Sharing knowledge, a way of learning and teaching

My experiences of the cultural landscapes in Greenland has been that; the landscapes in a unique sense symbolize the unwritten history. It tells a story about the interaction between humans and nature, it reflects environments and climate variability but most important of all, it is core of the cultural roots, ways of perceiving ones surroundings and therefore the ways of movement and travel. When unfolded it is attached and related to a wealth of memories which for some of us from the outside would be invisible. It is a place where people share their experiences and memories. It is experienced through all the senses, sight, smell, sound, often it is these senses that create unique memories of stories linked to just the area you moved through. These stories connected to the understanding, identity, ties, memories and history also educates and acquires knowledge and experience, but is at the same time, the root for shaping one’s own.

This fall I arranged a field coarse at the University of Greenland, where the knowledge that the hunters had was shared with the students This unique knowledge the students would then combine with knowledge of natural science, archaeology, cultural analysis and other interdisciplinary field. Our time with the hunters, together with the students was one of my best experiences in the field.

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Vittus showing where his family would hunt Beluga whales migrating out of the fjord (see more pictures in the gallery).

The students emphasized, as Nuuni that;

“In order to get a detailed picture of the fjord its environment and rescources back in time, now and in the future , it’s not just experts who have insight into the area. Oral histories from local hunters play an important role .The local and traditional knowledge is unique.”

“It was a special experience to be located in the right surroundings while getting told by they the right people, sharing the stories and explanations of and why places called the way they are. It gave a special feeling inside. One wanted to hear more. The feeling of experiencing the cultural landscapes, the stories, put many thoughts in mind. You got that feeling that you are proud to be a Greenlandic. You wanted to learn more”  –Nuuni, Master student, Ilisimatusarfik

This field coarse will not be the last that I arrange, I really hope that I will get the opportunity in the future!

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