Today’s my ethnical holiday! W00t! Some of you may not be aware of this, but although I’ve got a red passport (Norwegian) I’m also an ethnic sami. My mother has told me that when she went to Florida as an exchange student, the schoolbooks said: "The Samis are the cowboys of Norway". They left out Sweden, Finland and Russia. But we’re nothing like Brokeback mountain, and there weren’t any cows around either, so I don’t really see the link there. If you count out the lasso, that is. Studies of culture and DNA shows that we’re closer to the Native American, on the other hand. Interesting link.
Apart from my biological origins I don’t know much about it. Those in my family who could talk and think Sami are growing old and refuse to talk about it. When the North was occupied in large scale by Lutheran Norwegian settlers, they introduced alcohol to the indigenous, and made being Sami a shameful thing. Lest not forget the witchcraft accusations.
I’ve only been to reindeer slaughter once, I’ve read a single book about sami beliefs, but I’ve also witnessed how it actually works. The stories about the noaidie (a shaman) called Kaaven are definite favourites. Today most samis live in Oslo, and Norwegians are even more ignorant than I am about the culture.
Not a single person has congratulated, most people probably don’t even know about it, and the largest Norwegian newspapers barely mention it in a note at the bottom of a page. Of course I celebrate 17th of May, the national holiday of Norway, too. Like I said, I still have a red passport. But if Norway’s politics swing further to the right I will probably apply for another citizenship, Sami being on the top of that list.