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Celebrating the Sami

By Linda Tancs

The Sami are the indigenous who inhabit northern Scandinavia in a region called Sapmi, stretching across the high plains of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia’s Kola Peninsula. They celebrate their own National Day on February 6 each year, marking that day in the year 1917 when they gathered for their first meeting in Norway to address common concerns. Nowadays around 40,000 Sami live in Norway, 20,000 in Sweden and some 7,000 in Finland. In addition there are an estimated 2,000 Sami in Russia. In the city of Tromsø, Norway, their culture is celebrated with a weeklong festival known as Sami Week. Taking place this year from January 31 to February 7, the celebration includes reindeer racing, lasso-throwing, food, art and language classes.

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