The Faroese are a storytelling people, with ancestries tracing back to Nordic and Irish lines and a history etched in bloody Icelandic sagas. For centuries, fishing has been a pillar of the Faroese livelihood and economy, a profession that keeps fathers, sons, and brothers at sea for nearly a lifetime. “My uncle used to quip that anyone who fished less than three hundred days a year was considered a hobbyist,” Rasmussen says. The Faroes became a protectorate of Denmark in the sixteenth century. Just shy of 50,000 people, it enjoys one of the highest minimum wages in the world ($20 USD) and a strong social-welfare system that supports a healthy middle class. This sense of support permeates the culture. “Even if you’re the town drunk,” Rasmussen says, “even if you’re someone who’s slipping through the cracks, it’s such a tight-knit community and network of families that you’re never going to slip through those cracks.”
more from Benjamin Rasmussen at VQR here.