No harsh words were spared in this article in the Norwegian nrk.no to describe the Sam Syit Saami village near Lovozero in the center of the Kola Peninsula. The main thrust of the angry author is that the village is as far from being authentic as one can be, and represents “a nonsensical mix of rabbits, fleece clothing, and Indian totem poles”. It is in Norwegian but auto-translates into English quite coherently.
The Center for the Assistance to Small Indigenous Nations of the North reports that tomorrow, June 9, in Murmansk’s Azimut Hotel starts a session of the Saami Women’s Forum – an organization that includes women from Norway, Russia, Finland, and Sweden. The forum is held since 1993, and aims to promote public interest in the issues of language and culture, get Saami women more involved into public life, and to tell the world about the life and work of Saami women. The forum is held for two days, June 9 and 10, starting 8:45am.
After the forum the participants are off to Lovozero to take part in the Summer Saami festival on June 11.
The Celebration of the North and Reindeer Herder’s Day are held in Lovozero every year in the 20s of March. The event includes reindeer and dog sled races, ski races, and winter football. A artisans fair is held and Saami national cooking offered. Here are a few photos from the most recent event that took place March 19-20 by Oleg Filonok.
Why are their tongues stuck out? The reindeer has nearly no sweat glands, so when it runs it sticks it tongue out to stay cool, the way dogs do. more >>
In a race for attention and publicity a race car was brought to Lovozero and raced on the lake ice, reaching the speed of 255km/hr, which is supposed to be a record for such a situation.
Not too bad in Kandalaksha. A few pieces of roofing metal blown down and last remains of ice come crushing from roofs but nothing unusual for this time of year. But they say in Murmansk it is considerably worse, with small dogs blown off sidewalks and an airplane in the Murmashi airport turned upside down. Bad news from Lovozero too..
Next Friday and Saturday, March 18-19, a small village of Krasnoshelye (population under 500), as close to the middle of nowhere as it gets, deep in the tundra 130km east of Lovozero, will be teeming with activity. It is the yearly Reindeer Herder’s Day, and it will include 3200 meter and 1600 meter sled racing, skier towing behind a reindeer, jumping over sleds, loop-throwing, and a fighting competition.
New dates of the “Celebration of the North” in Lovozero: March 19 and 20.
The rest is the same: deer, dog sled and ski races, traditional games, getting to meet the Saami culture.
A reminder: accommodation situation in Lovozero may be difficult. Contact us if you need help finding a place to stay.
The Ministry of Development of Industry and Entrepreneurship of the Murmansk Region and the Administration of the Lovozero District have signed a memorandum to set up and develop a recreational cluster “Russian Lapland”, with specialization in ethnographic and rural tourism, with the involvement of the indigenous peoples of Kola Peninsula. Same old stuff will be offered: snowmobile safari, deer sleighs, trips to deer keepers’ camps in the tundra. Events to be promoted include the International Saami Day, North Celebration, Deer Keepers’ Day, Days of Komi-Izhma Culture and others. Formation of the cluster is supposed to make the local tourist industry more efficient and effective. Those interested in joining the group are invited to contact the organizers by calling (8152) 41-07-95 or e-mailing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact me at email@example.com about a trip from Kandalaksha to Lovozero.
Today, Feb. 6, is the International Saami Day. On this day in 1917 the first Saami assembly was held in Trondheim, Norway. In the local Saami capital of Lovozero this weekend is full of activity. An exhibition of the mythology of Saami is on in the Monchegorsk History Museum Feb. 6-27. Let me take this opportunity to congratulate our Saami friends on this occasion.