Crown Prince Haakon Celebrates Sami People’s Day in Kirkenes

  February 7, 2013 at 4:27 am by

Crown Prince Haakon has been to Kirkenes, a town in the north of Norway at the border to Russia in the county of Finnmark, from February 5th to 6th, 2013.

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On the first day, Crown Prince Haakon attended Kirkenes Conference, which is one of the region’s most important venues for political discussion. Later that day, he visited the Norwegian Barents Secretariat. Their aim is to improve the Norwegian-Russian relations and they celebrated twenty years of Barents Cooperation this year.

In the evening, Crown Prince Haakon opened the Barents Spektakel 2013, a festival that offers contemporary art, performances, literature, theatre, film, seminars and concerts that also deal with current issues related to the Barents Region and the North in general. After the opening show and concert, Crown Prince Haakon attended the premiere of the film ‘Border Musical’. The film tells the story of Ola from Finnmark (Norway) and Tanja from Kola (Russia) who try to build a life together.

The second day, February 6th, Crown Prince Haakon took part in the celebration of Sami People’s Day at the new Kirkenes School. He began his speech in Sami language: “Buorre beaivvi buohkaide, ja lihkku beivviin!!” (Hello everyone and happy birthday!) and stressed that it is important to know “where we come from and what cultural roots we have” and that “we all can celebrate the right and the freedom to be ourselves”. Later, the students showed him some of the school projects they were working on.

Outside he had the chance to try himself in the art of lasso throwing, which he did quite well. “There is a lot of training behind it. I’ve learned it earlier in Finnmark”, said Crown Prince Haakon.

Crown Prince Haakon said he tells his children a lot about Sami history and customs and he will also tell them what he experienced now. He and Crown Princess Mette-Marit have been involved in the celebration of Sami People’s Day before, when they were in Karasjok in Finnmark in 2009.

Sami People’s Day is celebrated since 1993 on February 6th in memory of the first Sami congress which was held in the Methodist Church in Trondheim in 1917. It was the first time that Norwegian and Swedish Sami came together across their national borders to work together to find solutions for common problems.

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