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Children taught about drunkenness

Nine-year-old schoolchildren were required to read a story about a drunken mouse in their final Icelandic exam and were asked what it means to be moderately drunk.

According to Fréttabladid, the story chosen for the test, Heimbod músanna (“The Mouse’s House Party”), was extracted from a children’s book written by Oddný Gudmundsdóttir in 1972.

The author tells a story of a city mouse and a country mouse that are having a party. The city mouse drinks too much jólaöl (“Christmas brew”) and turns “funny, gay and merry, dances on the table and squeaks as if she has lost her mind.”

After reading this text the school children were asked what drinking moderately means: a) to drink too much, b) to drink the right amount or c) to drink almost nothing.

Elín Thorarensen, manager of the initiative Home and School, told Fréttabladid that she finds the story unfortunate for nine-year-olds and unsuitable for exams.

Thorarensen said most children have no idea what the influence of alcohol is, unless members of their family suffer from alcoholism. She added that in such cases the children certainly do not experience drinking as fun.

Sigurgrímur Skúlason, who is in charge of the final exams, told Fréttabladid that the lesson the story teaches is that the country mouse suffered from drinking too much Christmas brew. He points out that the full story can be read on www.namsmat.is.

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