Thursday, 29 July 2010

For how much longer

It’s been an interesting couple of days on the Faroe Islands.

Seeing their national day has show how fiercely proud of their Faroese culture, language and life the islanders are.

Whilst they may technically be part of Denmark, you get the distinct feel that this is a separate country.

And that’s been highlighted by some of the language I’ve heard to describe Denmark.

It’s been said in jest, and I get the impression that the chance of an armed uprising to remove the colonial power is not likely to happen, but on lots of occasions I’ve heard the Danish (and more importantly the Danish Navy and Army who have bases on the islands) described as the Occupiers.

One phrase that I think hints at an underlying sadness that the Faroes are still part of Denmark was “When the British left one set of occupiers were replaced with another. We still invite the British back”

The British invaded the Faroe Islands shortly after Denmark had fallen to the Nazi’s to stop the islands falling into their hands and to secure the North Atlantic supply lines. The Faroese, in turn helped to keep the British alive through fishing and running goods to Scotland. The cost in terms of Faroese lives lost was high. Following the end of the war it looked as though the Faroes could become a separate country, but by 1948 all the plans had been watered down to effectively “Home Rule” within Denmark.

Whilst the language is more civil it’s very reminiscent of the issues raised by the Scottish regarding the UK.

I doubt either situation are tenable in the longer term, so perhaps the question should be, which one will happen first – The Faroes gaining their independence, or the dissolution of the UK?

No comments: