Scan Magazine, Issue 85, February 2016

Page 92

Scan Magazine | Experience of the Month | Norway

Photo: Crister Haug.

Experience of the Month, Norway

Explore the traditions of northern Norway’s indigenous Sámis Did you know that the indigenous people of northern Norway, Finland, Sweden and Russia are called Sámi, traditionally a nomadic people, most of who live off reindeer herding? While herding remains important, some have opened their homes to visitors keen to explore this centuries-old traditions.

spectacular costumes, characterised by colourful embroideries, bands and jewellery. “These are used mainly for ceremonial purposes, like weddings and baptisms,” Turi Oskal says.

By Helene Toftner

Tromsø Arctic Reindeer Experience is one tourist attraction that masters the combination of maintaining the original livelihood while introducing visitors from around the world to everything from the feeding of reindeer to reindeer sledding and snowmobiling in the mountains. Tromsø Arctic Reindeer Experience is only 30 minutes away from the buzzing city of Tromsø, yet it feels a thousand miles away from civilisation due to its beautiful location on the white plains overlooking the sea and the surrounding mountains. Add hundreds of reindeer, and it starts to resemble a scene from 92 | Issue 85 | February 2016

Disney’s Frozen. “Showing people from around the world our day-to-day life, our Sámi culture and history, is great,” says reindeer herder Johan Isak Turi Oskal. Joiks and traditional costumes Many visitors have barely heard of the Sámi, the indigenous people who have inhabited these lands for centuries, before arriving in Norway. Traditionally a nomadic people moving across northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia with their reindeer, around 2,600 still today make their living from reindeer husbandry in Norway alone. Visitors are often particularly fascinated by their

Another compelling feature is the joik, a traditional Sámi singing style. While visitors may have difficulties distinguishing between the different tunes, getting your very own joik is a real honour and a sign that someone really cares for you. The type of joik someone makes for you would say a lot about their appreciation of you and how they view you. A quick online search provides rave reviews of the experience, with “amazing” and “authentic” being recurrent descriptions so, with a little help from Innovation Norway, Tromsø Arctic Reindeer Experience has certainly managed to win their audiences over.