The culture of the Faroe Islands has its roots in the Nordic culture. The Faroe Islands were long isolated from the main cultural phases and movements that swept across parts of Europe. This means that they have maintained a great part of their traditional culture. The language spoken is Faroese. It is one of three insular Scandinavian languages descended from the Old Norse language spoken in Scandinavia in the Viking Age, the others being Icelandic and the extinct Norn, which is thought to have been mutually intelligible with Faroese. Until the 15th century, Faroese had a similar orthography to Icelandic and Norwegian, but after the Reformation in 1538, the ruling Danes outlawed its use in schools, churches and official documents. This maintained a rich spoken tradition, but for 300 years the language was not written down. This means that all poems and stories were handed down orally. These works were split into the following divisions: sagnir (historical), ævintyr (stories) and kvæði (ballads), often set to music and the mediaeval chain dance. These were eventually written down in the 19th century mostly by Danish scolars.
Famous quotes containing the words culture and/or islands:
“It is of the essence of imaginative culture that it transcends the limits both of the naturally possible and of the morally acceptable.”
—Northrop Frye (b. 1912)
“Consider the islands bearing the names of all the saints, bristling with forts like chestnut-burs, or Echinidæ, yet the police will not let a couple of Irishmen have a private sparring- match on one of them, as it is a government monopoly; all the great seaports are in a boxing attitude, and you must sail prudently between two tiers of stony knuckles before you come to feel the warmth of their breasts.”
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