When the trawler Polar Amaroq from Greenland came to harbor in Neskaupstaður, East Iceland, they were invited for dinner at Hildibrand Hotel, Vísir reports. The trawler was in town to land its catch.
“They have always come here, but when they came to harbor at the beginning of the month, they were very reserved and were actually hiding in town, or remained onboard the ship,” stated hotel owner Hákon Guðröðarson.
The reason for their behavior had to do with their reaction to the death of Birna Brjánsdóttir, the 20-year-old Icelandic woman who was murdered on January 14. The man suspected in her death is from Greenland and was a crew member of another trawler, Polar Nanoq.
Halldór Jónasson, one of the captains of Polar Amaroq, said the crew members were in shock when they heard of Birna’s death. He hoped the crime would not have consequences for other people from Greenland. “Of course were all distressed, and this is very trying.”
“By inviting them we wanted to welcome them here and emphasize the warm feeling we have toward them,” Hákon explained. “They were very pleased with the food and thanked us by shaking hands with us before they returned to work.”
Hákon stressed how important it is for Icelanders to receive the people of Greenland well. Inviting them for dinner, he noted, was just a natural part of being a true friend, and he didn’t want to make much of this gesture.
“On a day-to-day basis, we may not realize what a warm feeling the people of Greenland carry toward us, Icelanders, and respect us,” he remarked. “Therefore, we should, of course, show them the same kind of respect in return. They must get the feeling that they remain welcome in our country.”