How to Feed a Reindeer

15 Dec

Inari was the last stop on our tour of Sami Lapland – it’s the largest municipality in Finland, was founded in 1876 and has a population of around 7000. Roughly a third of these are Sami. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to see much of the place, but we saw the most important sites. The most important being the reindeer farm.

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Okay, okay it’s touristy and something which I had been complaining about for the whole trip, but I let myself enjoy this aspect of the trip because I love animals and I felt like a kid again with a handful of reindeer pellets. They were beautiful, friendly creatures, but also incredibly powerful and strong. Here’s a video of me feeding one =)

At the reindeer farm we heard some beautiful yoiking from one of the owners. Yoiking is a traditional form of singing from the Sami and it’s incredible, so much so that here is a video of the Sami Grand Prix – a singing competition held by the Sami.

As a reward for not messing up drastically during the week we were given a proper hotel to stay in. No more cabins, no more trekking through the snow for food, and there was a proper, shiny bathroom for the morning. Here we ate the best desert known to man in the restaurant – I wish I had taken a picture, but I was so tired I didn’t even consider it.

After a night in proper beds we felt much better and stumbled out into the cold of the morning to be winked at by the most beautiful sunrise that we had seen in days. It brightened everyone’s mood and there was a great air of playfulness about the group as we walked to our last sightseeing destinations.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAFirst we went to the Sami museum ‘Siida’ which was very informative and interesting. There was so much to look at and so many examples of the culture. Our guide was lively and fun and gave us lots of things to hold and touch.

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Next we trotted over the see the ‘Sajos’ building, which is a centre for activity in Inari; it has language courses, parliament meetings, music shows and plays. And a library. It was super busy when we were there and everyone kept apologising to us for this, but I loved seeing it in use. It wasn’t exclusive for the Sami culture either – it aimed to create a greater bond between the Sami and other cultures, Finnish and otherwise. It was also heavily into promoting the Sami language and teaching Sami and others how to use it, which I loved.

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This concluded our trip to Lapland and we faced another long, eight-hour drive. It was sad to return to Oulu, but it looks like the weather followed us back because we had snow the next day!

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2 Responses to “How to Feed a Reindeer”

  1. Katariina Partala December 21, 2012 at 11:13 pm #

    I love these Lapland posts!! And you even went to Siida, that’s great!! Was your guide a short and dark-haired woman? I can still remember the guide we had there because she was really nice and gave me a looooot of information about how to find Sami stuff in Oulu so I wonder if it was the same person 🙂

    • saramay91 January 12, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

      Thanks! Hm, no she was short but had blonde hair =) She was great though too, she had so much knowledge! I didn’t know you were so interested in the Sami culture though =)

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