The article below gives some brief information about Sami National Day, the Sami flag and some links to interesting webpages and articles. This topic will be expanded before Sami National Day 2018.
Sami National Day
Sami National Day is celebrated on 6th February. It was first celebrated in 1993, when the International Year of Indigenous People was proclaimed open in Jokkmokk, Sweden by the United Nations. Sami National Day is for all Sami people, regardless of the country in which they live.
In Norway, it is compulsory for municipal administrative buildings to fly the Norwegian flag, and optionally also the Sami flag, on 6th February. Some larger places also arrange festivities in the week around the Sami National Day.
The date of the National Day, 6th February, was chosen as it was the start date of the first Sami National Congress, held in Trondheim in 1917.
Below is a pin worn by participants at the first congress:
In 2017, there is a 100 year celebration of the first congress in Trondheim. You can read more about the celebration and the events here: http://www.tråante2017.no/en/
The Sami flag is the flag of the Sami people of the Nordic regions and Kola penninsula. The flag is also sometimes used to represent the territory of Sapmi (the traditional area of Sami inhabitance).
The first, unofficial Sami flag was designed by Sami artist Synnøve Persen in 1977. It was used as a national symbol in the demonstrations against the planned Alta Dam. The colours (blue, red and yellow) are commonly used on gáktis – traditional Sami clothing (for more information about gáktis, look at http://folkcostume.blogspot.no/2013/05/overview-of-saami-costume.html).
The first official Sami flag was recognized and inaugurated on 15 August 1986. This design was by the Coast Sami artist Astrid Båhl. The basic structure of Persen’s unofficial flag was retained, but the colour green was added – a colour which is popular in many South Sami gáktis. Båhl also added a motif which derived from a sun/moon symbol appearing on many shaman’s drums.
Links about Sami culture and teaching of the Sami in schools
Some of these links are in English and some are in Norwegian. If you don’t read Norwegian, you could try reading them in Google Chrome using the translator function – certainly the translation won’t be perfect, but it might be good enough to understand – or email me if you really want to know what something says…
- On this website you can find articles introducing the Sami,about Norwegianization of the Sami, about Sami history after WW2 and about joik (Sami song).
- This webpage is produced by the UN and gives an overview of the Sami: http://www.unric.org/en/indigenous-people/27307-the-sami-of-northern-europe–one-people-four-countries
- This page is only in Norwegian. It is an interesting and important read, as it challenges common misconceptions about Sami people: http://samiskmyteknuser.no/
- This Norwegian site gives the recipe for a traditional Sami festive dish, called bidos: http://www.matprat.no/oppskrifter/tradisjon/bidos/
- This film clip from Norwegian TV (NRK) shows the celebrations in 2016. The people interviewed are mostly speaking a Sami language: https://tv.nrk.no/serie/samenes-nasjonaldag/SAPP63041116/06-02-2016
- The history of Sami National Day in 100 seconds (in Norwegian/Sami): https://www.nrk.no/sapmi/samenes-historie-pa-ca.-100-sekunder-1.13361638
- This academic article in Norwegian raises questions about how the Sami are taught in Norwegian schools: http://fagsnakk.no/samfunnsfag/2017/02/03/samisk-kultur-og-identitet/