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Sami National Day

Today is February 6th, which means it’s the national day of the Sami people. Let us celebrate and honour this culture, which has survived for thousands of years despite suppression from dominant surrounding nations. In my own country of Sweden, Sami people were forced off their land by the state and had their native religion and culture demonized as Satanic by the Church. Until the mid-70s there was even forced sterilisation of Sami women because Samis were considered an inferior and undesirable race.

The situation for the Sami people has improved since but they still face discrimination, both from racists and the Swedish state. As recently as 2018, a Sami family had to see their 120 year old traditional Sami home burned to the ground by the Swedish state. Let us never forget to speak against it when we see such injustice.

One aspect of Sami culture that both Church and state has tried to suppress is joik singing, a type of chanting often associated with Sami spiritual practices. A joik is often meant to reflect a specific person, place or animal. I’d like to share on of my favourites: the joik Sami artist and activist Maxida Märak sang of her daughter:

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