Sami mark 100 years of annual gathering

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Sami mark 100 years of annual gathering
February 6th is a day of celebration for the Sami people as the 100th anniversary of the first Sami congress is marked. Photo: Heiko Junge/AP

February 6th is Sami National Day, and the 2017 edition is set to be particularly special as it marks the 100th anniversary of the first Sami congress held by Scandinavia’s indigenous people.


Sami National Day is held every year on the same date that the Swedish and Norwegian Sami united in 1917 to hold the first Sami congress in Trondheim, Norway. A host of events are planned in the Norwegian city this year to mark the 100th anniversary.

Confirmed as a holiday by the 1992 Sami Conference in Helsinki, the event has been celebrated officially since 1993, a year the UN General Assembly proclaimed as International Year of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

It is celebrated throughout Sápmi, the Sami language name for the region inhabited by the Sami people, which stretches across Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.

Sweden’s Culture Minister Alice Bah Kuhnke is in Trondheim to take part in the celebrations and meet Sami representatives. Norway’s King Harald and Prime Minister Erna Solberg will also attend.

Last week The Local Sweden’s editor attended Jokkmokk Winter Market, an over 400-year-old Sami tradition in northern Sweden which features dog sledding, handicrafts, and arguably the biggest attraction: reindeer races. You can watch one of the famous races in the video below.


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