“A fascinating narrative thread in the tapestry of a common Scandinavian-Santal heritage spanning 150 years”: Bodding Symposium (Oslo, 3 to 5 November 2015) – Norway

The symposium’s aim of north-south cultural cooperation and digital repatriation of indigenous peoples heritage represents a rather pioneering effort here in Norway.” – Tone Bleie (PhD), Professor Public Planning and Cultural Understanding, Dept. of Sociology, Political Sciences and Local Planning, University of Tromsø – the Arctic University, N-9037 Tromsø, Norway

The Bodding Symposium 2015

Link to webcast from the conference: http://www.khm.uio.no/om/aktuelt/live/index.html

  1. Opening Ceremony Tuesday 3 November 09.00-09.45 am and IST (Kolkata etc.) from 13.30.-14.15 pm
  2. Third Session Wednesday 4 November 08.30 in Norway/IST from 13.00 pm onward

The symposium “Belief, Scholarship and Cultural heritage: Paul Olav Bodding and the Making of a Scandinavian-Santal Legacy” will bring together prominent scholars on the Santals and related peoples of Central India, Bangladesh and Nepal alongside literary, heritage and minority and indigenous rights professionals and church leaders from South Asia and Europe. The symposium, commemorating the 150th anniversary of his birth, is the first ever to address comprehensively the diverse and enduring legacy of the scholar-missionary Paul Olav Bodding (1865-1938). […]

This symposium will primarily interrogate Bodding’s scholarship as a linguist, ethnographer and collector from the vantage point of contemporary European and Indian scholarship on the Santals and related Adivasis and of the Santals’ own civil society organizations.| To read the full article, click here >>


The sessions will address:

  1. The Santal Mission of the Northern Churches in a broader historical and contemporary context
  2. Revisiting Bodding as theologian, bible translator, hymnologist and administrator
  3. Revisiting Bodding’s scholarship: the ethnographer, linguist, and collector
  4. Scholars, writers, access and collaboration
  5. Towards a post-colonial and digital era of collection management

Excursions to the Bodding collection’s manuscript section and to the ethnographic sub-collection form part of the programme. […]


The conference will be an opportunity to establish a dialogue among interested parties about future management and access to the Santal collections. The ethnographic collection is in the care of the Museum of Cultural History, text material in the care of the National library of Norway.

To access the Museum of Cultural History’s database where the ethnographic collection is registered, follow one of these links:

Without Adobe Flash Player:


To search for Santal collections, write ‘Santal’ in open search field.

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There are two ways to access the text material in the care of the National library of Norway […]

Source: The Bodding Symposium 2015 – Kulturhistorisk museum
Address: http://www.khm.uio.no/forskning/aktuelt/arrangementer/konferanser/2015/bodding.html
Date Visited: Sun Nov 01 2015 11:45:42 GMT+0100 (CET)


Excerpt from an interview with Prof. Tone Bleie for Livelystories | To read the full story , click here >>

The Santal Bodding Collection: Debating the story of a national treasure – its custodianship and future management

Tone-Bleie-Livelystories2015[…] “This happened in our grandparents’ time” […]. This last response brings to light a fascinating narrative a fascinating narrative “thread” in “the tapestry” of a  common Scandinavian-Santal heritage spanning 150-years.  This is one of the golden threads I have searched for and which I am about to write a chapter on –  in my forthcoming book on the history of the Scandinavian-Santal historical legacy. […]

In Norway, the Anniversary will be demarcated in Bodding’s home town Gjøvik and notably at the upcoming Bodding Symposium […] entitled Paul Olav Bodding and the Making of Scandinavian-Santal legacy will be held in Oslo, the very same week that it is 150-years since Bodding was borne on November 2nd 1865 into a Christian family. The family had recently settled in Gjøvik and opened a bookstore and small modern printing press there. We may say that his class background as well as his family’s involvement in the Haugean influenced Lutheran low-church movement came to strongly influence the adult Bodding’s worldview and life path – which brought him as a young missionary to India and the lands of the Santals and their neighbours.

The symposium is organized by my own university, the University of Tromsø (UiT) and the University of Oslo (UiO). UiO owns and manages the ethnographic and prehistoric sub-collections. Another partner, the National Library of Norway, is the custodian of the vast manuscript collection.

Most recent collaborators are the Bishnubati Museum for Santal Culture in West Bengal and Vardobaiki Museum (and Saami Center) located in Northern Norway. […]

Tone Bleie is Professor of Public Planning and Cultural Understanding at the University of Tromsø, in Northern-Norway.   She has worked and published on minority and indigenous issues in South Asia in a range of capacities over three decades and lived in Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand, the US and Norway. Bleie is the Head of the newly formed Scandinavia-Santal Heritage Initiative (SSInherit).  The Bodding Symposium is one of the current initiatives under this umbrella initiative. Another is an ongoing book project, which aims at rewriting the history of the Scandinavian-Santal pastoral enlightenment legacy – making the book readable and available for audiences in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe.

Source: The Santal Bodding Collection: Debating the story of a national treasure – its custodianship and future management | livelystories.com
Address: http://livelystories.com/2015/07/15/santal-bodding-collection-debating-story-national-treasure-custodianship-future-management/
Date Visited: Sun Nov 01 2015 11:21:59 GMT+0100 (CET)

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