The Language of my Heart

Sirkka Seljevold
36 minutes


They were not allowed to speak their mother tongue, Kven, at school and they could not understand their teacher's language, Norwegian. People from the neighbouring country, Finland, were laughing at their ‘old Finnish'. This film is about how experiences with one's stigmatised mother tongue have life-long consequences on one's identity, self-esteem and experience of belonging. 

We meet Solgunn and Terje from a Kven village, Børselv in Northern Norway. Each in her/his own way they take up a fight for the right to their own mother tongue, the right to a whole identity.

The Kven minority population of Northern Norway has been a target of strong assimilation politics for over 100 years. As a result their language is now dying out. But some brave and determined souls have not given up.

Producer / Production company: 
Visual Cultural Studies, University of Tromsø