Southern Saami Language and Culture—Between Stigma and Pride, Tradition and Modernity
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Original versionThe Indigenous Identity of the South Saami 10.1007/978-3-030-05029-0_2
In this chapter, I will present an analysis of how a Southern Sámi identity is performed in our late modern society, first and foremost how this identity is expressed through the use—or omittance—of the Southern Sámi language. It has been pointed out that it is more or less a miracle that Southern Sámi is still a living language. In my chapter, I will try to demonstrate how some sociocultural and political factors through history have inhibited the use of this language, while other factors have supported—directly or indirectly—the transmission of this linguistic repertoire from one generation to another. The master story of the Southern Sámi language and culture is intimately connected to the general ‘climate of opinion’ when it comes to minority–majority relations in Norway. The position of the Sámi population today has in several ways been fundamentally changed, compared with how the Sámi were regarded by the Norwegian majority population well into the twentieth century, as a lesser and inferior people. Some of the main aspects of my analysis will be related to contrasts like stigma versus pride, tradition versus modernity—as these values are attached to the Sámi culture.