Ok everybody. I have not fallen off of my rocker (not just yet, anyways!). Some of you may have noticed the new addition to my sidebar. As I was playing around with my “widgets” yesterday, I discovered the “Sonific Songspot” widget and plunked it into my sidebar working section. Once I placed it there – I “gots to playing with it” and guess what – I’m addicted!!!! You won’t find the usual cache of contemporary junk at Sonific – be prepared for more of a barebones, indie collection of music if you visit the site. For those of us that tend to swim upstream, that suits us just fine. So a word about my selection.
Andreas Jansson from what I have discerned (there is a paucity of cyber-information on this artist), is of Scandinavian descent (the “sson” should tip you off on that one!). Specifically, I believe that he is Swedish. His album, “Sounds of Are” is a new-agey compilation of various tracks inspired by that beautiful northwestern municipality in Sweden – Are (pronounded “ore-reh”). The song highlighted in that little song thingie – “Natural – a Sami Picture”, is probably my favourite song from the album (think cold, icy tundra….blowing ice crystals….reindeer breath steaming from flared nostrils as it ascends over an arctic white horizon….). A beautiful image as your skin sizzles in the sweltering June heat. By the way, the enchanting voices in the song are performing “joik” or Sami chanting.
As culture will have it, there is an indigenous group of people inhabiting the circumpolar regions of Scandinavia (Finland, Norway, Sweden and a tiny peninsula of Russia). These people, the Sami, number at about 85 000 (the number may vary due to assimilation into cities etc.). They have a distinct culture, language and identity. Apparently, their cultural identity is also influenced geographically, such that there are “Sea Sami”, “Reindeer Sami” and “Non-Reindeer Sami”. The identity of this unique group of people has sparked many politcal debates – namely those surrounding human right’s obligations (the UN is moving forward to ensure that this group is included and protected in their UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples). The Sami have parliamentary representatives and their own educational institutions. Progress is being made to ensure that this distinct culture is protected.
So there you have it – a breath of fresh, circumpolar air to cool you on this warm June day. Within that breath is a gift of multiculturalism, identity and ancient wisdom.
Long live the “joik” [gosh, I am such a geek…!],