14 February 2008

Reindeer Racing... swoooooooosh!

The "Sami" is a people living in the north of Scandinavia - Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia - today consisting of roughly 70.000. The Sami inhabit the area of Lappland. In earlier times the term "Lappe" had been used for the Sami but this term is considered inappropriate.

It is believed that the history of the Sami goes back to the last ice age 10.000 years ago. Traditionally the Sami hunt and herd Reindeers - it is possible to see large flocks of animals (thousands) in the north of Scandinavia.
From the 17th until the 20th century, the Sami had been severely discriminated - it was even forbidden to them to learn their native language in school! On February 6th, 1917 the Sami held their first "Conference" to strenghten their rights and better their status.
This day is now annually celebrated in Tromso with a big Reindeer Race where Sami "Pilots" race behind Reindeers through downtown Tromso with speeds up to 70 kilometers per hour!!!

The starting point was just outside of Verdenstheatret which made my working day a quite fantastic experience.

Ready, steady, go!

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