Monday, October 24, 2016

 Written by Sam H.


          Surrounded by the North Atlantic Ocean, Greenland is the largest island in the world. It is more then three times bigger then Texas. It's capital is Nuuk (pronounced Nook) and is one of the smallest capitals in the world, having a population of 16,583 people (2013 count).  The current population of Greenland is 56,928 people which is a very small amount considering Kentucky alone has 4,339,367 people and isn't even half the size! Greenland means Land Of People. The inhabitants originated from Central Asia. Greenland is the land of sealing, whaling, hunting, and fishing.

          In the tenth century, Erick the Red discovered Greenland after being banished from Iceland for three years for murder. He then went back to Iceland to tell about this new land. Erick and 25 other ships sailed to Greenland; only 14 ships made it. In the 11th century Leif Erickson, Erick the Red's son, came to Greenland, and brought Christianity to Greenland. The first church was built soon after; it was called Tjodhilde's Church. You can still see the church today for a reconstruction of it was built. The Vikings lived in Greenland for 500 years then, mysteriously they disappeared for reasons unknown to people. Qaqortoq town has been inhabited for 4,300 years. Dog sleds and kayaks were the way of transportation in Greenland back then. Their kayaks would be made by stretching seal skins over the bottom to make it water proof. This job was for both men and women. In 1946 America offered to buy Greenland, but they refused to sell it.


          The people of Greenland are very peaceful and friendly people, always open to visitors, and they have never been to war. They are also very relaxed and don't make a big fuss over problems, but just find out how to solve them. Adventure is their specialty. They love the outdoors and swimming. Their main religion is Evangelical Lutheran. The official language is Greenlandic and Danish, but English is also widely known. They use Danish money. The traditional clothes of the Greenlanders are not very stylish but are very bright and colorful with lots of design. Their clothing is made out of thick animal furs to keep them warm in the frigid weather. They can  make a gown out of animal skins. Now days their clothing is a lot like ours, except with extra warmth. The traditional main ingredients in Greenland are any meat that they get from hunting. If you were a guest at a Greenlander's home, you would most likely get some traditional food and lots of it. Ingredients from Greenland are usually organic. Coffee is one of their favorite drinks. Hunting and fishing are a big thing in Greenland. When a kid gets his or her first catch, it is celebrated like a birthday. Kayaks were always used for hunting, but now they will use more efficient boats. Kids learn at a young age to kayak. Some of the things you can hunt are reindeer (Caribou), musk ox, seals, wild pigs, birds, and many other animals. For fishing, there are lots of different fish and many kinds of whales. People hunt in the Greenland National Park. The Greenland National Park is the largest park in the world, being about the size of France and Spain together. It is mostly hunters that travel the park, for it is all ice and snow and glaciers. It is also full of animals, which is why hunters hunt there. The world ice golf championships is a really cool event in March. The championships have been going on since 1999. The golfers will go through a course cut into the ice and snow. On the first day the golfers get some time to get familiar with the course. It is a 36 hole course that is played over the time of two days. They have to use red or green balls so that they will not get lost in the white snow. Another sport played in East Greenland is the Football (soccer) Championship. The game starts in the middle of summer and is played over 2 weeks. People all over Greenland come to watch. It is a social event. Football (soccer) is very important to the people in Greenland. The most celebrated festivals in Greenland are Christmas, New Year, and National Day. Christmas: December 25, the people of Greenland have thousands of candles lit and Red stars. You can see them in every home and building. Families will cut out decorations and eat good food. Children will sing in front of houses and receive treats. On Christmas Eve the children will dance around the Christmas tree. All the decoration and trees cannot be taken down until January 6, the 12 night. New Years: New Years is celebrated twice in Greenland, first on December 31st at 8pm, the Danish celebration. Then at midnight for the Greenland celebration. There is food, drinks, fireworks, and singing. The ground will be covered in snow. The Return Of The Sun: In Greenland the winters are long and the sun does not come back into the sky for months. So on January 13th, when the sun finally comes up, families and students on dogsleds go out and celebrate the return of the sun with singing, cake, and coffee. National Day: National Day on June 21st is the most celebrated festival in summer. It was founded in 1983. All the towns in Greenland celebrate it. There are many things going on in the celebration. There is dancing, singing, kayaking, speeches, and a church service. The flag is hoisted up. Museums and other places host special events for National Day. Their only TV channel, KNR, play reports from other towns. The people wear traditional clothes, and sing the national anthem.


