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Nordic neighbours

Cabinet secretary for culture Fiona Hyslop addressing the Viking Congress on Wednesday morning - Photo: Frank Bradford.Scottish economy secretary Fiona Hyslop.

THE SCOTTISH government chose Shetland to pronounce its love of Scandinavia as an alternative to the rest of the UK on Wednesday.

Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop flew in to the isles to join the 17th Viking Congress being held at Lerwick’s Mareel.

Hyslop used the event as a platform to emphasise the government’s commitment to strengthening its links with our Nordic neighbours.

“From arts and crafts to place names and dialects, it is important that Scotland continues to value the cultural DNA it shares with Scandinavia and uses that to nurture key links with the Nordic countries,” she said.

Scotland and Scandinavia had a common interest in the stewardship of the North Atlantic, she added.

“As we look ahead to the economic and environmental challenges and opportunities facing our maritime neighbourhood, including the Arctic, we need to work together to build a sustainable future for our young people and secure the future of our northern and island communities,” she told delegates.

Held every four years, the Viking Congress brings together leading researchers in Viking Age studies from Scandinavia, Britain and Ireland.

Hosted by Shetland Amenity Trust this year, the prestigious international academic event, aims to enhance communication and collaboration between scholars from across the Viking world.

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021