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A new report calls for an official day for Sami Literature's in the Nordic countries

Published Thursday 25.10. the report A Writing Hand Reaches Further, “Čálli giehta ollá guhkás”: Recommendations for the improvement of the Sámi literature field gives detailed recommendations to improve the Sámi literary field.

The report of the Sámi literature field has been made by the literary researcher and translator Johanna Domokos. The report also includes language-specific reviews by other researchers on the current situation of each Sámi language literature. The report is published in Hanasaari in the In Other Wor(l)ds seminar, which deals with multilingualism in the Nordic countries and is organized by Culture for All service. Language-specific presentations on Kurdish, Roman, Saami and Somali-speaking literary fields in the Nordic countries and discussions on practices that support multilingualism in Nordic societies will be heard at the seminar.

As a result of the survey, Johanna Domokos proposes 15 concrete recommendations that institutions and literary actors can do to strengthen the status, visibility and vitality of Sámi literature. As one recommendation, she suggests that the Nordic countries with Sami popultaion should have their own national and official day for Sámi literature, such as March 23, the birthday of the well-known Sámi artist and writer Nils-Aslak Valkeapää.

"Developing Sámi literature supports the Sami community and Sámi democracy. It is important to strengthen the policies of Sámi culture at national and Nordic levels, while recognizing that literacy increases cultural vitality, "writes Domokos.

The Sámi authors and the Sámi Parliament are heard in the report

The recommendations for improving the Sámi Literature field are based on the experiences of the participants involved in the report, such as Sámi writers, evaluations done by the the Sámi Parliaments in Norway and Sweden, and the language-specific reviews in the report.

The study shows that Sámi literature lacks its own regular literary events, an export center, a literature magazine, and a Sámi literature archive to support the presence and exchange of Sámi literature also internationally. The presence of Sámi literature in the curriculum of the majority population and Sámi children and young people should also be increased.

"The importance of literature as a cultural resource should not be underestimated"

The report is part of the project Multilingualism and diversity as a resource in the cultural field – employment and integration through literature in the Nordic Countries, funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The project is led by the Culture for All Service.

"The importance of literature as a cultural resource should not be underestimated. Literature builds and strengthens both the identity of an individual and society. Sámi Literature has also an important role to play in supporting and revitalizing Sámi languages. In the literary field, Sámi literature is in a marginal position and therefore resources must be reserved for it to flourish ", Rita Paqvalén, Executive Director for Culture for All states.

The report on Sámi Literature will be discussed also at the Helsinki Book Fair on Friday 26.10. at 17.30–18.30 in the Kirjoittava käsi yltää kauas panel discussion.

More information

Rita Paqvalén, Executive Director, Culture for All Service
040 674 3528

Outi Korhonen, Project Coordinator, Culture for All Service
044 259 9228

Helga West, Project Coordinator, Culture for All Service
040 594 6596

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