Episode 8: Sami
Director: Reaghan Tarbell
The reindeer herding culture and language of Norway’s Sami people still thrives in the far north despite past government policies of assimilation. From a Sami language theatre company and a children’s radio program to a band taking a contemporary twist on the Sami musical tradition of yoiking, today’s Sami are incorporating their culture and language into their daily lives.
“A child remembers a lot more when he or she has experienced something and not just heard about it or seen it in a book or film.” – Sara Marielle Gaup, mother and singer in musical group, Adjagas
In the town of Guovdageaidnu, the cultural hub of the northern Sami, reindeer herding is a way of life. It is also home to the only high school in the world that teaches reindeer herding. Musician and mother Sara Marielle Gaup, whose band Adjagas takes a contemporary twist on the Sami musical tradition of yoiking, is determined to pass on the Sami language and culture to her own children. We follow Sara as she accompanies her daughter’s daycare class to a reindeer roundup.
“We wanted to tell about the conditions of that time. We show who we were, through our culture. We perform in our language along with traditional music, clothing, and yoiking.” - Ingor Antte Ailu Gaup, actor with the Beavvais Sami Theatre
Beavvais Sami Theatre, the only Sami language theatre in the country, promotes Sami stories, history and legends in the Sami language. We meet Ingor Antte Ailu Gaup, an accomplished actor and yoiker, who has been involved with the theatre since its inception in 1981. Ingor, along with his niece, Sara Marielle Gaup, sit down together to sing and explain the history of the Sami musical tradition of yoiking.
“It’s important to use modern technology in media to reach out to our children. We don’t sit by campfires telling stories anymore. We must make use of television, radio, the Internet and modern technology…and that’s my goal now.” – Rawdna Carita Eira, creator of children’s radio program, Manaid Radio Muitalus.
Guovdageainnu LagasRadio, Guovdageaidnu’s local radio station, broadcasts daily news in both Sami and Norwegian. Searching for new ways to connect with Sami youth, the station launched a children’s radio program entitled, Manaid Radio Muitalus. Rawdna Carita Eira who writes the program moved back to Guovdageaidnu so she could learn her language and pass Sami culture and traditions on to her daughter.