Sámi LávdiSámi Lávdi

When Sápmi came to Delhi

18.11.2016 // Yoik, traditional Sami dance and ancient mask dance, these are performances that are rarely seen at Kamani Auditorium in the heart of Delhi. This week however Sámi Lávdi – The Sami Association of Performing Arts showcased traditional Sami dance and song in correlation with the 10th Delhi International Arts Festival (DIAF).

The Sami people of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia is the northern-most settlement of indigenous people in the world, with their have a rich cultural heritage, Sámi Lávdi gathers their history in a contemporary performance displaying multiple specters of Sami life.

On the 15th and 16th of this month, the group held performances around the Indian capital. One show at the prestigious Sardar Patel Vidyalaya gathered around 800 Indian students to witness Sami song and dance. Sámi Lávdi is a performance group built up by individual performers, the themes and genres varies throughout the show. The opening act from 16-year-old Emma Elliane established the mood for the performance, Emma combines self-written songs in Sami language with popular music. Be noted that the total numbers of native speakers of Sami count roughly 30 000.

Stina Therese L. Hessaa, told the brutal history of the Sami people through dialogue, dance and song. It’s a visual and physical demonstration about cultural belonging, suppression and rediscovery of your own identity, language and culture.

The act that attracted the most attention was undoubtedly Elisabeth Heilmann Blind’s ancient Innuit mask dance, a tradition which can be traced more than 4000 years back. Originally used as a fertility estate ritual, now it functions as entertainment.

When Norwegians think of Sami culture, our mind tend to drift to Yoik. Sara Margrethe Oskal offered some traditional Yoik to the Indian audience, accompanied by guest artist Mitilhesh Kumar Jah on tabla.

The crowd was also obviously impressed by Kristin Holand’ song performance which spread goosebumps across the audience.

Emma Elliane performed self-written songs in Sami wearing a traditional Sami dress.
Emma Elliane performed self-written songs in Sami wearing a traditional Sami dress. 
 

Delhi International Arts Festival India’s ‘Signature Festival’ is the longest multi arts, multi venue cultural festival, the week-long festival gathers artists, film makers and playwrights from all over the world.

The festival is ongoing until November 26th, find a performance that suits you here.

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