torsdag 15. oktober 2015

WHY I SING IN SAMI


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Promo pic by Mari A. Lorentsen from 2008.
Shot ouside the sami kindergarden in Oslo. 
I left Sápmi when I was 16 years old and swore never to come back. I felt there was nothing to do there for me. We had high suicide-rates in Karasjok and the culture there was not particurlary supportive. I had my friends, of course, but when you live in a small town everything is see-through and you can´t really do anything without someone commenting on it.

I was happy living in the city and I sang in different bands and whenever I had the chance to. But I sang in English. I went back home to visit Karasjok less and less frequent and I noticed that everytime I came back I had forgotten words, and after about 8 years I was struggeling to say anything in sami. I had always had good degrees in languages, including sami, so it started to scare me. What if I was to forget the sami language, and not speak it at all – ever? That would be such a shame! I decided to do something about it, without actually having to move back, cause I didn´t want that either.  I decided I would write lyrics in sami, so that I would have something sami in my life.


Not long after, my cousin Eva Jeanette Iversen asked if I wanted to join her on a sami singing contest ”Hei Lola 2004” and I said yes, cause I had actually just written my first song in sami. It is called ”Čáhppes stuorra eatnamis” (In the black big world), which lead me to second place in this competition, and my cousin Eva won.

After a while I also started feeling like I needed to show my sami identity in different ways while living in the city. I had sudied interior design, so I started making sami-inspired interior design for my city-homes.

I felt like I was loosing a part of myself when I last touch of my sami background. I felt more and more lost in the city, I was so bombarded with commercials, techology, successful living and the urban lifestyle that I had lost my own way of connecting to the world. The values that the sami lifestyle bring are very deep in us, and some of it gets lost in the city-life.
I realised how important it is to know your own background, values and roots, because that is where you will find answers when you are lost. 

Since that competion in 2004 I decided to celebrate the sami culture through my art, and I feel blessed that I am still able to continue this after 10 years as a recording artist.

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