Today is the Sami National holiday so I wanted to share a little information about this group of indigenous people that come from the region of Sápmi, which stretches across the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Kola peninsula in Russia.
This holiday commemorates the meeting in 1917 when the Sami people and Norwegians came together to solve joint conflicts. The Sami National Holiday was created in 1992 at the 15th Sami Conference in Helsinki.
The holiday has been celebrated every year since. The level of recognition this holiday receives at the national level across the region varies. In Norway it receives the greatest attention: Norway has legally designated it as a national flag day, requiring that government offices display the Norwegian flag on this day.
Up until the 1960s, the Sami people were discriminated against and many laws were implemented trying to force the Sami to integrate more with the general population of Norway. Today the Sami National Day is celebrated all over the country. The Sami flag is raised, their national anthem is sung, and food such as “reindeer meat” and “fish” is served to celebrate.
The circle in the Sami flag symbolizes the sun and the moon, and the four colors used, which are also used in their clothing represent the four countries that they inhabit.
A few years ago I had the privilege to visit Alta, in the northern part of Norway, where I spent a day with a Sami man named Mikkel Per Bongo.
It was very interesting to learn a little about the Sami culture, which in some ways is similar to that of Native Americans. The Sami people's livelihoods include coastal fishing, fur trapping, and sheep herding, but their most common means of livelihood is definitely reindeer herding.
Currently, about 10% of the Sami are connected to reindeer herding, providing them with meat, fur, and transportation.
Approx. 2800 Sami people are actively involved in herding on a full-time basis. The Sami have practiced traditional reindeer herding since the 17th century. Reindeer herding is more than just a profession but a way of life.
The Sámi are ‘semi-nomadic’, meaning they don’t stay in the same place all year. Sámi herders migrate with their reindeer during the seasons, heading to the mountains for winter and coming back together with the community in the summer. On the journey, Sámi herders will camp in a traditional tent, called a lavvo. A lavvo is similar in style to the teepees and wigwams used by American Indians.
The reindeer is a valuable resource for the Sami. In traditional herding, reindeer were used for food, clothing, trade (reindeer as a form of money), and for labor.
For traditional, environmental, cultural, and political reasons, reindeer herding is legally reserved for only Sami people in some regions of the Nordic countries. According to the New Norwegian Reindeer Herding Act from 2007 which regulates reindeer herding in Norway, only those who have the right to a reindeer earmark can conduct reindeer husbandry in the Sámi reindeer herding area.
The right to a reindeer earmark requires that the person is a Sámi and themselves, their parents or their grandparents have or had reindeer herding as their primary occupation.
A reindeer earmark is a combination of one to many cuts in a reindeer’s ears which tells who the reindeer owner is. Reindeer husbandry is often referred to as the cornerstone of Sámi culture.
The conditions in reindeer herding can be extreme and cold. To be able to manage and survive these conditions the Sami people have an intimate knowledge of the landscape, weather, and wildlife - knowledge that most of us no longer possess.
Today there is approx. 2000 Sami people in Russia, 8000 in Finland, 20000 in Sweden, and 50000 in Norway.
If you are interested in visiting Sápmi (also known as Lapland), which today encompasses large northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, or another exciting destination please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-927-0588
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Valentines Day is only 10 days away, so why not talk about destinations worthy of a romantic visit. Let's start with Amsterdam.
When thinking of romantic destinations, Amsterdam may not be the first place that comes to mind, but with its old city charm, illuminated bridges, and dreamy canals, Amsterdam is such a romantic city.
In the 17th Century, Amsterdam had the largest diamond manufacturing center in the world. In fact Amsterdam was known as the "City of Diamonds". Today, other cities such as London and Antwerp dominate in the diamond world, but you can still find locally produced diamond jewelry in the city, backed by hundreds of years of history.
Amsterdam has the only flower market in the world which has been in existence since 1862. Its stalls are all located on boats, just like in the old days when flowers were delivered by boat.
Would you like to go for a romantic stroll? Amsterdam has more canals than Venice and more bridges than Paris. With over 165 canals, the most popular canals are the Herengracht, Prinsengracht, and Keizersgracht. There are 1281 bridges.,
Enjoy museums? Amsterdam has the highest concentration of museums per square mile of any city in the world. Even Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has a museum.
For a romantic dinner, why not try In de Waag, a romantic restaurant with a lot of history? It looks like a small castle, but de Waag was formerly known as the St. Anthony’s Gate, and In medieval times, it used to be a wooden structure.’ The gate is first referred to in a deed in 1466, but it is believed to be older. If you go, be sure to make reservations.
If you are a bird lover, be sure to visit Vondelpark. More than 4000 parakeets can be found there. They are not native to The Netherlands but were brought there as pets. A few escaped and decided that they liked Amsterdam.
And why not add a little mystery? Over the past 30 years, a mysterious person or group has mounted six statues in Amsterdam including a sculpture of a violinist inside the Stopera. The city of Amsterdam became the owner of the sculptures on the promise that the identity of the artist/artists would never be made public.
If you need any help planning a memorable trip to Amsterdam or another romantic destination please contact me at email@example.com or 703-927-0588
#love2travel #perfectlyplannedjourneys, #Amsterdam, #traveladvisor, #romancetravel
In honor of the birthday of the Oxford English Dictionary, which was finally completed after over 40 years of work on February 1st, 1884 let's learn a little about Oxford.
It is no surprise that Oxford has more published authors per sq. miles than anywhere else in the world. JRR Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings), Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland), CS Lewis (The Chronicle of Narnia) to mention a few.
Speaking of Alice in Wonderland, did you know that she is based on a real person? Her real name was Alice Pleasance Liddell, and Lewis Carroll (real name Charles Dodgson) made up the whimsical story to entertain a 10 year old Alice and her sisters.
Oxford is a beautiful city in in South East England. It is situated 50 miles north-west of London. The history of Oxford in England dates back to its original settlement in the Saxon period. The architecture of its 38 colleges in the city’s medieval center led poet Matthew Arnold to nickname it the 'City of Dreaming Spires'.
The University of Oxford is the World’s second oldest university.
Balliol College, one of Oxford’s oldest colleges was founded in by John Balliol in 1263. The truth is that Mr. Balliol had to pay for this college to be built as a punishment for insulting the Bishop of Durham.
The reason that Oxford was not bombed during WWII was that Hitler wanted to use it as his capital.
Lastly, in case you wonder where the name Oxford comes from, it originates from the old term 'Oxanforda' which literally meant a ford (shallow crossing) in the river where the cattle (Oxen) could cross safely.
If you need any help planning a memorable trip to Oxford, England or some other wonderful destination please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-927-0588
#love2travel #perfectlyplannedjourneys, #Oxford, #England, #traveladvisor
Lene H. Minyard