The Queen opens Riddu Riddu festival
Queen Sonja participated in the opening of this year’s Riddu Riddu festival at Riddu-sletta in Manndalen in Kåfjord on Thursday evening.
Annually, the Riddu Riddu Festival is held in the municipality of Kåfjord in northern Troms. It is an international indigenous people’s festival that, for 25 years, has worked to create stronger awareness and pride among the Sami.
Queen Sonja arrived at the quay at Løkvoll in a shawl. The municipality had invited people from the village to meet her. On the way to the festival area, children from the Barnefestivalen (Children’s Festival) sang for the Queen, who’s just celebrated her 80th birthday.
The Queen also had the opportunity to meet indigenous people from the area, and indigenous people from Alaska, sailors, and artists who worked on wood carvings.
During the opening, Queen Sonja was welcomed by the festival manager with a birthday present.
‘It’s a great pleasure for me to be here. “My home is in my heart, and it goes with me,” wrote the great poet, Nils Aslak Valkeapää. We are in his kingdom, and at home with the seamen’, said Queen Sonja in her opening speech.
Contribute to a better world
She said that she’d been deeply involved with Riddu Riddu since the start in 1991. She believed the festival had helped to create strong personal experiences.
After the opening, the year’s program was kicked off by the composer, jazz musician and saxophonist, Mette Henriette Martesdatter Rølvåg.
‘When Riddu Riddu travels with Sami artists, the event consolidates its position as a national spearhead for international indigenous peoples’ cooperation.
It’s a major responsibility, but offers the opportunity to contribute to a better world, for the best of the Sami culture, and for the indigenous peoples of the world’, the Queen concluded.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today