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Cultural Traces Around the World

The Spiritual Sámi of Northern Europe

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Today, we present some highlights of the Sámi culture, an indigenous culture present in the northernmost Nordic countries and the Kola Peninsula within the Murmansk Oblast of Russia. Traditionally, the bond between the Sámi and the natural land has been profound and sacred. They have historically lived their lives in accordance with nature. Deeply grounded in the understanding that from the earth comes life, the Sámi hold the view that all beings are threads in the same great fabric. Over history, they looked to nature for guidance and keenly observed symbols in everyday life such as cloud formations, changes in wind patterns and weather, and movements of animals. They watched for and learned from the rhythms of nature. To this day, the Sámi truly respect and cherish Mother Earth. The yoik also played an important role in shamanism. As a historically nomadic people, the Sámi preferred connection to the land over land ownership. Their kinship with nature was pure in the sense that they did not view land as something that could be divided and owned. They didn't erect fences or boundaries. Instead, their lifestyles focused on living in harmony with the natural spaces, using nature’s resources as wisely as possible, and respecting the earth's cycles. This deep respect continues to this day, and committed people of the Sámi culture have spoken out to remind humanity of the necessity to preserve our environment. We wish that the Sámi people continue to propagate their language and their cultural contributions like the yoik for the world to enjoy and celebrate. May we also take to heart their philosophy of treading lightly on our only planetary home.
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