The Sámi National Day

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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.

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Sámi soga lávlla (“Song of the Sami People”), the sámi national anthem:

Here is a link to my photos from sámi life and culture.

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36 thoughts on “The Sámi National Day

    1. It does not surprise me that the same cultiure was all but wiped out. The USA did the same with the native North American Indians. What is it about the pople that rule who think that ony they are the supreme beings who are allowed to live on in given land? Mankind in my opinion has not advanced. We have gone back wards. If we were so advanced our world would not be in sucn dire straits. I see no hope for the survival of mankind. Don’t know how long it will it will take but it could be jsut around the corner.As I wrote before after the ocean life has reached the point of no return that will be the end of the human race.

      I am glad that somone was able to wake up the govenrments of these countries that now allow the sami the freedom that shoud never have been take away in the first place. The children are quite attractive and the clothing is beautiful.

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  1. So encouraging to see traditions being revived and maintained. The anthem and images were lovely. The native costumes are always far more interesting than our modern outfits. Or so it seems to me.

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  2. Important post. It’s not something to be proud of, what was done to them in the old days – no. Today it’s different and I think the Sami people will stand tall and proud of their culture even in the future. Their rights are upheld and followed and their language protected and revived. In Sweden they have had major breakthroughs concerning laws for the grazing land of their reindeers, among other important things. I think the Sami people are highly respected in today’s society.

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  3. Lovely photo of their colourful costumes.
    As I may have mentioned before, I am familiar with the Sami people as I have a old taped video of a documentary about them. So glad to see their culture and traditions respected and admired now.

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  4. Very enlightening post and photos. Part of my heritage is Swedish . I had no idea the Sami people were in Sweden as well. I learn so much from your blog, thank you

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  5. Thank you. I always thing the US was the worst – but we’re not. We’re the same as other countries in the way we treat native people. That isn’t good, but it helps to know we weren’t the only evil.

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    1. No at least 4 different dialects. But maybe all speak the same sami in the north, and the southsami in Sweden and Norway speak the same dialect. The language doesn’t follow the borders.

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  6. Jag är stolt över att säga att jag har 1/16 same i mig, eller hur man nu räknar… Min morfars farfar var hälften same hälften normann. 😀
    Klem og alt godt til dae!

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