Today is the Day of Icelandic Language. November 16, the birthday of Jónas Hallgrímsson (1807-1845), a beloved Icelandic poet, has been celebrated annually since 1996 as the day of our language. On this day, awards are presented for achievements in Icelandic, and various cultural events are scheduled in schools and other institutions.
For the tenth time, the Young People’s Icelandic Awards will be presented today by former President Vigdís Finnbogadóttir. The ceremony takes place at Harpa Concert Hall, at 4 pm. This time, 57 Reykjavík grade school students will receive the awards. Among them are avid readers, promising creative writers, and students who have excelled in expressing and interpreting quality literary works.
The awards are intended to promote interest in Icelandic among grade school stundents.Since they were first presented, 600 students have received them.
Another program is scheduled at Harpa Concert Hall at 3 pm. Icelandic President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson will address the audience. He will then formally launch a new website for Árnastofnun, the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, málið.is, containing dictionaries of various kinds, which will be introduced in a video.
This will be followed by a reading by award winners of the Large Reading Contest.
Minister of Education Illugi Gunnarsson will then address the assembly and announce the recipient of the Icelandic Language Recognition. Finally, the Jónas Hallgrímsson Prize will be presented. That award has traditionally been given to individuals who have promoted the Icelandic language through literature, research, teaching, or by other means.