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King Harald marks important Sami event

King Harald of Norway has attended the celebration of Sami National Day at the Oslo City Hall.

Five hundred guests were in attendance at the event, which has been a tradition in Oslo since 2003 to celebrate the indigenous group in Norway who has faced challenges in preserving their history and cultural identity.

The day began with the Sami flag being raised in the courtyard of the town hall while the national anthem, “Sámi soga lávlla,” was played on the town hall’s carillon.

King Harald was greeted by Mayor Marianne Borgen, Ann Finnborg of the 6 February committee, a representative of the Sami parliament, and Aili Guttorm, general manager of the House of the Sami People, upon his arrival at Oslo City Hall.

Tatjana Kolpus and Aina Madelen Aslaksen hosted the celebration that featured performances by kindergarten children and students from the Sami school in Oslo.

Dr Liisà-Ràvna Finbog, an archaeologist and museologist, gave the main address, while Ulla Pirttijàrvi added artistic elements to the event. Local government and District Minister Sigbjørn Gjelsvik and Development Minister Anne Beathe Tvinnereim also spoke at the celebration.

Afterwards, the guests were invited to breakfast together with the King.

The first celebration of Sami National Day in Oslo City Hall took place on 6 February 2003.

The Norwegian Royal Family and the Sami people have a long history. The Sami people’s struggles have sometimes put them in conflict with the Norwegian government and state institutions.

However, the Norwegian Royal Family has always been supportive of the Sami people and their rights, and members of the Royal Family have taken part in Sami cultural events and shown their support for the preservation of Sami traditions.

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.