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    MURMANSK REGION CELEBRATES NATIONAL DAY OF SAAMS

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    MURMANSK, February 6 (RIA Novosti, Yekaterina Kozlova) - On Sunday, the population of the Murmansk region (Russia's north, the Kola Peninsula) celebrates the National Day of Saams, the Murmansk region officials told RIA Novosti.

    In Murmansk, the celebrations started with the raising of the Saam National flag in front of the building of the regional administration.

    An exposition Communities of Kola Saams, describing the history and culture of Saam people, was opened at the Murmansk regional museum.

    A concert of local folklore groups and performers of Saam songs, and a sales exhibition of Saam souvenirs will be organized in Murmansk in the framework of the festivities.

    The officials recalled that the Saam flag was introduced in 1986 during the 13th Saam conference in Norway. It is a four-color (red, blue, green and yellow) banner. Two semi-circles (blue and red) represent the Moon and the Sun because the Saam people consider themselves children of these two celestial bodies.

    The National Day of Saams is traditionally celebrated on February 6 because on that day in 1917 the first Saam congress with participation of representatives of this indigenous people from Sweden and Norway was held in Southern Norway.

    The Russian Saams joined the international Association of Saam people in 1992.

    At present, about 2,000 representatives of this northern people reside on the Kola Peninsula.

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