Arctic Circle Council 2016, day 2
Brilliant speech by a very humble and wise secretary general, Bank I-Moon. World class, great stage presence and charisma. Hearing his speech was more than worth coming here for. He really raised the issue of indigenous people and said, when asked what he had learned the most from his ten years, he answered:
“Don’t trust governments!”
A real highlight!
It is 5 or 6 years since I was here the last time. Reykjavik is really a laidback, picturesque and down to earth capital and I see tourism is blooming! Loads everywhere or maybe it is the 2000 person strong Arctic Circle conference which is behind it.
Another observation is the fact that you don’t see hardly any immigrants here.
A few observations after a stretch the legs walk.
I could easily live here with the family, but I doubt they need any explorers here.
The great mouthharp player Spiridon starts off a new day, the last at Arctic Circle 2016! Very few congress visitors have arrived. Once finished he will head outdoors in the drizzle and gloom of the day, to finish his and Sashas work on a tradtional and very spiritual totempole which is a brandmark of this once great horse people. They’re still trying to find their way back to their own culture after over 70 years of Soviet rule.
That is the main reason they have come to Reykjavik, to make the congressmen and women aware of their existence. Well, not only them, but the culture of the Chukchi, Yamal and represtation from Canadian Inuit. And they have been seen by the president of Iceland and the very impressive secretary general Bank I-Moon. And, my opionion, not only make an energetic and powerful presence of matters more important the money and economics, they put emphasis on the presence of the indigenous people, the native and original people of the Arctic.
This is incredibly important, because they’re far and few in this meeting of over 2000 participants. I have to say there’s a lot of experts here, especially from the US East Coast who behave like they know everything, and this is without neither living in the Arctic on a permanent basis or are people of the north (in heart or in reality). I find it quite extraordinary. we need to give the indigenous people much more opportunities to talk here. And much more quite arrogant experts from the big cities.
On top of that, there’s a lot of Russia bashing here. At times right, other times not. But, having said that, the Russian presence here is quite extraordinary and based on gas and oil and future riches to be made.
However, I am very happy to be here and I am learning lots about the Arctic. And people.