Celebrate Indigenous culture with Riddu Riđđu
By Celina Tran
Held in the coastal Sámi Village of Olmmáivággi in Northern Norway, the Riddu Riđđu festival works to promote and celebrate Sámi culture. This year, Europe’s largest Indigenous festival will feature great names, such as Mari Boine, Ella Marie, and Emil Kárlsen.
Many nation-states have a shameful history of cultural erasure and mistreatment of its indigenous people, and Norway is no exception. But the Sámi people have fought valiantly to preserve their heritage and though much has been lost, Sámi culture is, today, alive and well across many aspects of society, including art and culture.
Over 30 years ago, Riddu Riđđu was established by a group of young people who wanted to “transform the shame associated with Sámi culture into pride,” facing a storm of opposition to establish what is, today, both the largest Sámi festival and Europe’s largest Indigenous festival.
“Today, we can thank these youth activists for the revival of coastal Sámi culture in Gáivuotna,” says festival director, Sajje Solbakk. “Our festival aims to celebrate Sámi and Indigenous culture, create unique experiences that the audience won’t find elsewhere, and spark debate.”
Every year, Riddu Riđđu, which translates to “a little storm on the coast”, welcomes visitors from across the world to discover amazing Indigenous performances, world-class art, and a sense of community, with up to 100 events for people of all ages.
“Over 30 years, the festival has created small and large storms, yet we have stood firm in our belief in a better future for the coastal Sámi people of Gáivuotna and Indigenous peoples worldwide.”
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