Naja Marie Aidt
Well, it’s a wild place. And I grew up north of the Arctic Circle. So, it was really, we had like three months of complete darkness in the winter, and then like 24/7 of daylight in the summer. So, it was a very dramatic place in many ways. It was a scary place. I mean the landscape there — the weather is so rough. So, you could get like caught in a snowstorm, and like maybe 20 feet from your home, and you couldn’t get back. You just had to find shelter very close by.
So, I remember people being very depressed in the winter, and completely mad in the summer. People would go fishing in the middle of the night, they would get drunk, sing in the street. And then, in the winter, it was like there was nobody there. So, that’s part of it. But also, I mean the culture there, when I grew up in the ’60s, old ladies would still be able to tell all the tales. They would teach me about shamanism. The stories were mostly about how to survive, because it’s so difficult to survive, I mean because the weather is so tough, and you die easily.
And so, I remember — mostly my memories is about the dramatic environment. Everything was dramatic in a way. And also, I mean at that time, Greenland was a Danish colony. And I didn’t know at that time that we were the White people. But I realized that later on in my 20s, when I felt very guilty about — because I spoke the language as a child. So, I thought I was Greenlandic. But I realized that I wasn’t and that I had no claim, it was not my country.
So, a lot of different memories, and also that when me and my siblings, there was no TV. There was radio, but no TV. So, what did we do during the winters? My parents would mostly read stories to us, Hans Christian Andersen, the fairy tales, they would tell us fairy tales.1 And I think the combination of all the stories my parents told us, and then the tales, and the dramatic environment kind of shaped me as a writer.