A good place to be, said Alexander Rybak – Article in Sør-Varanger Avis 16.11.2018

It’s a valuable promotion when Alexander Rybak shows beautiful Sør-Varanger in Muitte Mu. 

The artists in “Muitte Mu-(Remember me)”, about coming to Kirkenes and Sør-Varanger

The artists who come to Sør-Varanger say they experience a unique tranquility here, tells Ole Rune Hætta, editor of NRK Sápmi and co-responsible for this year’s season of the programme “Muitte Mu-Remember Me.”

Article published in Sør-Varanger Avis on 16/11/2018
Author: Kjersti Sundland , Found by TessaLaTranslation by Jorunn Ekre. revision by Anni Jowett

With Alexander Rybak as one of the personalities, the images from Sør-Varanger will reach fans in a number of countries worldwide.

The artists who have joined us in Kirkenes and Øst-Finnmark express that they have experienced a unique, almost indescribable tranquility when they get here, tells Hætta to SA.

GOOD PLACE TO BE: Rybak felt a unique tranquility in Sør-Varanger. Photo: NRK


They are really in a rather stressed out and pressured situation to begin with. In the middle of some hectic days they have thrown themselves into trying something which is new and unknown to them: They will try to joik, a genre many think it takes a whole life to learn properly. The artists who join the programme take on the task with humility and sometimes a certain amount of fear, in any case awe, and will try this. Many found inspiration and calm in the surroundings in Sør-Varanger.

Sápmi is also east

In season two of the series we have chosen three new areas for the task,tells Hætt. Kirkenes and Sør-Varanger, Porsangerfjord and Alta.

Every time there’s a focus on the Sami in Norway, there’s talk about the inner parts of Finnmark, the plateau, Karasjok and Kautokeino. Now we want to show that Sápmi also has other lovely areas, like here by the coast. That’s why we chose these places this time.

Kirkenes snow hotel

Snowhotel Kirkenes is used as the location when Alexander Rybak will learn joik from his mentor Frode Fjellheim in the premiere season of the programme. Here we get to see the two of them practise the music in beautiful surroundings. Amongst other things they are out kayaking together, and Fjellheim tells how the nature here inspires him. This is the example of a segment that Rybak has shared with his almost one million followers.

Dog sledding: Rybak’s fans from all over the world get to “go to” Kirkenes and see some of the possibilities for experiences. Photo: NRK

Joiks hope and comfort

Rybak was born in Minsk in Belarus (Soviet Union at the time) and moved to Norway with his parents as a four year old. In the programme he has chosen to create a joik about those who feel left out. He experienced himself feeling and considered being different when he came to Norway as a little boy, he tells. It took time before he was accepted for who he was,and felt he could be himself. That’s why he wanted to joik those who feel left outside. He has called the song “Let The Music Guide You”.

I become more and more happy about writing songs that can be an encouragement to people, says Alexander in the programme.

To me learning how to joik was about finding my own inner voice, he writes on his Facebook page. Joik is like yoga for singing. It’s also about getting rid of troubles and concerns, he writes.

His fans reply in all kinds of languages in the comments.

Fans from all over the world

Rybak became famous for real to a big audience when he won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009 with his “Fairytale”. He has since then had a big and loyal amount of fans in many countries in the world, and keeps in touch with a lot of followers both on YouTube and in other channels. When Rybak does a performance like this, there are not “just” Norwegian viewers of NRK who get to discover Sør-Varanger’s beautiful surroundings, when the landscape and experiences here are shown in the programme.

Tourism-seizes the chance

Anja Christensen in Nord-Norsk tourism says the showing of good experiences in these settings clearly is valuable. Such programmes contribute to build the “brand” Finnmark in a very valuable way, she thinks. She won’t however estimate any numbers.

Conveying stories about what you can do in such a place, the way it is done through a well known person as Rybak, is how we work with marketing within tourism, she reveals.The guests are now one of the biggest promoters, through sharing stories. There’s no doubt it has a positive value. Christensen emphasises that it’s what you do collectively that has value for whether you can exploit the potential in such programmes.

More Kirkenes

Do we get to see more of Kirkenes and Sør-Varanger in these programmes during the fall?
Yes, there will be a few times more,Ole Rune Hætta seems to remember. The artist Miina went visiting Kirkenes with her mentor Johan Anders Bær, he says.

Less internal scepticism

In the previous season we experienced some scepticism from the Sami community, tells Ole Rune Hætta.This time we haven’t had any negative feedback at all. He thinks it’s about, amongst other things, less fear now that one knows what the concept is and what it is about.

Joiks togetherness: Rybak didn’t want to joik just one person which was the task,but several.That’s why he also wanted to perform together with a choir, tells Wenche Hætta. Here from the recording. Photo:NRK.


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