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Home* News and Stories → 17th May in Lon­gye­ar­by­en

17th May in Lon­gye­ar­by­en

17th of May is the Nor­we­gi­an natio­nal day, a big day that is cele­bra­ted ever­y­whe­re in Nor­way with flaggs, pro­ces­si­ons and cul­tu­ral events.

Also in Lon­gye­ar­by­en. Here are some impres­si­ons from the cen­tral event, the assem­bly on the “Tor­get” (squa­re) with spee­ches and sub­se­quent pro­ces­si­on. In addi­ti­on, the­re was a ran­ge of other events from com­me­mo­ra­ti­ons to an evening in the cul­tu­re house with music etc.

Visit from Barents­burg, spee­ches trans­la­ted to Rus­si­an

The­re were at least some visi­tors from the neigh­bou­ring Rus­si­an sett­le­ment of Barents­burg, name­ly a group of child­ren who con­tri­bu­ted with sin­ging to the morning’s church ser­vice. Other than the children’s escorts, the­re was no adult dele­ga­ti­on as no offi­ci­al repre­sen­ta­ti­ves from Barents­burg were invi­ted. All spee­ches were were trans­la­ted into Rus­si­an. During the cen­tral assembling, Lokals­ty­re­le­der (“mayor”) Ter­je Aune­vik found sui­ta­ble words addres­sing the back­ground of the day’s cele­bra­ti­ons which empha­si­ze fami­ly-fri­end­ly events, child­rens’ pro­ce­si­ons and cul­tu­re in con­trast to mili­ta­ry para­des, cele­bra­ting demo­cra­cy and free­dom rather than mili­ta­ry vic­to­ries such as cer­tain neigh­bou­ring count­ries. Wit­hout expli­ci­te­ly men­tio­ning Rus­sia or the Rus­si­an war of aggres­si­on in the Ukrai­ne, but cle­ar­ly refer­ring to the­se, Aune­vik unmist­aka­b­ly high­ligh­ted the importance of demo­cra­cy, free­dom and peace.

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

The­re may have been tho­se indi­vi­du­als in the crowd who sil­ent­ly and pos­si­bly not wit­hout some sad­ness thought of the blow local demo­cra­cy in Lon­gye­ar­by­en had suf­fe­r­ed quite recent­ly when non-Nor­we­gi­an resi­dents were depri­ved of their voting rights.

Sami sym­bols

The last pic­tu­re shows a Sami natio­nal cos­tu­me (“same­kof­te”) and flagg. It was not too long ago that public dis­play of such Sami sym­bols on the natio­nal day was accept­ed. Just 10 years ago, it was allo­wed but often seen as pro­vo­ca­ti­ve and hence still mat­ter of a some­ti­mes loud and more or less hea­ted public deba­te. Lon­gye­ar­by­en has a small num­ber of inha­bi­tants with Sami roots (in an ever­y­day con­text, most will per­cei­ve them as Nor­we­gi­ans, which is true but not the enti­re sto­ry).

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last modification: 2024-05-21 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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