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King Harald hands out important award

Norway’s King Harald has chosen to highlight one of Norway’s minorities, the Samsi people.

The King has awarded the Sami language Prize, and this year’s Sami language prize was awarded to the historian Aage Agnar Solbakk.

The prize was awarded during the opening of this year’s international Sami language week and the decade for indigenous languages. It was awarded by King Harald in collaboration with the President of the Sámi Parliament.

This was also the first time His Majesty was on an official visit to Snåsa – the municipality hosting the royal visit.

Mayor Arnt Einar Bardal had the honour of welcoming the King to the event. During the ceremony, His Majesty was able to enjoy cultural performances from Sami artists before the opening speech was given by the Sami Parliament President Silje Muotka.

The winner, historian Aage Agnar Solbakk, has worked with the Sami language by disseminating traditional knowledge and publishing special books.

The Royal Court said that Solkbakk has spent time sharing knowledge with the Sami community and has been involved in publishing approximately 200 books and scientific articles.

During his visit, the King also received a copy of a new book, in Sami, in which the King himself is the main character. King Harald is a character in a made-up story to teach the children more about the King and his role in Sami. The book is called “Gånka”, meaning “King” in the Sami language.

There are ten different Sami languages ​​that are spoken in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. In Norway, three of these languages ​​are in use, namely Northern Sami, Lule Sami and Southern Sami. They ​​are recognised as minority languages ​​in Norway and have protection through the Council of Europe’s Minority Language Pact.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written six books on historical subjects and more than 1.500 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.