Why learn about sami culture if you are not Sami?
Once when we mentioned something about the Sami culture, an aquientance openly stated that he didnt like culture.
His reason for not liking culture in general was that a large part of the problems and conflicts in the world comes from cultural practice. Social norms not based on what works best, rather just norms, many times very old ideas/norms that results very inconvenient for many. Sometimes even murder and torture is supported by culture.
Well that is true, when we are talking about some cultures in the world. But if we talk about indigenous cultures and especially arctic indigenous cultures, the situation is quite different.
We guess that the living conditions themselves are so harsh and extreme that unnecessary social norms/rules never had space to grow.
Instead our culture works more as a bank or knowledge.
For example how to make skiis, clothes, boats, sleds, lassos, and so on. Since techniques for all this have been tried out for many thousands years, the best ones became the culture.
The guksi (sami wooden cup) has a round shape in the bottom so that it stands firmly on the floor of the lavvu made of branches.
The best skin to make pants of is the skin from the reindeers legs. The shape of the knife sheets is curved so that it slides to the side when you sit down. This is common knowledge in our culture that has been tried out for centuries. We can tap into this cultural knowledge, so that we, so to speak, dont have to reinvent the wheel over and over again.
We where all indigenous once upon a time. But nowadays the majority of the earths population are considered non-indigenous. Humanity is loosing touch with nature – with the basics. More and more people around the world start to understand this. The now common way of living in developed countries will not work for long. In fact the earth is already out of balance with severe consequenses although its not so obvious to se if you live in a «privileged» part of the world/city.
We need to reconnect with our roots to be able to have a future. Today indigenous cultures are the link to our roots in a global perspective.
We are not suggesting that we should go back to the exact same lifestyle we had a 100, 500 or a thousand years ago. But to be able to create a future we all need to consider the wisdom and knowledge of the indigenus cultures.