Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag

Culture

Watch the trailer for a new documentary about the Icelandic hot tub culture

By Staff

  • A cultural institution In Iceland the hot tub at the local pool serves a similar role as the local pub or café in many other countries. Photo/María Kjartansdóttir

The communal geothermal swimming pools and perhaps especially their hot tubs are an integral part of Icelandic culture. The hot tubs of the local swimming pool are unquestionably the heart of the community, similar to the local pub or café being the heart of the community in many other countries.

Read more: Video: Beware of the Icelandic vigilante shower wardens

This social and cultural role of swimming pools and hot tubs has caught the attention of numerous foreign visitors who are fascinated by the Icelandic tradition of discussing current affairs, be they politics, sports or more mundane or personal affairs, in the hot tub. Recently an article in the New York Times explored the hot tubs and swimming pools, finding they were really the key to Icelandic well-being.

Read more: NYT finds geothermal public pools key to social harmony and well-being in Iceland

The latest contribution to the study of the hot tubs is a documentary by an Icelandic filmmaker Harpa Fönn Sigurjónsdóttir, which follows a group of people which meets every morning at 6:30 in the Vesturbæjarlaug in Reykjavík.

Read more: Take a peek into Iceland's unique swimming pool culture in new trailer

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