Since 1993, the Sami National Day has been celebrated on February 6th, in recognition of the first larger ‘national’ Sami political gathering held on that day in Trondheim, Southern Norway, in 1917. Following others, the modern Sami movement has adopted the key symbols of a nation – national day, flag and national anthem, all considered major achievements for the Sami people. Interestingly, a recent tradition of the Sami national day seems to have become a public declaration by various Sami leaders that the Sami are not seeking an independent nationhood. Last year this occured at a conference on Sami self-determination held in Alta, northern Norway. It was uttered in unison by the president of the Norwegian Sami Parliament and the State Secretary of Sami Affairs in Norway and published as a big headline in the newly established Sami newspaper Ávvir. Many of us wondered, apropos of what? Nobody even talks about the Sami nation (the Sami people, yes, but not a nation). Especially politicians never dare to go there – political suicide perhaps? I guess we are happy to have our national day and flag and sing the national anthem once a year.

I will be celebrating the day with the publication of my article on Finnish Sami policy in the national newspaper Helsingin Sanomat today. (For English version, see my earlier posting on Dec. 10.) Also Virtual Finland, an English-language Finland-promotion website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did a short interview ‘On the other side of the Arctic‘ to mark the Sami national day. Lihkku beivviin, as Norwegian Sami say – a modern saying and direct translation from Norwegian. Kia kaha to my Maori friends – February 6th also happens to be the Waitangi Day in Aotearoa.


10 thoughts on “Happy Sami National Day!

  1. Happy Sami National Day Rauna!!!

    …re. celebrations in Sapmi, the Norwegian Crown Prince and Princess were in Kautokeino yesterday, Karasjok today and the Crown Prince said “Norwegians have a lot to learn from the Sami” (This may or may not be related to the fact the reindeer pulling his sledge took a flyer around a corner, ditching the Prince into the snow…)
    (Hard to imagine a Finnish head of state or senior figure saying that.)
    NRK Sami TV
    Pictures here

  2. Happy National Day to you toooo!

    Although you can’t see it here where I’m living (Sodankylä) – no sami flags, no affairs, no sign of it whatsoever. And in the local newspaper Lapin Kansa they had a teeny tiny sami flag hidden in the page 6 or so and two-word mention it’s a sami national day…

    Anyways, let’s celebrate it our own way!

  3. Kia ora Rauna! Nga mihi o te tau hou ki a koe!

    New years greeting to you! And nga mihi hoki o te ra miharo – greetings especially on our amazing shared national days! Awesome!
    Am missing be at Waitangi today – so a double thank you!


  4. Rauna, wishing you the changes you envision, to create a world in which Sami day will truly be happy for all Sami, including Sami women and girls!
    And thank you for your incisive writings, which teach me and others so much about the potentials and the pitfalls of liberation discourse in colonial and patriarchal contexts.


  5. Rauna! nguaq!

    Saamit eqqaamavagut – pilluarilik!

    We think of you the Saami our friends – congartulations from Nuuk!

  6. Rauna, refreshing critical thoughts on both the dominant societies and their hypocracy and even some Saami ideologies (obviously something that only you yourselves can be critical/reflective of/around). Writing from New York – there are SO many interesting and encouraging issues being discussed and even things done around Indigenous issues. Two-day seminar on Tibetan language issues, meeting the other speakers soon, the majority are Tibetans. Trace Foundation organising (easily found on Google). I met lots of young Indigenous researchers, especially from Latin America, last night (after my lecture at City University, Graduate Center) who are looking for or doing PhDs on topics that they hope will be useful for their people/s. AND their nations – most do use those concepts too.

    Congratulations for the Saami national day, even if it is late!

  7. I think I am a bit late (and sorry to write in (bad) English instead of one of the Sami languages, or in Esperanto), just received your link…

    So: happy celebrations of the Sami people, culture and language(s)!

    We, Esperanto speakers all around the world, work for the respect of linguistic and cultural rights of all peoples, so we are happy to share with you the celebrations.

  8. I just add to the whishes of Stefano the official support of the World Esperanto Association. Esperanto is a tool for protecting all languages while allowing an international communication without discrimination.

    Renato Corsetti
    Comeettee Member of the world Espernato Association

  9. Happy Sami National Day from Lakota Country in South Dakota! I share your plight(s) and best wishes to all of you for your beautiful culture, language and People.

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