Friday, April 19, 2024

A Village At The End Of The World, Which Is Filled With Darkness And Loneliness

MagazineUnusual placesA Village At The End Of The World, Which Is Filled With...

Greenland’s Niaqornat is a small village at the end of the world where loneliness reigns. There is no sewage in the village. Residents who travel to work do so by Hui helicopter, whose owner has a contract with the government to do that work, while a food ship occasionally delivers goods.

The directors of the documentary about this place state: “The only teenager in town is having fun on Google Earth”, he listens to a Greenlandic tail and thinks about suicide, while out of boredom he carves tupilaqsa, the traditional wooden monsters used by shamans.

59 Inuit inhabitants (who call themselves Eskimos) go through months of endless darkness and then an uninterrupted day, and they are so isolated from the world that you can think how simple their life is. But modernity, with all the problems that accompany it, is slowly catching up with them. Socio-economic problems have begun to affect Greenland as a whole, as high unemployment and the suicide rate of young people – have an enormous impact on life.

Climate change is not a myth for the inhabitants of Niaqornat, but a reality in which they live. The ice cover of Greenland is melting, and that directly affects their lifestyle.

Sarah Gavron and David Katznelson have made a documentary film that faithfully reflects the conflict between new and old and the fight against climate change in the area.

“One of the biggest blows for Niaqornat was the closure of a fish factory, which is crucial to people’s lives. Government incentives allow these villages to survive because it is terribly expensive to maintain the conditions. However, when their population declines, funds are cut. It is a vicious circle,” he said. Documentary filmmaker Sara Gavron, explaining how this money comes from the Danish government.

In 2009, Niakornat was also hit hard by the European law banning trade in seal products.

This documentary also shows a tourist who comments from the visiting ship that most of the inhabitants are the fruit of the so-called inbreeding or “kinship”, mixing of relatives which leads to significant genetic connection, but also anomalies. This is the main question that “outsiders” often ask, because Niaqornat is a very small community. There are two large families in it and a few extra people who are not relatives, and when you meet potential partners, you usually go to other places.

Looking through history, Greenland is actually an Arctic island that is geographically located in America, but politically and historically it is more connected to Europe, and it is also home to the largest national park in the world. About 81 percent of the surface is covered with ice, and almost all the inhabitants live in the fjords in the southwest of the island, where the climate is milder.

Most Greenlanders are a mixture of Scandinavian people and Kalalites (Inuit). They speak Greenlandic as their mother tongue. About 50,000 people speak Greenlandic, which is in the group of Eskimo-Aleutian languages. A minority of Danish non-Inuit migrants speak Danish and both languages ​​are official.

Greenland was under Norwegian rule from the 11th century until 1814, when power was given to Denmark. It is known that Denmark and Norway have been in a personal union for centuries. Greenland became an integral part of the state of Denmark in 1953. Local autonomy was granted to the Danish Parliament (Folketing) only on 1 May 1979 and in 2008 Greenlanders voted to transfer more powers to the local government, which came into force on 21 June 2009. The Danish central government became responsible only for external policy, security and financial policy. The Greenlanders left the European Economic Community (today’s European Union) in a referendum in 1985.

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