This weekend I attended Riddu Riddu festival for the very first time. For those of you who follow me on Snapchat (snowintromso) you've probably already seen a few snippets.
What is Riddu Riddu?
Basically, Riddu is an indigenous music and culture festival which has been organised for 25 years now and which takes place in the little town of Manndalen in the fjords, 2 hours from Tromso.
The name Riddu Riddu comes from the Sami expression "Little Storm on the Coast" and the festival can really be described as such!
The festival started out to celebrate and strengthen the rights of the Sea Sami community in the area but quickly grew to become one of the most important indigenous festivals in the North. Each year, people from Canada, the US, Russia, and Asia come to participate and celebrate together.
What unites them is the North. Most indigenous people participating come from the Arctic or Subarctic and thus, people can relate to each other and share their experiences of what it means to be indigenous in the North today.
During the 4 days of the festival, several concerts, seminars, workshops and film screenings take place and there also is a market where you can buy Sami handicraft and clothing.
What was it like?
The boyfriend and I had been invited to the festival to present our MA theses since we both wrote about Arctic indigenous peoples - Simon about the Sami and I about the Inuit in Greenland. We even got to exhibit our theses in the library of the Centre of Northern Peoples where the festival takes place.
I had high expectations to the festival as we already visited the festival site and heard all about Riddu Riddu during our first month of grad studies and ever since then, I really want to come and see the festival for myself. And it didn't disappoint!
People from all over the North in their traditional costumes, presenting their traditions and culture in a little valley surrounded by Arctic mountains - there really was a special atmosphere at the festival and it was so interesting to learn more about other people's cultures and celebrate together.
Not to forget the amazing typical Norwegian food (reindeer kebabs and fish burgers!) and the concerts of Norwegian, Sami and even Mongolian artists! I particularly enjoyed the concert of the Norwegian singer Sondre Justad and the Mongolian rock band Hanggai.
We unfortunately only got to spend Friday and Saturday morning at the festival but that was also when the weather was at its best so no regrets for not having stayed until Sunday!
Words are definitely not enough to describe the festival so I put together a little video with the highlights of the concerts on Friday evening that you can see here.
Riddu Riddu takes places every year in July and if you're visiting Tromso or Northern Norway during that time, I can only recommend you to head to Manndalen for the festival.
The easiest way to get there is by car although there also is a bus on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays to and from Tromso. For accommodation, you can either bring a tent and sleep at the campsite or you can try to rent a cabin in the area - although they get booked pretty fast so hurry.
There's absolutely no problem to communicate in English - in fact, a lot of volunteers at the festivals are even international students in Tromso. You can get tickets online via the homepage of Riddu Riddu.
The best thing about the festival? Free wifi all over the site! Okay, maybe not the best thing but awesome anyway.
Plus, the festival is extremely family-friendly and alcohol is forbidden in the area. If you want to drink, you have to visit the bar which is fenced off so that no one under 18 can enter, and buy some beer or wine there.
I absolutely enjoyed that cause I usually avoid festivals for fear of drunk crowds.
Have you been to an indigenous event once? Would you be interested in going to Riddu Riddu?
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My favourite from last week was the post "Your 10 Day Guide to Bavaria" by California Globetrotter. I've loved visiting Munich last year and wish I had had more time to explore what else Bavaria has to offer. Travelling around the region for a week or more and seeing Neuschwanstein and Zugspitze sounds absolutely amazing! Thanks for linking up with us!
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