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Published: August 1st 2014
Karasjok northern Norway 28 July 2014
Karasjok is just inside Norway, over the northern Swedish border. After a bit of shopping, we drove just outside of the town and parked for the night.
The next morning we visited the Samediggi (parliament) building which is architecturally designed, with the Assembly room the shape of a Sami tent. In 2000 it moved into the building we visited, which is encased in mellow Siberian wood, with a birch, pine and oak interior. The main assembly hall is shaped like a Sami tent, and the Sami library, lit with tiny lights like stars, houses more than 35,000 volumes, plus other media - very impressive.
We took a 30 minute guided tour which was well worth it. Our guide was a lad who looked Italian but he told us his father was 100% Sami and his mother was Swedish/Norwegien. He had an economics degree and had extensive knowledge on the Sami culture. We heard about the struggles as well as the new, and strong position of the Sami people in Norway. There are 39 elected Assembly representatives every 4 years. They are the advisory group to the Norwegian Parliament on all things Sami.
The Samediggi was first established in 1989, under an Act of Parliament, to sure-up Sami rights and their ability to decide on Sami issues. The Samediggi Assembly meets 4 times a year. Executive Council, Development Board and Expert Committees including a Language Committee form the political network.
As we walked around the building while our guide described the features of the building. There were many proverbs inscribed on the large pillars which were important to the Sami People. Several pieces of art hung from some of the walls including paintings of significant Sami leaders in early times. The most outstanding piece of art, and as a back drop to the Assembly meeting room, was a beautiful, massive piece of art which represents the 'rippling effect' symbolising the aim of the organisation to advance the knowledge and culture of Sami people.
It was certainly an interesting visit.
From there, we headed for Nordkapp to see the midnight sun....very excited!!!!
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