Psychology and Norwegian –

Psychology and Norwegian –

We have chosen to collect a number of painful questions under the umbrella of human costs

Runar Mernis Balto has a long article in Altaposten (see link above) where he describes the NSR's strategy regarding the work of truth and reconciliation commissions. Without any form of documentation, he describes a Norwegian operation on individuals among the Sámi that left them so harmed that they suffered deep psychological wounds. It is difficult for me to know which groups of Semites he describes, or in which areas they live.

Because of these damages, in his opinion, reconciliation will take a long time, and the damages must first be repaired. The tactic is that, as part of this reform work, the NSR comes into its proposal to the Sami Parliament with a number of new demands regarding money, rights and special benefits. Immediate reconciliation does nothing for the coffers, but long-term reform work can do so.

However, it cannot be the reindeer owners who are thinking about his psychology. Reindeer owners have always been the wealthiest and proudest among the Sami population, just ask the permanent residents of Kautokino and Masi. When Nils came to me. Lodji to Arnoia with his reindeer and his beautiful son and two daughters, it was not the ordinary people he contacted, no, the merchant was his most important interlocutor, and the merchant also sewed the reindeer into his herd.

Our family was also in good contact with the Lodgje family, because my mother took care of their goats in Kågen while the reindeer were on the winter pastures. I think you will find quite a few reindeer owners who have been psychologically damaged by discrimination.

There are two specific phenomena that Balto mentioned in his article. One is boarding schools. Many who have had to live away from their parents since the age of seven may have been homesick and missing their parents. The environment in some boarding schools may be very harsh among the students. However, these are the experiences of most children in the pig-infested areas on the outskirts of Finnmark. It is difficult to understand why the Sami were the only ones who were so psychologically damaged that they needed an apology from the authorities and individuals.

Another specific topic touched upon in the above article is one's lack of culture and language. Perhaps we are not talking about internal Finnmark here. Nor was any information provided about how long it had been since the Sami, who suffered psychological injuries, lost their culture and language.

In the past forty or fifty years, there has been an ever-increasing proportion of the population who have received training in the Sámi language. Those who stopped using the Sámi language in the provinces during the ancestral renewal did so voluntarily in order to obtain education and work in Norwegian society.

People who speak Sámi as their mother tongue were given priority for admission to studies in colleges and universities and are now doctors, professors and engineers across the country.

Today, it is probably mostly the descendants of those who used the Sami language in coastal areas who now want to learn the language of their ancestors, that these descendants should be psychologically damaged because their grandparents stopped using the Sami language, which is somewhat doubtful. I worry more about language problems when I hear that Sámi children in Karasjok stop learning Sámi in primary school. When it comes to Sámi cultural expression, it has probably never been as widely funded, visible and widespread as it is today.

If I had been called a finnungen as a child, I believe the damage would have been minimal and in no way would I want any of the authorities or any individual to apologize to me or make amends for having damaged my soul. I also don't think the Norwegian Coast Sami want the NSR to start reforming their psyche.

Ole Simonsen

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