The Red Cross in the Faroe Islands organises various events with the aim of helping locals and immigrants integrate. One successful event of this kind is Sambinding, called ‘Intertwining’ in English, which is held monthly across the country.
Sambinding aims to create an opportunity for locals and immigrants to meet, chat and have a good time. The events, which started in 2016 and are held in libraries, usually have a guest speaker and sometimes include a Faroese language class for beginners. Participation numbers vary from ten to 40 and the event can run for up to three hours.
Kristianna Winther Poulsen organises Sambinding events for the Faroese Red Cross.
She says: “The response we’ve had has been very positive. We’ve managed to create a forum for locals and immigrants to meet and talk to one another and we’re seeing more and more interest from other locations in the Faroe Islands that want to organise Sambinding events in their respective parts of the country.”
Siri Helgadóttir Tórgarð works as Integration Coordinator for the Municipality of Tórshavn, the capital city. She was a guest speaker at a recent Sambinding event in Tórshavn.
“The Municipality of Tórshavn has chosen to prioritise integration and has organised a number of events to help people meet and get to know one another,” says Siri. “It is important to highlight the resources that immigrants bring to our society. Integration goes both ways, and it’s essential that both sides take part to help create a good integration.”
The ‘sam’ in ‘sambinding’ refers to the Faroese word ‘samband’, which translates as ‘connection, ‘relation’ or ‘union’, while ‘binding’ means ‘knitting’ in Faroese. The word Sambinding is therefore a blend word, one formed from parts of two different words.
Knitting is an old Faroese tradition which many – particularly women – still practice today. Many who attend the Sambinding event bring their knitting needles along, as seen in the images above.
Words: Levi Hanssen
This article was originally published on Faroeislands.fo