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Letters / Unique values

As a regular reader of Shetland News with a strong interest in your community and ongoing important debates, I’d like to send my regards and share some thoughts and views.

I live on the island Askøy just west of Bergen, making us geographically Shetland’s closest neighbour. Historically, our region has strong cultural bonds with Shetland, like the fjord HJELTEFJORDEN (English: HJALTEFJORD). This fjord leads from our island and out towards the North Sea in the direction of HJALTLAND, which is the old name for SHETLAND.

Shetland, Orkney, the Hebrides and Ireland have several similarities to that of western Norway. We as the aforementioned, share a decentralized habitancy with multiple smaller local communities that are struggling to find their place in modern times and especially finding ways to prevent people moving away to larger cities.

I believe that Shetland with its seafood, oil and gas business is less affected by the disadvantages of being geographically outskirts, yet it’s important to be aware of this so that people appreciate the unique values of living and working in a local community where “everybody knows everybody”.

A few weeks back I read a letter in Shetland News headlined: We should be proud of our separate lifestyle (SN, 13/08/2018), written by a young student named Helen Laurenson.

I was positively surprised and quite impressed with the way she describes being young and living in Shetland today. Helen is a creative person, whom also observes and acknowledges the small businesses, services and others that enrich the local society by showing way and creating diversity.

By writing this she reminds her fellow citizens that innovation, entrepreneurship and unity is what makes Shetland, and keeps the island going through all times.

I wish to thank Helen for sharing her thoughts and opinions with readers of Shetland News, as she is an important voice speaking on behalf of the young people and the new generation that makes the future of Shetland.

Øystein Kjerpeseth
Autodidact idea-developer (now retired)