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people of qaanaaq

An elderly man sits atop his front porch watching the world pass by. Upon approaching him, he tells us he has Parkinson’s as he looks down at his shaking hand. His English ends at that and he nods silently when we request his attention for a picture.

Moments after stepping out of our home around 2 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon, two Inuit youths stop us with a few words in Danish. Explaining that we are not from Denmark, they continue in English asking us where we come from and what we are doing here. “Would you mind if we take your picture?” I ask, “Sure, yea know we are really drunk, we’ve been drinking all day and all last night.” Beers in hand, strolling the streets on a sunny afternoon, they explain that drinking is a common pass time for the youth. With many modern imports shipped into this small rural community, the younger generations find themselves growing up in a time unlike the centuries past. When you can get food and clothing at the supermarket, the necessity of skills like hunting, fishing and sewing diminish quickly. Some choose to learn the expertise of the elders and follow their fathers or uncles out onto the sea ice, but other’s shun the ways of the past and wish for another type of life, one of the future.

Taking exactly one hour, the two fisherman successfully make a hole through the 1.5 meters of sea ice. Taking turns chipping at the hole, the physical exertion results in a worth while endeavor when a fish is caught just moments after lowering the line into the abyss of icy blue arctic water.

17 Comments Post a comment
  1. Rosanna #

    Reblogged this on Journal of my Soul.

    May 6, 2012
  2. Another breathtaking post

    April 27, 2012
  3. wonderful insight to your world. What brought you here?

    April 24, 2012
  4. #

    Whaooh nice photos,When I think that it is too cold in France!

    April 24, 2012
  5. I love the stories of the people you’ve found so far. We get to have a taste of what it’s like to live in Greenland. What an amazing gift. Be safe you two adventurers. And kiss a polar bear for me..a nice one.

    April 24, 2012
  6. Love this-a world I have never seen-thank you for the pictures & insight.

    April 23, 2012
  7. It feels like heaven when you stay a place like this. I may be wrong but this would be an amazing experience to stay there. :)

    April 23, 2012
  8. servideo17 #

    preciosas fotos.

    April 22, 2012
  9. Pat k #

    Delightful to travel vicariously with you two. Thanks for the journey. Pat K

    April 22, 2012
  10. WordsFallFromMyEyes #

    This was just amazing, looking into this world. I am sorry to think of the kids drunk though – a common pastime? That’s just bad. That ice, the air and freshness I could almost feel.

    April 21, 2012
  11. Can I please ask what camera equipment you use…your photos are something I’ve never seen before…just STUNNING

    April 21, 2012
  12. Troubling report. I suppose alcohol will never get frozen out.

    April 20, 2012
  13. Thanks .. for this, I knew that the drinking is a problem on Greenland – and Iceland too. A world so fare from our’s .. where we just walk across the street to get milk or bread.

    April 20, 2012
  14. The stark contrasts, sharp lines – visually, as well as lifestyles. It’s striking. Do you know what kind of fish?

    April 20, 2012
  15. Fragile, harsh environment: fascinating.

    April 20, 2012
  16. Very touching, beautifully shot and written…

    April 20, 2012
  17. So interesting.

    April 20, 2012

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