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PfD 2009
Sámi rockband SomBy wins Liet International 2009 Print E-mail
Tuesday, 03 November 2009

somby_liet.jpgThe young Sámi rockband SomBy has won the sixth edition of the European minority song contest, Liet International, in the Frisian capital of Ljouwert / Leeuwarden.

The average age of the five members of SomBy is eighteen with lead singer, Miira Suomi, the eldest at 20. SomBy qualified for Liet International by winning the Sámi Grand Prix in Kautokeino, Norway, at Easter. In Friesland they managed to impress both the jury and the audience with the strong and powerful live performance of their rock song ‘Ii idit vel’.

The prize for Liet International consists of three elements. The silver Liet-trophy was presented by Jannewietske de Vries, the Minister for Culture of the Provinsje Fryslân. SomBy also received a cheque of 1,000 euros from the Council of Europe and an invitation for next years edition of the Frisian Befrijdingsfestival (Liberation Festival) on the fifth of May.

During the exciting voting run off SomBy had heavy competition from runners up Dr. Drer & CRC Posse from Sardegna (second), singer-songwriter Lino Straulino from Friuli (third), and Fiach from Ireland (fourth).

According to the jury the quality of the contestants was 'very high' this year. The musical variety was also impressive, ranging from Sámi and Gaelic rock, to hip-hop in Low German and Sardinian.

SomBy’s win marks the fourth Sámi victory at Liet Ynternasjonaal.

Liet International 2009 results

1. SomBy, Sami, Samiland
2. Dr. Drer & CRC Posse, Sardinian, Sardinia
3. Lino Straulino, Friûl, Friuli
4. Fiach, Irish Gaelic, Ireland
5. It Langstme & de Dea, Frisian, Fryslân
6. Sattuma, Karelian, Karelia
7. Sunrise Not Secular, Scottish Gaelic, Scotland
8. De fofftig Penns, Low German, Germany
9. Alfredo Gonzalez, Asturian, Asturias
10. Zine, Occitan, Occitania
11. Sovvalniks, Latgalian, Latvia

The public award of Liet International 2009 went to the Sardinian rap group Dr. Drer & CRC Posse from Cagliari. His song ‘Apu Biu’ received massive support from both the audience in city theatre De Harmonie and voters on the internet. Dr. Drer received a cheque of 1,000 euros from Alexey Kozhemyakov of the Council of Europe, from the Secretariat of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. It was the first time that Sardinia was present at the song contest.

Media success

Liet managed to attracted attention from the international media such as the BBC, CNN International, Swedish radio and television, Frisian broadcaster Omrop Fryslân, the Dutch Wereldomroep and Asturian radio.

Articles about the festival have been published by news agencies and newspapers all over Europe, ranging from the Russian press agency Nowosti to Agence France Press and many newspapers in France, Spain and Switzerland.

Bands visit Frisian schools

On the eve of Liet International five of the contestants paid a visit to a trilingual primary school in the Frisian countryside. The visits were a source of great enthusiasm for both the musicians and the children. Sámi band SomBy made all the children of primary school De Frissel in Feanwâlden (Veenwouden) jump and dance and Occitan singer Zine managed to teach the children of Brantgum an Occitan song and dance. There were also succesful school visits in Holwert (by Sunrise not Secular), Ferwert ( by Sattuma) and Bûtenpost (by Sovvalniks).

The organisers confirmed that the next  Liet International will take place in Inbhir Nis (Inverness), Alba (Scotland) in November 2010. Friûl reaffirmed its intentions to host the Liet in 2012 in the city of Udine. (Onno Falkena, Eurolang 2009)

More information can be found on www.liet.nl

Press photos can be downloaded from photoblog http://www.flickr.com/photos/42823111@N07/

Video from Omrop Fryslan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMdinbwxES4

CNN feature and video  http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/11/03/netherlands.liet.minority.languages/

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