Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway was joined by her son, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway today when they attended the celebration of the Sami national day in Oslo City Hall. The royals were also accompanied by Prime Minister Erna Solberg. The Mayor of Oslo, Marianne Borgen welcomed the royals and more than 400 invited guests with a Sami background from the Oslo area.
“It is with pleasure and pride that I welcome children and adults to the celebration of Sami national day in the City Hall. This tradition throughout the country’s main hall testifies to ever-increasing pride and interest in Sami culture and identity in the capital”, said Mayor Marianne Borgen
Oslo’s Mayor Marianne Borgen had invited 400 guests with a Sami background to mark the day. The ceremony consisted of several speeches as well as traditional Sami songs and music. Additionally, children from the Sami kindergarten and the Sami school in Oslo sang to the royals in the City Hall.
Sami National Day has been marked in Oslo City Hall every year since 2003. However, this year marks the first time that the Sami flag has been used by City Hall in Oslo. The Sami national anthem, Sámi soga lávlla, was played by the City Hall’s bells during the flag raising ceremony.
This was the first of several Sami events for the Norwegian Royal Family this week. On Thursday, a brand new exhibition opens in Queen Sonja’s Art Stable. The exhibition will show the art from three generations of Sami artists. It will be the largest presentation of Sami art in Oslo ever.
The Sámi people are a Finno-Ugric people inhabiting large parts of Norway and Sweden, northern parts of Finland, and the Murmansk Oblast of Russia. The Sámi have historically been known in English as Lapps. Traditionally, the Sámi have pursued a variety of livelihoods, including coastal fishing, fur trapping, and sheep herding and as a semi-nomadic reindeer herding people.