SAMI: It is not only Bergen International Literature Festival that is celebrated on 6 February. The day is also the national day of the Sami. "Social structures cause the Sami language to drown," says author Sigbjørn Skåd, who attends LitFestBergen

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Published: 2020-02-04

Although there are an estimated only forty thousand Sami in Norway, they have made their mark in the field of literature and art, especially in the last five years. The award-winning author Sigbjørn Skatan (b. 1976) is one of them.

Like many others Sami Skatan has grown up with Sami as a second language. Thanks to his parents, he writes fiction in both Northern Sami and Norwegian, in addition to using Sami as often as he can in everyday life; he speaks exclusively Sami with his son. Skagen's mother is one of the few in their region (Ofoten / Sør-Troms) who has deliberately used Sami as everyday language in the home and thus helped to reverse the effect of Norwegian policy:

- Norwegianization policy was of course a child of his time, Skatan begins, and gives me an introduction to the policy that was conducted in Norway from about 1850.

- The purpose was to make Norway monocultural, even though there were cultures that had existed in Norway's territory long before state formation. North of Trøndelag there was really no national border before 1751, says Skatan, who I would call a form of actionist for Sami languages. Since becoming deputy leader of the Norwegian Writers' Association, he has used Sami in many contexts, where in the past only one of the country's official languages ​​was used, ie Norwegian.

Children who were taken into speaking Sami at school were often punished physically.

- In practice, it was prohibited, among other things, to speak other than Norwegian in Norwegian schools. Children who were taken into speaking Sami at school were often punished physically. The official Norwegian research policy was ended in 1959, when the ban on speaking Sami in school was lifted.

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Others were also affected by the Norwegian policy. Norway's historical policy towards, among others, the country's Roma population is also absolutely terrible.

#Svanviken work colony for travelers (Romani people, Tatars) was first closed in 1989, an institution where residents - who lived there under threat and coercion - were often sterilized.

Minority languages

On Bergen International Literature Festival # seven out of a hundred actors engaged in program posts with or about Sami


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