          Greenland has a very interesting landscape. It is about 836,330 square miles. The highest point in Greenland is Gunnbjorn Peak, which is 12,139 feet high. Greenland is mostly flat, but has a narrow mountain coast. 80% of Greenland is covered in ice and snow; and a chunk about the size of Sweden is ice free. All the cities are built on the coast where it is ice free. The climate is sub arctic; cool summers of a high of 50 degrees in July, and freezing winters with the normal temperature in February of -20 degrees. In south Greenland, summer is really lush and green; the temperature in summer can rise to 68 degrees. There is hot springs that have a temperature of 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit! So when you are really cold in the winter, just jump into a nearby hot spring. Because of the cold temperature in Greenland, gardens do not grow well, so greenhouses are used to grow food. Greenland has some of the best air, but it is dry so you need to drink more water. Greenland has the fourth lowest temperature in the world of -87 degrees Fahrenheit! That is VERY cold! In the month of May day 25, the sun does not set until July 25, a very long day. Besides stars and planets, the sky in Greenland is filled with the northern lights.


          Land Animals: There are many cool animals in Greenland. Some of them are polar bears, arctic fox, mountain hares, musk ox, reindeer, and arctic wolves. The arctic wolf is a white color and is rare. You can find them in northern Greenland in a small area in ice and snow with little to no vegetation. Other animals are more widely spread over Greenland. The polar bear is the national animal of Greenland, and is very cool. They are not seen in populated areas, and are the biggest predators in Greenland. Their fur is white, and they eat seals, birds, and summer vegetation. They do not hibernate. Reindeer (Caribou) are hunted in Greenland a lot. The musk ox is also hunted. Birds: There are around 235 different species of birds. Some are white-tailed eagles (they are the largest bird of prey), sea eagles, fulmars, eider (which is a sea duck), and the ptarmigan. Sea animals: Whales are very common in Greenland, having 15 species of them. Some of the species of whales in Greenland are the humpback, beluga, narwhal, and bowhead. Blue whales and killer whales also are seen but very rarely. The humpback whale is really big, weighing up to 30 tons, but they are still very graceful. Five species of seals live in Greenland and you can see them anywhere on the shores. There are ringed seal, harp seal, hooded seal, bearded seal, and the common seal. The bearded and common seals are somewhat rare, but none of them are going extinct. The ringed seal is the smallest and weighs up to 220 pounds! Walrus also live there, they can weigh up to a ton and have tusks that grow up to 50 centimeters long. There are also many fish, such as the arctic salmon. 


        Greenland is an icy land, but is a lot greener than you would think. Many flowers, herbs, mosses, and such grow during the short summer. There are not very many trees because they do not have much time to grow. But there are some small trees. One of them is a grey leaf willow, it grows to the height of a man. The grass is lush and growing all over the land are 500 different kinds of flowering plants. Some are: Greenlandic blue bell, poppies, buttercups, and cotton flowers. They also have bog blueberries and blackberries, a special ingredient for pies and desserts. They have a lot of flowers that we have here in America. The national flower in Greenland is the Niviavsiaq flower. It's name means young woman, and is also called The Dwarf Fireweed.


          So, all in all, Greenland is an awesome country that I would like to visit someday. When you think of Greenland, you probably think of cold and terrible, but it is not all that, it is lush and green and beautiful.


  1. I really enjoyed your post Sam:) Greenland sounds miserable and wonderful at the same time! I do not like the cold but the beauty of the place does sound rather enticing.. fresh, clean, calm, lots of animals..salmon:) I am rather amazed that there are so many animals in such an icy, cold place where, without tall trees they must not have a lot of protection from the wind and cold.. and it sounds like they are thriving! The long, dark times sound a bit not to my liking but the northern lights would be amazing to see! I'm sure the beauty of the place would make up for the not-so-great things. I think it would be very interesting to visit there too.. Summer when its green? or winter for the northern lights? Hugs, Marla

  2. Thanks! :) Yeah Greenland is really cool.

  3. I never knew how interesting Greenland was until now. thanks for the post!