Languages, History and Cooking in The Tin Can Factory
When discovering a new culture in a short period of time, most visitors fail to really penetrate the core of a nation’s identity. While visiting monuments and attractions is rewarding in itself, the true Icelandic experience comes from within and there is no better way to find discover it than through the language, history and the cuisine, according to Gigja Svavarsdottir, the driving force behind the newly opened Tin Can Factory, an old factory house, converted into an energetic centre for language and culture.
Visitors to the Tin Can Factory are welcomed with a range of choices to discover Iceland’s culture, structured upon Gígja’s decades of experience in language teaching. “I’ve seen that my pupils never seemed to fully comprehend the culture until they’d learned about Iceland’s history and connected it to our present. I remember taking people who had been living here for a while on a tour of Reykjavik, explaining the city’s origin and history and, after the tour, one of the group members said, with a sigh of relief, “Finally, now Reykjavik has come into my heart!”, says Gígja.
Using her experience, Gígja decided to offer visitors who are staying for a shorter time the same experience. The Tin Can Centre thus offers an informative crash-course in Iceland’s history, culture and language, giving you just enough to understand the subtle nuances of daily interaction in Iceland. “The language is an inseparable part of our culture and a gateway to a richer experience,” says Gígja.
Another innovative course takes you on an excursion in Reykjavik, where you compare the cityscapes of 1900 and today, through collaboration with Iceland’s Museum of Photography. At the end of both courses, there will be a traditional tea-break buffet where you’ll make authentic Icelandic pancakes and learn what caused them to be so thin.
The cooking course centres on either brunch or dinner, where you’ll prepare traditional Icelandic courses with local ingredients, while learning Iceland’s history through slideshows and conversation.
Walk Straight Into the Community
The Tin Can Factory has a strict environmental policy and only uses vintage furniture and interiors. High ceilings, massive wooden tables, ancient pump-organs and classic drapes make for a unique and welcoming mood. “We wanted to create something different, something that gives our visitors direct access to Iceland’s culture and history, where people can simply walk in the door and feel like they are a part of a community,” says Gígja.