Photo: Terje Rakke.Photo: Terje Rakke

Tråante 2017 - Sami anniversary

This year marks the 100 year anniversary of the Sami people. The 6th of February is the day of the Sami people, as this is the date the first joint meeting of the Sami was held in Trondheim, Norway. To celebrate the anniversary, several events are taking place to spread knowledge about the history and culture about this indigenous people.

The Sami are the indigenous people living in the very north of Europe, in Sápmi, which stretches across the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula. They are a minority living in Finland, Russia, Sweden and Norway, but a majority lives in Finnmark county in Norway and in the northern municipality of Utsjoki in Finland. However, there are several kinds of Sami based on their patterns of settlement and how they sustain themselves. As with many indigenous peoples, the Sami in Norway have suffered a past dominated by discrimination, particularly regarding religion and language. Today, the situation is much improved, but there is still work to be done. Amongst other problems, their language is severely threatened, and the Sami unfortunately experience more discrimination than the rest of the population.

The program includes two conferences on Sami culture, and the battle for democracy and equal rights. Several exhibitions displaying Sami heritage will also be put up. There is a strong cultural heritage that the Sami have been excellent at preserving; the Joik. Joik is an ancient art form, a form of singing where no concrete words are used, but rather specific vocal sounds. This is one of the oldest song traditions in Europe. During the celebration, it is possible to hear this ancient tradition in concert.

The marking of the 100-year anniversary is named “Tråante”, which means “Trondheim” in the southern Sami language. You can read more about the celebration here: http://www.trå

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