Sami National Day Still Not Recognized As An Official Holiday In Norway

The Sami people wear their traditional clothing when celebrating. Photo: Karin Beate Nøsterud

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The Sami National Day was celebrated one day early, on Sunday, February 5th in the municipality of Saltdal in northern Norway so that more people would be able to celebrate.

 

“One hundred years have gone by and we haven’t come so far as to have our own day off for our national day,” The mayor of Saltdal, Rune Berg tells NRK.

 

“It’s not dignified. We don’t get to celebrate the Sami National Day in a dignified way that I feel the Sami National Day should be celebrated.

 

The Sami National Day is on February 6th. It marks the day the first Sami congress was held 100 years ago, in 1917 in Trondheim, Norway. It is celebrated by Sami people regardless of where they live.

 

Sami people are native to northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. They have a long history of being discriminated against in Norway.

 

Berg believes that The Sami people deserve their day to be recognized.

 

“We must have a debate about this now, and make the Sami National Day a public holiday. When a people have a national day, it is natural that they have the day off,” the mayor tells NRK.

 

The Sami National Day is not recognized as a public holiday in neither Norway, Sweden, Finland nor Russia.

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