Greenland (or Kalaallit Nunaat) is, like the Faroe Islands, a part of the Danish Kingdom. Since 1979, Greenland has its own laws concerning social, political, and financial affairs. This means that the Greenland government is sovereign in its management. Yet, Greenland has two representatives on the Danish Parliament.
Ice covers almost this entire gigantic and incredibly beautiful island. Climate is relatively warm all along the West Coast. Two-third of population actually lives on this coast, even though the temperature rarely goes up to ten degrees during summer.
Greenlanders are descents of Inuit coming from the North of Canada a thousand years ago. Today, Greenland population is a mix of Inuit and Danish people. Indeed, Danish people came in this region during years 1720, under the direction of the Danish missionary Hans Egede.
In school, children learn English, Danish, as well as their own language, Greenlandic. Greenlandic is very close to the languages spoken by Arctic Inuit. Oppositely to the Inuktitut that is written with a syllabic alphabet, Greenlandic is written with the Latin alphabet.
The point of view of people living in the North has also been gathered from short story writings inspired by a questionnaire used during expeditions. Those short stories, written by one author from each of the 8 countries touching the Arctic Polar Circle, will serve as creative inspiration. Here are some excerpts.
Nipaanneq. Kamanneq. (Greenlandic)
Ilunni eqqissinermik misigisat kamannguuppoq. Meeraaninni kisimiititaavallaarsimaninnut kamanneq. Mikisunnguullutilli nukkat paarisariaqartarsimavat ataatat aalakuuleraangat anaanallu aallaqqagaangat. Kiserliornermik misigisaqaqqilerputit, soorlu taamani.Soorlulusooq innermik anitsisartup anitsinerata avatitit nungunniarlugit immerai. Sisinnit anillapputit inuttullu nikuillutit. Nukkassarputit itisoorujussuarmillu anersaariarlutit – qatimaluusattutut nillerujussuarputit! Nukitit tamaasa sukappatit, puakkut anniallapputit sequnngerujussuarlutillu. Peqipputit anerneerunnissavit nipaarunnissavillu tungaanut. Maani inissaqarpoq. Aamma ilinnut.
Listen to the author read the excerpt
Stilhed. Vrede. (Danish)
Din indre ro afløses af en uventet, ætsende vrede. Vrede mod en ensom barndom hvor du blev ladt alt for alene, alt for ofte, og i alt for ung en alder. Lille du havde en endnu mindre lillesøster at tage dig af, når din far drak sig fuld og din mor var på rejse. Ensomheden fylder dig, ligesom dengang. Du rejser dig fra din rævehule, og står nu oprejst som et menneske på to ben. Du samler dig viljestærkt, tager en dyb, dyb indånding - og sætter derefter i et brøl! Alle dine muskler spændes, dine lunger smerter, og dine øjne er knebet hårdt sammen. Du bukker kroppen sammen ved hoften, indtil sidste gisp af luft er ude af dig, og alt lyd er borte. Her er plads. Også til dig.
Listen to the author read an excerpt
Your inner peace is replaced by unexpected, corrosive anger. Anger over your lonely childhood, all too often left alone, from a very young age. That, that little you, had an even younger sister to take care of, when your father was getting drunk and your mother was away. You feel as consumed by the loneliness now, just as you did then. But you raise yourself up, crawling out of your fox hole. You stand up straight like a human being on two legs. Strongwilled, you pull yourself together, take a deep breath and start roaring! Your muscles flex, your lungs hurt, with your eyes pressed tightly shut. You bend at the hips, until the last gasp of air is released and all sound is gone. There is space here, also for you.
Pipaluk Lykke Løgstrup (Narsaq, Greenland, 1976) is based in Sisimiut from where she works with Greenlandic and Inuit culture in her company, Nebula. She has written and published one book. She is director and producer of a documentary about the female dogsledder, Navarana, and curates art exhibitions. She is also a member of the board in NAPA, a cultural institution on the Nordic council of ministers.