Credited with bringing Christianity there, he's remembered every July 29th.with the Olai Festival - a colourful national event drawing people to Tórshavn from all over the islands. It's also led to some confusion among anti-whalers, who wrongly believe the festival is a blood-lust celebration of pilot whale killing (or grindadráp).
However, as Sea Shepherd was on-location on their mission to end the Faroes "grind", the crew took the time to raise awareness. They drove a van, adorned in gruesome whaling images, in the local parade while blaring the cries of whale victims. The brutal whale slaughter continues to be justified in the FI as cultural tradition, so the crew felt it was an appropriate time to honour the lives of the slain pilot whales. Eventually, the local mayor saw the bystanders, local press and Animal Planet’s film crew, and immediately phoned police who forced SS to move away.
|scenes from the Olai Festival|
When the van was first brought to the islands (without any identifying images on the sides), Customs confiscated seven of eight acoustic devices inside. To have identified the van, they were most likely tipped off by a local informant. The remaining device has since been deployed to deter whales from entering local killing bays.
It seems media exposure is still one of the strongest threats against FI and thus SS's continued weapon of choice. The majority of Faroese that SS have met over recent weeks avidly support the massacres, and made it clear that SS was not welcome. However, aside from the occasional dirty look or angry remark, there was little confrontation...it's hoped this level of common sense will prevail, and eventually lead to a calmer rational wind-down and eventual end to the grindadráp. Am I too optimistic?
PS: 11 Aug.2011 - Yes, I evidently was! SS has tried to book several venues in FI to address the islanders...only to have their reservations mysteriously cancelled. So much for friendly dialogue.