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Finland Special

Ade Adepitan spends time with the indigenous Sami people in Northern Finland to find out how tourism plays a big part in keeping their culture alive.


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Coming up on the programme this week, I am on an Arctic adventure

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deep in Finnish Lapland. I hang out with a rapper who is helping to

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preserve a nearly extinct Arctic language. And I get possibly too

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close to a reindeer round-up. I would not want to be hit by one of

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them, though. Hello and welcome to the travel show

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with me. This week we are in the north of Finland. To be precise, we

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are in Inari, home to the Indigenous Sami people whose culture and

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language is under threat. I have come here to spend time with the

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Sami people to see how tourism is saving their culture. Finnish

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Lapland is as close as it gets to a winter wonderland. Over 1 million

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tourists come here every year in search of the Northern lights, Santa

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and his reindeer. The Sami are the Indigenous people who live in this

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part of the world. From the north of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the far

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north-eastern part of Russia. There are around 6000 Samis left in this

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part of Finland and here they are known as the Inari because they live

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around Lake Inari, 250 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle. I have

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never been so far north. After landing in the local town, just a

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1.5 hour flight from Helsinki, I meet my first Inari friend. The!

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Welcome to Finland. I am Johan. Look at your outfits! You look amazing!

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Thank you. Is this our transport? Yes. It will be our transport for

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this trip. We have so much planned for you. I love that hat. That is

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the way forward. It is really warm. Life here must be quite difficult.

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There is snow on the ground for seven monthss of the year and the

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most practical way to move around is by snowmobile. So this is the best

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way to get there? There is no other way to get there. OK. So this is how

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I am rolling. And you will teach me? Yes. These things revolutionised

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life here. We got them about 50 or 60 years ago. It made things firies

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here. What did you use before these? Skis. Skis and reindeer. Old school.

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Normally when you are driving you have your feet in here and your

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hands on the bar and if you want to go right you pull right, left you

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pull left. The break we have on the left. This is the panic button. If

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something happens you just hit that one. I hit that Barton and scream?

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-- button. It is so hard to believe that I am on a snowmobile going

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across Lake Inari in Finland. Believe me, there is thousands and

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thousands of gallons of water. It is crazy. This place is so beautiful. I

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was not expecting bad! -- that! Around 30 years ago, the Inari Sami

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culture was on the verge of extinction. Inevitably there has

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been a drift to the city, to an easier life. Traditional cultures

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experience that lost the world over. But these days, tourism is creating

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jobs, allowing some young Sami to move back home. Inari Sami culture

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has been under pressure for decades. In the past, this community it was

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marginalised and their mother tongue banned from schools. With only 400

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Sami Inari speakers, the language is still threatened. But one man is

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coming to the rescue, using an unconventional method.

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You are a hip-hop artist and you wrap in your native language, Inari.

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Yes. Inari Sami language. Tell me about it. I love hip-hop at the last

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place I would expect to find a hip-hop artist is in Lapland. Yes.

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The middle of nowhere. Many people think it is quite weird doing

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hip-hop gangsta rap in Inari Sami language, spoken by 400 people. That

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is the way I am telling about this, this minority in a minority. I like

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the sound. It is mystical, people do not know it. There are only 400

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Inari Sami speakers in the world. I mean... In the case, what is the

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average age of your listeners? The most people who speak Inari Sami as

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their mother tongue are mostly over 50 years old. Older people. And

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those older people, a day into hip-hop? I don't think so. But there

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is a new generation now. OK. Can you spit some bars for us? I am pretty

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sure that this will be the premiere of BBC of anyone hearing someone

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wrap in Inari Sami. We are looking forward to this.

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Inari Sami in the house! That is wicked! I loved it. I felt it. I was

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there. My first day in Lapland is nearly over. It has been great. I

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learnt to use a snowmobile which is practical and a lot of fun. Tomorrow

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I head into the forest and before I go into the forest I want to get the

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correct gear and I need some traditional Sami closing. I have

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heard that there is someone here who can help me out with that. Fellow!

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Halo! Nice to meet you. I am Stefanie. Coming in. Sami handicraft

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is centuries old and dates back to a time when the Sami were far more

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isolated from the outside world than they are today. What are you making?

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A belt? How long does it take you? It takes me five hours but people

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who have done at their whole life, it does not take them long. Move

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quicker, Stefanie! Come on. Using wool, Atlas, wood and reindeer skin,

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the Sami we've centuries-old patterns, each specific to a

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particular area or family. Stefanie was forced to move away to look for

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work but she has recently returned back to Inari and teachers

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handicraft making to tourists. I got bored. Sad in Finland. And my

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grandmother gave me the passion to come here and learn the language.

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How important is it for you to keep the tradition going? There are very

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very few handicraft makers who do this. It is very important for me.

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It is light, sometimes I think, who would I be if I did not do these

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things? Is a difficult? Could I have a go? I don't know... Yes, of

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course. So it needs to be tight? There goes my ribs. This looks so

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complicated. And that goes up? I think I need, like... Four pairs of

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hands. I go through? There? Yes. And then you pull it. And then you have

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to do that over and over for every row? I'm surprised it only takes

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five hours. This would take me five days! It is complicated. Here are

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some gloves for you. How many hours did they take you to make? Those

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ones did not take me long. When you have done it for years that you can

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do that with your eyes closed. Superb. How do I look? You look

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supercool. Still to come: I try my hand at

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rounding up the reindeer here. So, don't go away! The Travel Show, your

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essential guide, wherever you're headed!

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Now, back to my adventure with the Indigenous people here in northern

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Finland. It's -13 Celsius, and guess what my friends have got lined up

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for me? We going to go fishing today. You've been fishing before?

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I've never been fishing before. Well, I have, I've been to the

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supermarket and looked for different fish on different shelves. A really

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important question, do I get to use the snowmobile again? Guess is! Oh,

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yes! Lets rock 'n' roll -- Yes! The Indigenous people have lived in

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harmony with nature here for thousands of years. The wilderness

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around Lake Nari is virtually on unspoiled, unlike the rest of

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Europe, which has been largely harmed by companies. Fishing is one

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of the most popular sports for both tourists and locals. Their's a real

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emphasis on low impact tourism here, playing a big part in protecting

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this fragile Arctic ecosystem. There are not many places to work around

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here, not everybody can be a reindeer herd. Other people are

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interested in the lifestyle we have. It gives the possibility to earn

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money and make a living out of tourism. How important is it to you

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that the Saami lifestyle continues and that you can pass it on from one

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generation to another? I think about the future, I wonder what I will do

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when I am grown up, or what my children will do. I like to have

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this lifestyle, to remain here. So, fish and potatoes on Monday,

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potatoes and fished on Tuesday... Wednesday, maybe reindeer bits? Then

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back to fish and potatoes on Thursday. It's a great way to keep

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warm! The real thrill here is trying to catch fish with a rod. Can I have

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a go? There are fish below us, swimming under one metre of ice. I'm

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keeping warm! Well done, well done. It's getting tough! Their's layers

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under here. See, I did all the hard work! -- There's. The next thing to

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do is to find out if there are fishes. You could tell me anything

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and I believe you! Is at freshwater? , -- oh, that's good -- it. With

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only a handful of shops around, most fish still have to be caught rather

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than purchased, otherwise nobody would eat. Take care of that one, if

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you see it running, grab it. It's always good to have something to

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drink with you when you're out here. I need to improve my technique. But

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I'm multitasking! Multiple chances to get fish. Cheers. Cheers. Cheers.

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At the moment, nothing is biting, so I am leaving them behind in the hope

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that they catch something while I go to find an animal that captures the

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name of everyone who comes to this land. Now, this is something I've

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been looking for two ever since I got here. Oh, this feels really

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revoked. We are deep in the forest. I've come here because I'm going to

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meet a traditional Saami reindeer herd. He's going to give me just a

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little experience of the traditional Saami lifestyle. Hello! Nice to meet

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you. Nice to meet you. Welcome. What have you got here? I have got some

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last two, that is how we catch the reindeer. -- lassoo. We may be here

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for some time! Here we go. OK, Mr reindeer. Yes! Well done. -- lasoo.

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Like many herdsmen here, Petri supplement his income with tourism.

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He takes tourists into the forest to experience living like a herd for a

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day. I can't even the reindeer, I can't imagine how had it must be to

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survive in these conditions. But the Saami have been doing this for

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hundreds of thousands of years -- herder. There are more reindeer than

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people here. Reindeer needs of large areas of unspoiled forest to find

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the little food that is buried under the Snow. Is difficult in the

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winter. They get their own food in the forest. They did in the snow,

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they like it on the land. They are coming down, they know you're here!

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The semi- regional parliament looks after not just their heritage but

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also their rights to land and natural resources -- Saami. If

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someone come here and offered me a good job in the big city, told me,

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you'd get $1 million every year, I would say, you can take it.

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Fantastic! You're not a millionaire, but you're a happy man because

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you've got the perfect office. Let's rock and roll. Reindeer herding is

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in his blood. These animals have been crucial to his family for

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survival for generations, providing food, clothing and transport. We are

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surrounded by reindeer. This is so beautiful. Look at them!

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how many reindeer do you have? How much money in the bank do you have?

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OK, I won't ask how many! It's incredible to think that these

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animals find any food in these windswept and frozen woods. Most

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reindeer rely on lichen as a food source in winter. Petri supplement

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their diet to increase their chances of survival until the springtime.

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So, how cold does it get out here? Now, it's only -5. Only! Three weeks

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ago, it was -40 four. There is one weekend where it was -50 one. Oh my

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god. It must be impossible to work... No, no. You have the right

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clothes!. It's not bad weather, it is the bad clothes! Are we going to

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build a fire? Yes. Cool! It's a bit hairy, at times you think they're

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going to hit you with their antlers. But they avoid you. They're only

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interested in the food and each other. I wouldn't want to get hit by

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one of them though. -- them, though. Well, I've had an amazing time here

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in Finnish Lapland. And this place just gets to you, it has a real

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rugged beauty. It is the furthest north that I'd ever been to. It

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feels like I'm at one with nature. It's been such a privilege to spend

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time with the Saami people. Well, that's it for this week. Join us

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next week when... As India celebrates its 70th Independence

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anniversary, we set off on a mammoth 2-part journey from the West to the

:22:07.:22:13.

east. I'm on a quest to find out how history, religion and politics have

:22:14.:22:17.

shaped India. And also meet the people who call this intriguing, and

:22:18.:22:23.

sometimes overwhelming country, home. It's going to be an amazing

:22:24.:22:28.

journey. That's next week. If you want to see what we are getting up

:22:29.:22:32.

to between now and then, why not sign up to our social media feeds?

:22:33.:22:36.

All the details should be on your screens right now. But for right

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now, be in the huskies here in Finnish Lapland and all the Travel

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Show team, it's goodbye -- from me and the huskies.

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It's a pretty quiet weather story really into the weekend

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One thing's for certain, it's going to be pretty mild.

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I think Saturday looks like the driest day of the weekend

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Ade Adepitan is spending time with the indigenous Sami people in Northern Finland to find out how tourism is playing a big part in keeping their traditions and culture alive.