Norrbotten Tour - Cultural heritage - Jokkmokk and Umeå

Norrbotten Tour - Cultural heritage - Jokkmokk and Umeå

The focus of the last leg of the Norrbotten tour of Ambassador Banashri Bose Harrison was the rich and colorful cultural heritage of the Sami. In the municipality of Jokkmokk in the Lapland province she was received at the office of Sámi Duodji by the former Head of Sámi Parliament in Sweden, Mr Laörs-Anders Baer and the CEO of Sámi Duodji, Ms Mari-Ann Nutti. Ms Nutti explained the meaning of Duodji, which is the Sámi word for handicrafts and applies to all handicraft made by Sámi artists, based on Sámi traditions, designs and colours. The CEO explained that Sámi Duodji is the foundation established to promote, support and develop Sámi handicrafts and cultural heritage. It also owns the "Sámi Duodji" trademark used for authentic Sámi handicrafts. During the discussions, the Ambassador spoke of India's ethnic diversity which had strengthened and enriched the national identity and commented on the striking similarity of how Sámi handicrafts to the handicrafts from the North Eastern region of the country. She mooted the idea of cooperation in the field of traditional handicraft, which was well received. It was agreed that the proposal be discussed further when Ms Nutti visits Stockholm next.

The Ambassador was thereafter taken on a fascinating tour of Ájtte, the Sámi museum where the curator Ms Elina Nygård told Ambassador about the Sámi way of life and their ancient history.

Later in the evening, the Ambassador visited Umeå where she met Ms Rupali Bhalerao, the Director of the Nordic Study Centre in India which is currently based in the University of Umea and Ms Elin Ljungström, who coordinates the India programme of the University. They briefed her on the growing collaboration between the University and a number of leading Indian institutions in several areas including architecture and design.

The last engagement was a meeting with local musician Rickard N. Jokela who told the Ambassador about his deep interest in Indian classical musical traditions and the inspiration he was drawing from his collaboration with the well-known Indian musician Bahauddin Dagar. He also told her about the longstanding links between the Dagar musical family and the Swedish Jazz musician Bengt Berger.