Exploring cultures and communities – the slow way

hidden europe Notes

  • — Posted by hidden europe on

One of the key points we learnt from an article on the Sámi of Russia's Kola Peninsula is how warmer autumns are making life much harder for the locals. They rely on frozen ground to allow winter mobility in the tundra. But these days the ground does not freeze till later - sometimes not until Christmas.

article summary —

Many years ago I visited the Jokkmokk and Kvikkjokk areas in Swedish Lapland. Way up north! I spent a spell staying with a Sámi family, and that left me with an enduring interest in the Sámi people. I have returned occasionally to that region of northern Europe, and we have from time to time reported in hidden europe on Sámi communities. Last summer we had a piece on the Kola Sámi (in Lovozero in northwest Russia).  One of the key points we learnt from the Lovozero Sámi was how warmer autumns are making life much harder for the local Sámi. They rely on frozen ground to allow winter mobility in the tundra. But these days the ground does not freeze till later – sometimes not until Christmas.  

And today I had troubling news from that very area of Swedish Lapland that I knew so well many years ago. Evidently about 300 reindeer have perished as Sámi herders migrated across the northern wilderness with their herds. And the cause? As they crossed a huge river, normally well frozen by this time of year, the ice cracked and many reindeer plunged through cracks to icy deaths.  A heavy price for global warming is being paid by some of those communities least responsible for our profligate consumption of fossil fuels.

Nicky Gardner
( hidden europe)

This article was published in hidden europe notes.

About The Authors: hidden europe

hidden europe

and Susanne Kries manage hidden europe, a Berlin-based editorial bureau that supplies text and images to media across Europe. Together they edit hidden europe magazine. Nicky and Susanne are dedicated slow travellers. They delight in discovering the exotic in the everyday.

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