Festival dedicated to language
The second week in July is time for Riddu Riđđu again. Since 2013 is the national year of languages in Norway, Riddu is making the most of the opportunity to promote the Sami language, which is a central part of the festival. As usual, there is a huge variety of great music from all over the Sami region and from the furthest corners of the globe; there is theatre, art, seminars and the new creation of Riddu Siida, a social hub within the festival area. Add to this a large dose of party atmosphere, fun and the chance to get together with fellow music lovers!
Northern people of the year
True to tradition, Riddu Riđđu will dedicate special attention to a people from the northern regions. In 2013, this will be the Ainu from the island of Hokkaido in northern Japan. Concerts, films, courses and seminars present the culture of the Ainu people. The artist OKI, who plays the tankori, a traditional stringed instrument, fuses traditional folk music with reggae and dub. Japanese-inspired food is served all week, with a particular focus on this during the Northern People of the Year Day on Saturday 13th July.
Indigenous people from all over the world
Buffy Sainte-Marie, the famous Canadian indigenous folk artist, is an old friend of the Riddu, and always attracts a large audience. Norwegian-Zambian Admiral P sings reggae in Nyanja and Norwegian. Moana & The Tribe are one of New Zealand's most popular Maori acts, and audiences can expect the warrior's haka and melodic tunes in the resonant Maori language. Radik Tyulyush from Tuva in Eastern Siberia brings us some unusual throat singing.
Musical highlights from Sápmi
Riddu Riđđu always treats us to plenty of highlights from the musical scene in the Sami region. Elin Kåven from Karasjok sings from the album she released this winter. Violet Road is a rock band from Kåfjord which has several radio hits behind it. Lovisa Negga gives us her very first song in the Lule Sami language. Ailu Valle from Utsjok in Finland raps in Sami. The popular Kautokeino group Sančuari sings melodious Joik rock.
Riddu Riđđu is always moving forward, and the new thing this year is Riddu Siida. This will be a mingling area, where there will always be something going on. A turf hut, a yurt, a tjum and several lavvo tents, all traditional indigenous dwellings, will provide a venue for courses, cultural events, spontaneous concerts and a chance to taste traditional and innovative cuisines.
Stage, gallery, seminars, literature
Beaivváš Sámi Našunálateáhter, the Sami national theatre, is showing the play 'My home is in my heart'. Sotz’il Jay, a group from the Mayan people of Guatemala, will be presenting an energetic display of dance about the battle between good and evil. Two art projects both tackle language; Kristin Tårnesvik who deals with misunderstandings and stereotypes, and the indigenous folk singer Raymond Boisjoly from British Colombia, Canada, who takes a look at indigenous languages. The seminar programme focuses on six highly topical subjects, from Canada, New Zealand and Japan, including sustainable reindeer herding, indigenous languages and identity.
There aren't many hotel rooms in Manndalen, which means that most of the audience has to sleep in tents in the festival fields – but most people enjoy this! It doesn't get dark, so it's a great chance to stay up into the small hours around the camp fire in a lavvo. A rain shower is always a possibility, but the sheltered position of Manndalen behind the Lyngen Alps gives it a generally dry climate.
After the festival
Manndalen is a rural area which is famous for its buckets and pails, so it's worth spending a little time here. In Manndalen Husflidslag's Grenebua shop, the 'rug shed', you can study Sea Sami handicrafts. The 'grene' are large woven wool rugs and blankets that have a tradition going back thousands of years. 'Bonkos' mittens are so warm that they are used by explorers travelling to the North Pole! The 'Sjithælveteskåken' is a simple house that was rebuilt after the war from salvaged planks. When the government wanted the owner to pay for the materials, he angrily told them that they could just come and take his miserable shack. You can also take a walk up to the summer pastures and go and see the goats!