I attented a mass Zeitgeist analysis II

Last Sunday (1. feb. 2015) I went to the church to attend a mass with my granddaughter who will have her confirmation in the spring. Part of her preparation before the confirmation is to attend 10 masses. I’m her godmother and we are supposed to go with the teenagers at least in one of those masses.The mass we attended was not traditional it was especially for a group of people called “Friends in recovery” (“Vinir í bata”) but everyone were welcome. I decided before I arrived to make a non-formal investigation for this blog on the clothes people were wearing in the church. There were about fifty-sixty people in the church, mostly women at all ages and only a few men and teenagers. The weather was warm, about 1°C, raining and the snow was disappearing. I wrote down what types of clothes I saw, except for the priests´ ceremonial dress. Here are the main examples of clothes people were wearing:

  1. Sports wear /a cardigan, label. A wool sweater, handknitted and delicate. A red long wool cardigan, machine knitted. A long black cardigan, machine knitted. A black long shirt or jacket. Two colored lady’s jacket. A white cotton shirt.  A yellow ladys´west. A blue lady’s shirt.
  2. A short black dress with shiny silver pattern on the shoulders, back and front, little bit like a fish scale. Black lace blouse with an orange shirt underneath. Black dress. A suit (young boy).
  3. Jeans (ladies). Canvas pants (young boy). Black pants. Lleggings.
  4. Short black skirt. Check and pleated skirt with a gray pattern. “Semi long” skirt.
  5. A light coloured coat. A red windbracer. A turquoise windbracer.
  6. Fur collars (very popular). Shawls.
  7. High shoes. Boots (lether not rubber). Sneakers. Black shoes.
  8. Long necklaces and rings (not very prominent/áberandi).
  9. Labels: 66°N. Nike. ZOON.
  10. Black clothes were very popular.

When I compare clothes to “my Zeigeist” there are several connections that appear. The theme of the group “Friends in recovery” is directly connected to healthy lifestyles. Previously we had connected healthy lifestyles to Economics. In a church people can seek spiritual wellbeing  at no extra cost. Hand knitted sweaters made from Icelandic wool are are connected to the Financial collapse in Iceland 2008. Then it became more popular to do things yourself. http://www.planiceland.com/Lopapeysa/  Machine knitted clothes made from Icelandic wool can/are also influenced by the Financial collapse and also influenced by Icelandic designers that work a lot with this material. ttp://www.geysir.com/collections/womens The Financial collapse influenced knitted clothes both for designers and the public. Labels: 66°North is an Icelandic label although the clothes are made abroad. 66°N makes various outdoor clothing https://www.66north.com/  Zoon is also an Icelandic label that makes sport clothes http://www.zo-on.is/ Nike is an international label selling clothes all over the world. http://www.nike.com/language_tunnel The jeans I saw in the church were classic, that is they were not with holes (made on purpose) that are quite popular today. The jeans did not have many details on them. In my Zeitgeist group we compared Suits vs. Jeans and as an example we looked at the formor Mayor of Reykjavik, Jon Gnarr. He came to the “ráðhúsið” wearing jeans. Elin Hirst a member of the Icelandic parliament also were jeans at the parliament but was asked to go and change to more formal clothing. http://eyjan.pressan.is/frettir/2013/07/04/elin-hirst-kvartar-undan-misretti-a-thingi-svartar-og-raudar-gallabuxur-i-lagi-en-ekki-blaar/ I don’t think wearing jeans it’s directly connected to a special age group or a special occasion. As an example I once saw a man in his seventies wearing jeans at a funeral. Here it was a woman wearing jeans in the church http://bleikt.pressan.is/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/3cbd5ecfba-607×456-o.jpg People were jeans at all occasions. Blogg myndir Fur kragar: Several women were wearing a fur kragi in the church. I do not know if they were real or fake. In My Zeitgeist fabrics are connected to the Character of Era, there down was mentioned. This time of the year is the season for wearing fur, even though it was not particularly cold on this day. It is and has been fashionable for several years now to wear fur. download


5 thoughts on “I attented a mass Zeitgeist analysis II

  1. Wonderful! Great analysis and “field observation.” The zeitgeist connections are also very interesting. A group like this makes for good observing, since there is a cross-section of society appearing (all are welcome…) Do you think this is a good representation of “the world” in Iceland? Nice work.

  2. Fascinating! Do you see overlap with what people are wearing daily? For anyone that attends mass here in New England – do you see an noticeable similarities or differences?

  3. Now when I think about a good representation of “the world” in Iceland 2014 three societies that I am a member in come to my mind. They have open meetings and all are welcome to join, even people who are not members.
    The societies are Breiðfirðngafélagið, Heimilisiðnaðarfélag Íslands and Íslenska Bútasaumsfélagið.
    Breiðfirðingafélagið is regional society, founded in 1937 by people who used to live in the western part of Iceland but moved to Reykjavík. The members are about 400 and the average age is very high or about 70 years. The society owns its own local and they have a lot of events there. Everyone can come and join the events, it is not necessary to be a member. In December there are is a special advent day and Christmas dances for kids. In May we have “The day of the elderly”. Card playing is common on Sundays during the winter time, both for “félagsvist” and bridge. Since 2010 there has also been a knitting evenings every other Monday. For the knitting evenings there is no admission fee, but people can buy coffee and cakes during the events and get a lottery ticket as well. Sometimes companies or individuals have a presentation of handcraft or similar things. People knit, talk, have coffee and then the lottery prices are. Usually there are 4 prices, sometimes more. Everyone is welcome, always. http://www.bf.is/
    Heimilisiðnaðarfélag Íslands was founded in 1913 and the members are around 700 I think, young and older people, mostly women. Since 2007 there have been knitting evenings once a month were people, mostly women come and do their their knitting or needlework. These knitting evenings are held at a café/restaurants, there is no admission fee but people can buy food and drink. Sometimes there are shows or presentations connected to handcrafts of various kinds. Everyone is welcome, it is not necessary to be a member of the society. http://heimilisidnadur.is/
    Bútasaumsfélagið /The Icelandic quilt society was founded in 2000 and when advertising their sewing day events they always mention that members are welcome to bring guests. Everyone is welcome. http://butasaumur.is/

    Yes I think and it looks like that all are welkome is a good representation of “the world” in Iceland 2014. I also know about closed clubs which are only open for their members but I am not a member of any such clubs.
    Oh. Did I misunderstand you Karl, was you meening the chlothes, not “all are wekome”? 

    • No, exactly. I meant since “all are welcome,” do you think this is actually a good representation of a society? “All” being who, exactly? It’s sort of a Geertz/Merton-kind of thing, I guess. What layers are you looking at? Who are these “all”? It’s a very interesting (and aggravating) problem that is presented whenever we think we may have captured a “cross-section” of society. I think you may have it. I’m very glad to see this. It gives me a lot to think about!

  4. Reply to amandsersons11 blogg.
    It seams to me that the people in the church on that Sunday were wearing their daily clothes. The people that that had speeches during the mass were wearing more formal clothes than the others. You see, this was not a typical mass, it was more like a meeting for the group ”Vinir í bata”,” Friends getting better”.
    I am not sure about what people in New-England are wearing in masses because I am living in Iceland and have never attended a mass in New England. It would be a great idea to compare the clothing of the people in Iceland and New England when they go to church.
    Usually I think the Icelanders dress up for a special occasions when they go to church for example on Christmas days.

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