The Hudson River Greenland Festival (HRGF) is a wonderful and well-attended cross-cultural experience held every June at Croton Point Park in Westchester County. When registration opened on April 1, the event was fully booked in five days! This year’s activities included paddling to Bannerman’s Island, “Eskimo” rolling instruction, paddle and harpoon carving, traditional Greenland games and races, and special presentations on wild and remote adventures in far-off lands. We were very fortunate to host over 100 people from around the world, including Inuit Noah Nochasek from Labrador and our friends Adam Hansen and his son Aningaaq from Aasiaat, Greenland.
Back in 2012, The Gazette reported that some dying White Ash trees from Gardiner were cut, chopped, sawed, ripped, and planed into thin strips (Gardiner Recycles In Greenland, Spring, 2012). This rib stock was sent to Greenland for building traditional Inuit kayaks. Remember, Greenland has no trees!
Due to the scarcity of materials, Greenlanders tend to be extremely frugal and resourceful. Adam even used some of the extra rib stock to amuse his nieces, nephews, and son by crafting drums for them. Since Adam and son were attending HRGF this year, we thought it would be a nice surprise to add a Greenland drum workshop as part of the youth program. He was definitely touched. Youth of all ages enjoyed the craft, with many adults asking if they could make a drum. So plans are underway to include a drum workshop open to all participants at the event next year. If you are interested in helping Greenlanders keep their traditions and culture alive or want more information on our events and organization, please go to hrgf.org and qajaqusa.org on the web or contact Dave Sides at firstname.lastname@example.org.