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The Ethnicity of Tromsø

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  1. The Ethnicityof Tromsø 1812 and 2012 By Louisa, Rosa, Ellen and Yngve

  2. Multicultural Tromsø 1812 Around 1830, after several lean years in the North of Sweden and Finland, a lot of people migrated to the Tromsø area in search of greener pastures. These migrants were called the Kven people. Although most of the Kven settled in the countryside, some settled in the city too, and in 1845 they made up 8 % of the city population. Another prominent group in the 19th century Tromsø was the Pomors. They were traders from Russia bringing wood and rye to trade for fish. Although they never settled in large numbers, they had an influence on the trading culture of Tromsø.

  3. The Sami People in Tromsø 1812 In the beginning of the 19th century, the Sámi people made up about 12% of the overall population of the Tromsø region. However, almost none of them lived in the city proper, instead they chose to settle in small communities around the fjords. Some of these settlements were: Kattfjord, Kaldfjord, Kåfjordand Sørfjord. It is also worth noting that in addition to these resident Sámi, there were a large number of nomadic Sámi hailing from Sweden. Every summer they drove their herds of reindeer to the lush summer pastures of Tromsø, thus swelling the number of Sámi in the region to nearly double their winter numbers.

  4. Multicultural Tromsø 2012 Today, almost 9% of the population in Tromsø are from foreign countries. There are a lot of different ethnicities; Russians, Poles, Swedes, Germans and Finns are most represented. Most of these immigrants are highly educated and have come here to work at the university (UiT). Russians are the biggest group of settlers. Although Tromsø is getting more international, we still have a very close cooperation with the Russians when it comes to trade, research, political agreements and other projects. For instance; our school is cooperating with a school in Russia. Norwegian students go to Murmansk, and Russian students come to Tromsø to exchange culture, language and to strengthen our relationship.

  5. The Sami People in Tromsø 2012 According to the Sami electoral roll there are about 2000 Sami people in Tromsø. However, these numbers are unclear because a lot of people live up to the criteria of being a part of the Sami population, but are not registered. The Sami people do not distinguish themselves, they live like ordinary people. Yet, they still wear their traditional costume in special occasions and they make Sami art and music to keep their culture alive. Lately, there has been a debate concerning whether or not Tromsø should become a Sami city. This would mean that all information such as signs, brochures and webpages have to be in the Sami language as well as Norwegian. The outcome of this debate was that Tromsø did not become a Sami city.

  6. Sources «Tromsø gjennom 10000 år - handelsfolk og fiskebønder» by Astrid Andersen (published by Tromsø Kommune in 1994)