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What’s with this “Wren” thing?
The oldest extant version of the fable
are presenting here appeared in 1913 in the first volume of a two-volume anthology
Saxon folktales (Plattdeutsche
Volksmärchen “Low German Folktales”)
collected by Wilhelm Wisser (1843–1935). Read
one of Europe’s longest surviving ethnic groups,
the Sámi people have come a long way as an historical-
opressed minority in four countries, are now asserting
and are taking
Results of DNA
studies seem to indicate
their ancestors were isolated for
a very long time.
Sámi (also known as “Saami” or “Saame,” formerly “Lapp” or “Lappish”) is
the indigenous language of the Sámi people. These days it is used by between
and culture spans much of the polar circle regions of Norway, Sweden, Finland
and the Kola Peninsula of the far northwest of the Russian Federation. In Norway
and Sweden it extends to some regions farther south (Hedmark and Dalecarlia).
It is believed that the Sámi area was much larger before Germanic, Slavonic,
Finnish and Karelian spread.
Sámi is a
Uralic language group, is thus a relative of the Finnic, Ugric and Samoyedic
languages (including Finnish, Estonian and
Hungarian). It consists of three broad variety groups (or languages) with subdivisions,
of which some have further dialectical divisions:
(Those varieties marked with * above have written standards.)
Being a minority
language in four countries in which it is indigenous, as well as in overseas
(especially in North America), the
been struggling to survive. While some dialects are still struggling,
the language as a whole appears
more enlightened attitudes on the part of Norway, Sweden and Finland and also
thanks to increased
Sámi awareness and activism. The Sámi language is now officially recognized
in Norway, Sweden and Finland. It is used
television, Sámi studies are offered at universities, and Sámi organizations
variously promote Sámi development, assertion and participation. This has resulted
representation and in increasing Sámi Internet presence. The situation of Sámi
in Russia remains worrisome despite some Sámi reassertion attempts in that
country. Due to the situation in that country, the Akkala (Akhkil, Babinsk),
extinct, and only a small number of speakers
of Kildin Sámi remains. Other varieties that are severely endangered are Inari
(Finland) as well as Ume, Pite and Southern Sámi (Sweden).
Kemi Sámi (Finland) has now been extinct for a good hundred years, and few written
records from the 18th and 19th centuries remain of it.