The Sami National Day in an ethnic national day and official flag day in Finland since 2004. Although, it is a fairly new national day, it has a long history that takes us back over hundred years. In 1917 all the Sami people got together for the first time in Trottheim in Norway. This was the first meeting to discuss livelihood, the usage of the land, reindeer herding and schooling.
This was a historic first meeting. Another factor that made it even more historic is that the caller of the meeting was a Swedish sami woman called Elsa Laula (1877-1931). She was the founder and leader of the world’s first sami association called Brurskanken samisk kvindeforening. Her words from that first meeting set the tone to bring all sami people together. She wanted to have Sami people working together, as one.
You can watch a documentary on Yle Areena about her.
There is roughly 9,000 Sami people living in Finland. Approximately 40,000 – 60,000 in Norway and 15,00 – 36,000 in Sweden. Almost2,000 Sami people live in Russia.
Sami people were living in Finland way before the Finns moved in. They are well equipped to live in artic conditions, and they are committed on passing on their heritage. Many sami families are still getting their income in traditional reindeer herding, fishing, hunting and hand made crafts.
Finland has worked hard to preserve this culture and sights that has historic value to sami culture. Luontoon.fi website lists all places in Finland’s Lapland that are open to public and tourists to visit.
And you might want to check some of these during your next visit to Lapland.
There are many documentaries and movies done of Sami people. One of the many worth mentioning is award winning Sami Blood. It is a Swedish movie first shown in Venice Film Festival in 2016. You can view it in YouTube as well as in Amazon Prime.