Culture and Community


Basically, our cultural identity rests on close contact with nature and on traditional sealing and fishing, although only a small number of Greenlanders still live directly on these resources. This is reflected in the old legends, recorded - first and foremost - by the Arctic explorer, Knud Rasmussen, and illustrated in applied art, pictorial art and sculpture.


Greenlandic/kalaallisut is closely related to the language of the Inuits in Canada and Alaska. Greenlandic belongs to the East-Eskimo family of languages and is a polysyntetic language, ie the meaning-forming sentence elements of other languages are fused into a single word which may be very long. This word may be the equivalent of a whole sentence in one of the ie Scandinavian languages.

Church and religion

The established church in Greenland is the Danish National Evangelical Lutheran Church. In 1993 Greenland became an independent Home Rule administered diocese with its own bishop.

There are other religious communities and sects, including the Catholic Church, the Adventist Community, the Pentecostal Movement and its ramifications, the Bahai Community, Jehovah's Witnesses and others.

National anthem

The official anthem is "Nunarput utoqqarsuanngoravit" (You Our Ancient Land") by the poet Henrik Lund (1875-1948). The melody is by the organist and composer Jonathan Petersen (1891-1960).

After 1979, "Nuna asiilasooq" (The Land of Great Length) has become officially recognised as a national anthem, together with the above anthem. Both text and melody are by Jonathan Petersen.

National day

21 June is a public holiday and is celebrated all over the country with speeches, cultural activities and fêtes.


Greenland introduced its own flag in 1985, designed by the Greenland artist Thue Christiansen. The Danish flag is displayed together with the Greenland flag. Both flags may be freely displayed.

National Museum

The Greenland National Museum in Nuuk has permanent and temporary exhibitions and is a centre for archaeological and ethnological studies. Among the items displayed in the Museum is the famous grave find from Qilakitsoq near Uummannaq (the middle of the 15th century).

There are local museums in nearly all towns, air-traffic museums in Narsarsuaq and Kangerlussuaq, and an art gallery in Ilulissat.

Cultural centre

Katuaq, The Greenlandic Centre for Performing Arts in Nuuk, established in 1997, comprises a large, multi-purpose hall, a smaller auditorium and a large foyer with a cafeteria. The centre is expected to play an important part as a setting for concerts, theatrical performances, shows, exhibitions, conferences, etc.

Katuaq also houses the Greenland Art School, the Nordic Institute in Greenland and the Greenlandic Theater, Silamiut.

Radio and television

The coverage of KNR Kalaallit Nunaata Radioa and TV/Radio Greenland is nation-wide. KNR broadcasts news bulletins in Greenlandic and Danish four or five times a day and TV news in Greenlandic every evening.

Radio Denmark's TV news is transmitted by satellite to Greenland twice a day.

There are local radio and TV stations in several towns.


Two bilingual newspapers with nationwide circulation are printed in Nuuk.

Atuagdliutit/Grønlandsposten was founded in 1861 and has a circulation of about 4,500. It is issued twice a week (Tuesday and Thursday).

Sermitsiaq was founded in 1975It is published once a week (Friday) and circulation figures are about the same as Atuagdliutit/Grønlandsposten.