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This text deals with …
1) the country’s strange tradition.
2) the country’s geography.
3) the country’s famous people.
4) the country’s history.
5) the country’s traditional food.
6) the country’s animals.
A. Iceland is a country quite unique in many ways. Located in the Arctic Region of Northern Europe, it is covered by ice, more than 20 active volcanos, glaciers and geysers. Even though located in the north, Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream, and so the winter temperatures seldom drop below minus 10 degrees Centigrade, while in the summer they stay around plus 10.
B. Iceland was discovered by the Vikings in the 870s AD. Scandinavian people from Norway, Denmark and Sweden were the first to settle in Iceland. Soon they were followed by the Celts who came over from Scotland and Ireland. For centuries Iceland was part of some other kingdom — Norway or Denmark, and only in 1918 did it become an independent country.
C. When Iceland was first discovered by the Vikings, there was only one land mammal living there — the Arctic fox. Europeans brought sheep, chickens, horses and goats to Iceland. Now there are also mice, rats, rabbits and reindeer. Sometimes, polar bears visit Iceland. They usually arrive from Greenland on icebergs!
D. Icelanders don’t have family names or surnames. Instead of the family name they use their father’s name to which they add “sdottir” — “daughter of” or “sson” — “son of”. So if the father is called Jon, and his daughter’s given name is Eva, her full name would be Eva Jonsdottir. If Jon has a son whose name is Adam, it would be Adam Jonsson.
E. There are at least two people from Iceland who are very well-known around the world. The first one of them is Leif Erikson who was the first European explorer to discover America — long before Christopher Columbus! The other one is Björk, a popular singer and actress of today.
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