Sortland Culture, Music and Geography

Sortland Culture, Music and Geography

People from Sortland

A person from Sortland is called a Sortlending. People from other parts of the district are usually not referred to as a Sortlending... unless they are famous.

Coincidence or not, about half of the population of Sortland, the so called Sortlendinga, work either as hairdressers, traffic school teachers or as an owner of one or more fashion shops. After this career, they may end up as a driver for the local bus company...

Sortlendinga may be hard to spot. Their appearance is not very different from the appearance to the other population of Norway. They may be easier to hear. Listen to any of the nightshows on radio or turn on a program where you can win prizes... The number of inhabitians considered, a rather large group of Sortlendinga take part in programs like that.

Now, it's your chance to get to know the Sortlendinga -both the famous and the not so famous ones, better.

Speak like a native - Sortlandsk - Dialect

Sortlandsk is the dialect used in... Sortland. It is spoken by approximately 9000 in the municipality and rather understood throughout the country. In other words, the Sortland dialect can be used in any aspect of daily life. E.G. while speaking of fish or the bad weather, while swearing at your neighbours, while asking for the nearest glacier, while staying in restaurant without a single clue of what you are about to eat, while discussing whether the family should stay in northern Norway or maybe move to Oslo or Trondheim etc etc.

Sortlandsk is quite similar to other North Norwegian dialects. It's even more similar to the other dialects used in the district of Vesterålen (except, maybe, the dialect used in Myre).

If you, by any chance, want to learn the beautiful Sortland-dialect, you should keep in mind that the dialect is an oral dialect, and not a written one. Consequentially, you may experience some problems while trying to learn how to pronounce the words. One way to overcome this little problem (if you haven't heard what the dialect sounds like before) is to imagine that you are singing a song while speaking. In some cases, it is advisable to click the mouse arrow on the blue sentences. Doing so, you will hear the sentence pronounced by a aboriginal (native Sortlending).
Russ 1948

Sortland - The Culture

Music, sport and an unbelieveable amount of shops are three of the words that ought to be used while talking about the Sortland culture.. simply because.. well, that's what we've got.

Music life

Sortland has a rich music-life. So rich, that politicians wanted to shut it down for economical purposes in the beginning of the 90s. Luckily, that didn’t happen. Sortland has been regarded as one of the best music communities in Norway, and the local band has been one of the best ones in the nation.

Sortland Musikkforening (Sortland music-society) was probably founded in 1893. As a consequence, the musikkforening celebrated it's 25th year anniversary after 27 years. 44 years after the start, In 1937, 40 years of existence was celebrated, and in 1953 the 60th birthday was marked.

Sortland Musikkskole (Sortland music-school) can be reached on telephone-number (+47) 761 10640.

The leading vocal in the famous rock-band Madrugada, Sivert Høyem, is from Sortland.

A list of the top 8 places in Sortland where you very well may bump into some culture... on a good day:


Sortland Meieri (Dairy of Sortland):

Starting out as a centre where cultures of bacterias were used in milkproducts, the old Dairy of Sortland now serves as a cultural centre in the broad sense of the word. Sortland music school is also situated in this shopping mall.

Loftet (The loft):

This is the place for the more intellectual guest. Here, the teachers, the children of the teachers, people from the south, the musicians and the artists meet to solve the problems in the world while eating pizza, drinking beer or stealing the souvenirs.... Most ideas are forgotten the following day, though. That's probably just as good.

Kunstnerhuset (House of art):

This is an old house situated to the north of downtown Sortland. This is more a house for the living creative, than a house for dead painters like Munch or Picasso. You won't find any well-known masterpieces here, but you can see excellent work of local others.

Sortland Kino (The cinema):

No other place in the world can compare to Sortland when it comes to showing the movie"The Sound of Music" the most. As a result, one of the main attractions in Sortland is the Diploma from 20th Century Fox rewarded to Sortland Kino. The Norwegian writer, Lars Saabye Christensen, wrote about this in his novel "Bly". You should study the Diploma at the cinema.

Bussterminalen (The local Bus Station):

If minorities represent culture, the Bussterminalen is filled up with it. Here, small groups of people from the district gather. Every Friday at around 1500 o'clock, you can see students going from Sortland with bus. Saturday morning, their parents and grandparents arrive at the same place just to explore the city.

Torget (The Market):

If you want to explore an alternative youth culture, you ought to visit Torget. During the evenings, Torget is the gathering point for members of the "Rånekultur". The "Rånekultur" means that you are driving round and round for no purpose but to drive, playing loud music from loudspeakers more expensive than the car itself. It's a well-known fact that most of these strangers have two first names and come from the little Colorado like city, Myre. They are so-called Myreværinga. If you spot a car with wunderbaum and a bass-rhythm so loud that you are sure it could wake up the county, you are probably on the right track.

Sortlandshallen (The Hall of Sport):

If you are interested in sport, Sortlandshallen may not provide what you need if you feel like swimming or doing sport. When you need it, -it's usually closed. It's still worth a visit, though. It is an interesting monument of what happens when you are building a house with the architectual drawings upside down... The hall is divided into two parts. On the south side, you'll find the smaller halls where you are supposed to play football, basket or volleyball, which you can't do because you have the sun shining in your eyes all the time. The northern part of Sortlandshallen is dedicated to a standard pool which feels unbelievably cold the first 42 minutes as the sun never reaches through the window to heat the whole thing up.

Sortland Bibliotek (The Library):

Some decades ago, the library of Sortland literally came out of the closet. Now, you can read dozens of magazines, newspapers, books or microfilm in these attractive surroundings next to the dentist.
Strandgata 1945

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