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Azi Khalili &
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Seeking My "Same" Background

Dear Harvey,

I promised to give you a written report of the work I have been doing with the Same ("Same" is the accurate name for the reindeer-herding people of northern Europe who have been called in other languages by the oppressive term "Lapps"). After starting this work seven years ago with just small moves ahead, it is speeding up now (I hope).

It started to move a lot more after the intensive I did at Personal Counselors in October. In January I had a spontaneous support group with the leader of the Same federation here in Göteborg and his wife and daughter. A terrible accident had happened in their family, and I thought I could give them some valuable support with just good, attentive, comforting listening. A couple of weeks later I participated in a workshop of Jojk, the very special way of singing for Same people. After that we had a gathering for some Same people about making handicrafts. There I formed a Same support group, and people talked about their background, Same identity, and oppression. They shared information with each other like they had never done before, and they have known each other for a couple of years!

This handicraft meeting made me contact my mother. After being very angry and upset with me for seeking out the Same identity, she shared information about my grandfather, whom I did not know. But then a few days later she sent me a letter in which she said she doesn't want to have anything to do with me anymore because I'm so mean and terrible, etc. Of course it hurts, but I understand the terror behind her feelings. I decided to let her rest for a while.

Then I got very busy preparing to apply to a school for music studies. I didn't think I had much of a chance compared to the other 197 clever young applicants. But last week I got a message from the school saying that I'm the fourth person on the waiting list to get a place in that school. I have also started a Same women's project together with two other Same women and one ally. We will search for information about Same women's lives by using interviews, and we shall write a book and make an exhibition also. So I will have plenty of opportunities to introduce RC.

You gave me the short understatement about a year ago. I did some work on it, but not for very long. I just didn't understand the use of it. But after reading the article in Present Time, it all made some sense to me and I have been working on it regularly for a couple of weeks and during a workshop last weekend. I didn't notice any re-evaluation during the weekend except a decision to stop being preoccupied with my old distresses. But today I notice a new slew of energy and lightness like I haven't felt for a long time. I have also gotten back some nice memories from my childhood. Everything wasn't that bad.

Lisa Starborg-Frisk
Göteborg, Sweden

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00