Today is the Sámi National Day. February 6 is celebrated by the sámi people in four countries; Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. They live in Sápmi, a cultural area in the far north of Europe. The three young sámi above are wearing traditonal clothes, the first is from Kautokeino in northern Norway, the other two from Snåsa in the southsami area.The sámi is a indigenous people in Norway, an ethnic minority that the church and the state tried to assimilate for some hundred years. The old religion was lost, the shaman drums were illigal and burnt, and the language forbidden for sámi schoolchildren. We know the story from other countries and continent, and it is not a proud one. But today is different. They got their own flag, and 6 February have been celebrated for 20 years now. The date was chosen because of the first sámi convention, held February 6 in 1917 . More than 150 sámi people gathered in Trondheim, Norway. This congress was the first time that Norwegian and Swedish sámi came together across their national borders to find solutions for common problems. The meeting was initiated by Elsa Laula, a sámi woman born in a reindeer herder family and one of the first sámi activist. The picture below is from a play about her that I made a post about this time last year.
Sámi soga lávlla (“Song of the Sami People”), the sámi national anthem:
Here is a link to my photos from sámi life and culture.