Today is the "National holiday" for the indigenous Saami people of the North; Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. The Saami people can easily be compared with the Native Americans in North America, and we share an equal sad history of abuse, introduction to alcohol and mass-conversions to several variants of Christianity. You can see the great movie Kautokeino-opprøret (The Kautokeino Rebellion) if you want an introduction to the Saami rebel which occured in Norway during the 19th century.
The official Saami flag was recognized in 1986
This morning I heard a radio report from Kautokeino describing the cultural events of the day, including the royal visit of our Crown Prince Haakon and Princess Mette-Marit. What is normally overlooked is the significance of the royal couple dressing up in the cultural dress of the Saami. I have close relatives who still refuse to talk about our heritage, because it was regarded as a disgrace. They were systematically denied practice of Saami language and practice by schools, officials and the rest of society. The same generation of people also has a greater respect for the royal house of Norway, so this token of recognition can help mend the painful memories of some.
I am Saami too.
Not by culture or language, but "purely genetically". I have read about the Saami shaman, called Noaidie, and what little literature exist on the spirit world. And I am keen to read more, though you’re more likely to find out more by talking with those who keep up the traditions. It’s a very interesting and rich culture from a people who has lived in harmony with the harsh nature of the North for thousands of years.
Today I’ve taken the day off and in two hours we’ll be on our way to Øyer mountain to celebrate. That is me, Lady C, Koew, Lady C’s friend and the mysterious mr. S. It has been reported lots of snow in the area and around minus ten degrees Celsius. Of course it can’t compare with the mid-winter temperatures of Kautokeino, today minus 30°C or -22°F. I’m looking forward to the great food, company, scenery and the sauna sessions! Have a nice weekend, and happy holidays!