their tax dollars to go towards building and maintaining a latrine for werewolves, who are you as a non-Icelander who does not live in said country and does not pay said taxes to dispute what we do and believe in our own country? The fact is that the majority of people in Iceland either believe in the hidden folk or believe in the possibility of the hidden folk’s existence. And the majority of people, even those who are ambivalent or don’t believe in the hidden folk, want the elf sites preserved as much as possible. Even sceptics are able to understand that the hidden folk, whether they objectively exist or not, are a culturally important part of Iceland and our history. They represent our respect for and concern for nature and our ancestors and the culture of hospitality. Elf sites tend to correspond to natural and historical landmarks, so there is also an environmental and cultural resource management component as well that can’t be overlooked. There are more important things than building a road.

Okay, apparently you are sensitive about make believe creatures from Terry Brooks novels (almost done the Dark Legacy of Shannara myself) in your country, so we can end this if you want., but I wasn’t presuming to tell you anything about what you believe.

I do however have every right to have an opinion about what people think, as does everyone ever made. We have no right to tell Icelanders how to run THEIR country (nor do you, since you are American…), but anyone can have an opinion about something. Don’t act like a progressive and start silencing opinions you don’t like.

Look at how many times non-Americans make comments similar to “America has an obsession with guns.” If that is what they think, they are more than welcome to think that. Now they cannot tell Americans how to create their gun laws, but of course they can have their opinions.

In the end, most people don’t care what Iceland does, but don’t sit and try to argue that the laws are based in some sort of zoological reality, since that is childish. Elves don’t exist. I really wish they did, since it would make reading, Brooks, Jordan, and Sanderson much more fun, but they don’t. But does that matter, again, since Iceland can make whatever laws she wants.

Just don’t ever let me see you expressing an opinion on Catholic Answers ever again, lest I find you in violation of your own “rule.”


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