Finnish part of Lapland (archives)
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From frozen Lapland to Hebrew University

Members of northern Norway's Lappi minority to visit Israel in bid to learn how to revive ancient language

A delegation of the Lappi minority living in northern Norway will arrive in Israel next month for a first-of-its-kind visit in a bid to learn from the Israeli experience of reviving the Hebrew language and passing it on to the younger generation.


Awareness to the Lappi people's rights has been growing in Norway in recent years, including the preservation of the Lappi (also known as Sami) language. The Lappi youth grows up learning Norwegian and English while forgetting the ancient language.


The Norwegian government helps the Lappi minority with language reviving lessons, but the Lappis have been finding it difficult and began searching for someone to learn from around the world. The best people to turn to, they were told, would be the Israelis.


Members of the Lappi minority approached the Israeli Embassy in Norway recently and asked for Israel's help. They have the financial support of a Norwegian governmental program for the preservation and revival of the language.


The Embassy has begun arranging a series of meetings for the Lappi people at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in the fields of language study, preservation and revival.


A delegation is expected to arrive in Israel in early February, wearing the Lappi traditional clothes. It will be escorted by Heily Hansen, who works at the Israeli Embassy in Norway and is a live example of a non-Jewish Norwegian citizen who has fallen in love with Hebrew and learned the language perfectly.


The Lappi representatives will also visit an ulpan – a school for intensive Hebrew studies and closely observe the way new immigrants learn the language.


Lapland is a region in northern Europe which stretches across four countries: Finland, Russia, Norway and Sweden.


Lapland measures about 388,350 square kilometers, and according to estimates there are some 100,000 Sami people. About half of the Sami people (50,000) live in Norway.



פרסום ראשון: 01.17.12, 13:47
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