Sˆmi National Holiday

Sˆmi National Holiday

February 6
The Sàmi people (formerly known as Lapplanders) are indigenous to the arctic area of the Nordic countries, including Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. Many Sàmi make a living in reindeer husbandry and fishing. Nature is very important to the Sàmi.
The Sàmi have not always had an easy life in Norway. At the end of the 1800s, the Norwegian government implemented policies of Norwegianization, which required everyone to conform to the Norwegian way of life. Schools were not allowed to teach Sàmi language or culture. However, attitudes changed by the mid-1950s, and Norwegian authorities recognized the importance of maintaining the Sàmi culture. Since then, policies have been modified to reflect these changing attitudes, and Norway now embraces the Sàmi language, traditions, and culture.
February 6 is recognized as Sàmi National Holiday in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. This day is full of activities that celebrate the Sàmi culture. Sàmi National Holiday was first celebrated in 1993 and has become a popular event and a time for the indigenous Sàmi people to celebrate their cultural identity.
CONTACTS:
Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington
2720 34th St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-333-6000; fax: 202-337-0870
www.norway.org/embassy