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Photo Sets
The Phillippines
16 December 2000
Rome, Italy
16 August 2000
Kayak Show
1 August 1999
Arctic Golfing
10 July 1999
Greenland Natl. Day
21 June 1999
The Ice Cap II
19 June 1999
Mount Dundas
23 May 1999
Bus Assault
20 May 1999

Greenland National Day

At Thule Air Base Greenland National Day on the 21st of June is celebrated in the old settlement of Uummannaq. It couldn't use my "bad weather"- excuse, 'cause the sun was shining from a blue sky, so around one o'clock I took the bus over there. To the greenlandic the sun has a very significant influence, being so dependent on nature as they are. Therefore the national day is held on the longest day of the year. For practical reasons though the celebration took place on sunday, just the day before. As I told the sun was shining brightly but a little wind kept people from taking of their coats. It was in fact a bit chilly.

Having safely arrived we got out of the bus and was met by a magnificent view. Tasting various greenlandic snacks has become a tradition at this celebration, and this year was no different. Some dried up seal was the first thing I tried, small flakes almost dark, because of the high number of red blodcells in seals. It tasted okay.

Next there was large lumps of narwhale skin with a big layer of fat on the inside. This is "mataq", and the greenlandic love it and eat it like it's candy. I tried some small pieces, but could not find the resemblence in this and candy... It was very hard to chew, and it didn't taste of anymore than a glass of water. I tried it both with and without the fat layer and I must admit that the fat made my stomach do a quick spin :o)

On the next tray was dried cob which I actually found quite tasty although hard to chew. After that a large pot with cooked seal was being offered. Looking at the content of the pot I felt like just going on the next but I just tried a little piece and I was very surprised. It certainly had a must better taste than one would think.

Then another big pot. The lid was taken of and when the steam had disappeared you looked at a bunch of cooked dovekeys. Feathers, claws and everything was still there. The birds had just been cooked as had the landed in the pot themselves. There was nothing else to do than unzip the bird - take of it's coat to get to the deliciously tasty meat. Later large greenlandic shrimps were being served.. yummie!

Suddenly people gathered around a little porch. Two eskimos showed a traditional greenlandic drum dance. The drum dance is being used to tell stories and myths. The drum itself is made out of very thin seal skin attached to some ribs from some animal. The drum stick is made from the antlers of a caribou.

The two eskimos sang about a woman who was unable to have children. Instead she nurtured a young polar bear. One day the polar bear ran away and in dispear she went looking for it trying to make it come back to her by singing. She never found the bear and the myth tells that she turned into stone.

On the 21st of June there was an official flag ceremony in front of the US Air Force Head Quarters. The greenlandic, danish, and american flags were being raised while the greenlandic national hymn was played and sung. It was pretty cold because the wind was strong, but the wind made the flags look fantastic against the blue sky. A beautiful and memorable moment.

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