Finland Special The Travel Show

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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


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


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


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


them, though. Hello and welcome to the travel show


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


culture was on the verge of extinction. Inevitably there has


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


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


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


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


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


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


coming to the rescue, using an unconventional method.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


work but she has recently returned back to Inari and teachers


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


supercool. Still to come: I try my hand at


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


essential guide, wherever you're headed!


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


harmony with nature here for thousands of years. The wilderness


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


I think Saturday looks like the driest day of the weekend


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.