Another beautiful day. Sunny, 60 degrees.
Today we learn about the Sami people. They are the last of the indigenous people of Europe. They have lived here since prehistoric times. They used to be called Laplanders, but that term is now considered derogatory. Today they live in large parts of northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. Traditionally, the Sami have pursued a variety of livelihoods, including coastal fishing, fur trapping, sheep herding and reindeer herding. Currently about 10% of the approximately 28,000 Sami are involved in reindeer herding, providing them with meat, fur and transportation. Mostly, only Sami are allowed to herd reindeer. In the past, the Sami went through similar treatment of indigenous people around the world - reeducation, don't speak your native language, wipe out their cultural ways, etc. Today, to make up for past suppression, all of the countries, with Sami people have made an effort to build up Sami cultural institutions and promote Sami culture and language. They haved their own schools that teach their language, history and culture. They are mostly an urbanized demographic now, working with their Scandinavian neighbors.
We went to a museum all about the Sami. It was an excellent museum; really well done as you'll see in the pictures. We even had lunch there; didn't like the salmon meatballs, but the chicken curry was good.
After lunch, we went to a reindeer farm run by a Sami family. Also very interesting.
This evening we've been invited to dinner by several Finnish families (a part of the cultural exchange Overseas Adventure Travel, OAT, provides on every trip). I'll tell you about that tomorrow.
Tomorrow we go to the airport and fly to Helsinki for our visit of that city.