…and why did you come to Greenland ?… I think this question quickly made the round at the first evening of our group meeting. With tea and cookies in our hands, we were sitting together in the Leif Erikson Hostel in Qassiarsuk at the edge of the Tunulliarfik Fjord and we started carefully to exchange our first thoughts. Everyone had completed a 36-hour journey to get here and now we looked together sadly at the steady rain behind the window glass. Unfortunately, the forecast for the next days was not better. The moment was like a deep, sobering breath that would be followed by a firework of emotions and impressions over the next few days. A moment of silence that would be followed by many more, and this, in one of the most incredible landscapes in the world.
What does it mean to go to Greenland in the Central European summer? First of all, you will be surprised how green Greenland is and how bright the nights can be. The summer meadows are blooming, the sheep fields are in full beauty and waiting to be harvested. Millions of mosquitoes are looking forward to fresh blood and the temperatures are pleasant 3-15 degrees. Unfortunately, much of this is already due to global warming. Regions such as Southwest Greenland have been affected just severals years before (3 degrees in the last 10 years), which of course leads to serious changes in the environment.
What is so unique about Greenland ? Everything in Greenland is characterized by the immense forces of nature, the Greenland Current, the numerous glaciers and the inland ice. 80% of the country is covered with up to 3 km thick ice, which after Antarctica, forms the second largest ice sheet in the world.
The culture of the Inuit is also unique… shaped by living with these elemental forces, their thoughts and actions appear to be so uniquely different. Much is reflected in their language or facial expressions… much in their spirituality or shamanism. Western standards of comparison are completely inappropriate, which finally leads to immense problems in society due to the process of Globalization… the Inuit are forced to adapt to the global influence.