Sámi National Day is celebrated in Norway

King Harald attends celebrations at Oslo City Hall

Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB
King Harald arrives at Oslo City Hall for the Sámi National Day celebration.

NTB

Feb. 6 is the Sámi National Day, and it is especially celebrated in the north. Oslo municipality marked the day with an event in which both the king and the mayor took part.

The first time the Sámi National Day was marked in Oslo City Hall was on Feb. 6, 2003. The event was carried out at the initiative of the Sámi community. Today, 20 years later, Oslo Mayor Marianne Borgen (Socialist Left Party) invited to yet another celebration.

“The Sámi National Day is a day of celebration for all Sámi, for the nation, and for Oslo. This day marks pride in Sámi culture, identity, language and history. We show that the Sámi are part of our common history and cultural heritage,” said Borgen.

The mayor of Oslo welcomed King Harald, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Sigbjørn Gjelsvik and Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim to a large-scale celebration of the Sámi National Day, knowing that the event would also welcome 500 other guests to the celebration.

At the city hall, speeches were given, and there were artistic contributions including joik the morning of Feb. 6.

Støre congratulates and apologizes

“Today we celebrate the Sámi National Day, and I would like to congratulate everyone. This is a day of celebration where we highlight the rich and diverse Sámi culture and show that we are proud of the Sámi people. I am happy to see that every year the Sámi language and culture become more visible in society” said Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Labor Party).

While the prime minister brings his congratulations, he also points a finger:

“We know that Sámi people still experience prejudice, discrimination and racism. It is unacceptable. In Norway, in all our diversity, we must meet each other face to face as we are. Although we have a job to do in taking care of our Sámi cultural heritage, the Sámi flag is being raised on more and more flagpoles.”

Speaches and song in Tromsø

Mayor Gunnar Wilhelmsen (Labor Party) of Tromsø invited to a National Day breakfast at the city hall the morning of Feb. 6.

Wilhelmsen himself delivered a national day speech, while the choir Gáisi Jienat performed the Sámi national anthem, “Sámi soga lávlla”.

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NTB

NTB (Norsk Telegrambyrå), the Norwegian News Agency, is a press agency and wire service that serves most of the largest Norwegian media outlets. The agency is located in Oslo and has bureaus in Brussels, Belgium, and Tromsø in northern Norway