Minorities

Here you will find all the content related to the category 'minorities'.

The official flag of Åland since the 1950s. Åland is semi-automonous in that it has its own legislature, but it is a part of Finland despite over 90% of the population speaking Swedish. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.

2019.04.25 | The Quick Read, Jason Lavery, Minorities, Democracy, Governance

The Åland Islands

The Åland Islands lie at the south-western tip of the Finnish peninsula between Finland and Sweden. This archipelago of 6,500 islands and skerries is demilitarised, an autonomous region and a Swedish-speaking part of Finland.

Cover from the book The Sun, My Father by Nils-Aslak Valkeapää. Picture: Wikimedia Commons.

2019.03.01 | The Quick Read, John Weinstock, Culture, Minorities

Yoiking, a Sami musical expression

Yoik is the native Sami musical expression which is reminiscent of singing. It has layers of meaning as it holds identity markers and was traditionally very significant in how social interaction took place within Sami communities (and still is to a certain extent). It also had more practical purposes, such as calming reindeer.

A drum made by Håvard Larsen. Photo: courtesy of Sami Culture, the University of Texas at Austin.

2019.03.01 | Article, John Weinstock, Culture, Minorities

Sami handicrafts

Duodji, the Sami word for handicrafts/applied art, has a long and illustrious history. Handicraft has been influenced by the need to survive in a harsh arctic environment (production of clothes to keep warm and weapons to hunt with) and the nomadic nature of the Sami (leading to rounded shapes so as not to hurt reindeer), but have also been…

A psalm book written in Lule Sami (or Lule Sámisk). Photo: Olve Utne, Wikimedia Commons

2019.02.11 | The Quick Read, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Minorities

Sami language

A member of the Finno-Ugric language group and thus related to Finnish, Sami consists of three branches, sufficiently different from each other to be considered as separate languages.

The European Council's poster for the The European Treaty of Regional or Minority Languages. Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark have all ratified it. Iceland has signed it but is yet to ratify it (as of February 2019).

2019.02.08 | Article, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Minorities

Minority languages

Linguistic minorities have existed for centuries, such as the Finns and Sami in Sweden. Since 1960s minority languages have often been associated with immigration. Since 2000 and even before, policies with regard to minority languages have ranged from assimilation on the one hand, where the majority language is a necessity, to multicultural…

Caption from The Foreign Workers' Journal (Fremmedarbejderbladet), a monthly newspaper aimed at foreign workers in Denmark in different languages from 1972. Copyright: Adjs [CC BY-SA 4.0], Wikimedia

2019.02.07 | Article, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Minorities

Ethnic minorities

A minority is a clearly distinguishable group or category of people who comprise less than half of a national population. Minorities in the Nordic region include the indigenous people the Sami, national minorities, such as Germans in Southern Denmark, immigrants from other Nordic and neighbouring countries as well as further afield, and other…