“LET’S JOKE! You can joke your friends, joke a beautiful mountain or just joke being sad or happy.” Anna-Reetta Niemelä, a teacher of Sámi language and culture in the village of Karesuvanto, high in northern Lapland, has me baffled for a moment. Clad in her bright red and blue “gákti” tunic, her thick accent – different from the usual Finnish one – takes me some time to tune in to. Continue reading “Lapland: Sámi Ways”
IT LOOKS quiet in Porvoo Old Town. Too quiet. I’m looking at the cathedral that dominates the skyline of this lovely old village of red-ochred wooden houses sprawling down a hillside to the river. Sadly, it was the target of an arson attack in May 2006, which destroyed its roof and damaged its priceless medieval interior.