Riddu Riđđu

Riddu Riđđu
Photo: riddu.no
Riddu Riđđu is an annual festival of Sami music and culture held in the Norwegian village of Manndalen, also known as Olmmáivággi in the Sami languages. The festival is dedicated to the culture of the Sami people and other indigenous peoples.

The Sami people, traditionally known in English as Laplanders or Lapps, are an indigenous Finno-Ugric people who live primarily in Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. They inhabit the cultural region in Northern Europe known as Lapland or Sápmi.

Due to the cultural assimilation of the Sami people that took place in the past, many Sami do not speak any of the Sami languages and don’t known much about Sami culture. In 1990, the Sami were recognized as an indigenous people in Norway, and the process of cultural revitalization of the Sami officially started.

The Riddu Riđđu Festival was founded in 1991 by a group of young Sami with the help of several Sami cultural organizations. Translated into English, its name means “a small storm on the coast”. The founders of Riddu Riđđu wanted to demonstrate their pride in their identity and cultural heritage. Although they were initially met with resistance and ridicule, the youth didn’t give up. They received support from local authorities, artists and the public and the festival began to thrive.

Originally, Riddu Riđđu focused on Sami culture but over the years it has expanded to showcase the cultures of other indigenous and small-numbered peoples from different countries, including the Nordic countries, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, New Zealand, Suriname, Zanzibar, etc.

In 2009, the government of Norway recognized Riddu Riđđu as a hub festival, which made it a fixed item in the stage budget. Since its inception, the festival has become one of the most anticipated cultural events in Norway that attracts thousands of people from all over the country and abroad. Not all of them are Sami, many attendees just want to learn more about Sami culture and enjoy high-quality programming.

The Riddu Riđđu festival offers a rich and diverse program. It includes stages performances (music, dance, theater), art exhibitions, film screenings, literary readings, workshops and seminars, special events and activities for children and youth, a large market (bazaar) offering unique crafts and local food, and more. The festival is an outdoor event and many attendees live on one of the two free campsites (a festival camp and a family camp).

Riddu Riđđu

Photo: mariusfiskum.no




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