Why Oslo is soon to get a new official name

Oslo’s city council wants the Norwegian capital to have an official name in Sámi, the language group spoken by indigenous people from the north of the country.

Why Oslo is soon to get a new official name
The Sámi flag flying at Oslo City Hall in 2016. File photo: AFP

Campaigns to add a Sámi name to Oslo Municipality began several years ago and the city council has now formally added the matter to its business for the next four years, NRK reports.

“This is a huge victory for the Sámi community in Oslo,” Kristine Ballari, a former leader of Oslove Noereh, a Sámi youth organisation, told the broadcaster.

“The city will feel closer to our hearts once with the Sámi language more visible,” Ballari also said.

The former youth activist currently works as a teacher of the Sámi language at a school in the city.

She said she looked forward to seeing how the promise from the city council would bear out.

“I hope that some Sámi street names will eventually emerge in Oslo, and that there will be signs in Sámi in public institutions,” she said.

Oslo Municipality councillor Inga Marte Thorkildsen said she welcomed the declaration from the city.

“We want to show that we recognize and are proud of our indigenous peoples. That’s why it’s completely natural for Oslo, out capital, to also signal this through the name of the city,” Thorkildsen told NRK.

No specific date has been given for the name to be adopted. The municipality’s culture committee is responsible for formal work on the matter, the city representative noted.

Langauge specialsts at the Samtinget, the representative body for people of Sámi heritage in Norway, have said the choice of name is likely to fall between the following three options:

  • Osloven tjïelte
  • Oslon tjïelte
  • Oslo tjïelte

READ ALSO: Gákti and Instagram: how Oslo's young Sámis face tradition and urban life


Have Oslo’s new electric scooter rules reduced accidents?

New rules were brought in to combat the sharp rise in accidents and injuries involving electric scooters in Oslo. But, one month later, have the new regulations done the job?  

Have new rules had an impact on the number of accidents involving scooters in Oslo. Pictured it two e-scooters parked outside a

New rules brought in to cut down on the number of e-scooter accidents in Norway’s capital appear to have had the desired effect as incidents were more halved in September, when the rules were introduced, compared to the month before. 

This is according to figures from Oslo University Hospital’s (OUS) emergency department that have been obtained by newspaper Aftenposten

The Emergency Medical Service in Oslo registered 143 injuries in connection with electric scooters in September. In August, the month before measures were brought in, there were 301 injuries.’

Compared to the peak of accidents in June, where 436 injuries were recorded, incidents are down by almost two-thirds. 

“We are very happy. This is what we hoped for,” Henrik Siverts, chief physician at OUS’s emergency department, told the newspaper Aftenposten

‘We feared it would happen’: Oslo sees first death of electric scooter rider

Among the new stricter rules introduced for rental scooters, which included significantly cutting the number of devices in the city, was a curfew that prevented people from using them between 11pm and 5am. 

Siverts said that the curfew had a dramatic effect in reducing accidents at night. 

“Unsurprisingly, accidents have gone down at night time. What injuries we do get at night are probably people who privately own their scooters. But accidents have also gone down during the day, too,” he explained.  

Just eight injuries were recorded in September at night, compared to just under 100 in August. 

Over the summer, a surge in accidents meant accident and emergency departments in Oslo were forced to have more staff on during weekends. Still, as a result of the reduction in scooter accidents, staffing has now returned to normal. 

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