Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sami~ indigenous people of Scandinavia

There are lots of other great pages telling about Sami people, but this is pretty good one.

Samis are "people without country" living in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Kola Peninsula in Russia. Traditionally they have been living of reindeer hearding, but today tourism is a big part of not just Samis life, but all citizens living beyond the Arctic circle. Sami people have strong cultural history and they are famous of their stunishing handicrafts... using reindeer leather, hide, antler... and of course, they are known of their "stuorra nibas", leuku knives...

Monday, January 29, 2007

Everyman's Rights ~ Could we handle that in US?

Everyman's Rights

Finland's forests, lakes and rivers present incomparable surroundings in which to relax and enjoy the fresh air and unspoiled natural environment. Thanks to the concept of ‘Everyman's Rights’, there is far greater freedom to roam freely in Finland than in most other countries. This freedom, however, implies a responsibility on behalf of the visitor; not least the responsibility to remember that nature is very fragile and takes a long time to recover from misuse.

Everyman’s Rights are a concept that has evolved over the centuries, an unwritten code of practice born out of the customs and experience of a sparse population living in a vast, densely forested country. Basically it entitles Finns to go where they please in the countryside - on land or on water - as long as they don't intrude on people's privacy, cause nuisance or damage, or leave litter... and believe it or not, IT WORKS!

Everyman's right in brief

Everyone may:

- walk, ski or cycle freely in the countryside, except in gardens, in the immediate vicinity of people’s homes, and in fields and plantations which could easily be damaged

- stay or set up camp temporarily in the countryside, a reasonable distance from homes (for camp fire you have to have land owner’s permission!)

- pick wild berries, mushrooms and flowers, as long as they are not protected species

- fish with a rod and line

- row, sail or use a motorboat on waterways, with certain restrictions; swim or wash in inland waters and the sea

- walk, ski and fish on frozen lakes, rivers and the sea

What you think, folks, could Americans handle this, or would we abuse it?

Puukko - the Finnish Sheath Knife

Even though I live in the US, I grew up and lived in Finland for over 30 years. In other words, I was pretty "grown up" when I moved to Colorado!

Growing up in rural area in the heart of Finland was very different than it would have been in the US. First of all, it was very safe environment! We spent most of our days out in the woods and only things my sister and I had to worry were not to wonder too far (Our Karelian Beardog, Musti, took care of that.) and avoid the vipers in summer time! Very early on, my grandpa gave me a puukko knife to use for wood whittling. I think I was 4-5 years old. I still remember him sitting beside me on our porch watching over me while I got into whittling my first bark boat. He only gave me couple of advice with a soft voice and let me try my best. I don’t remember how the boat came out, but I do remember how big and important I felt myself… I was trusted to use a puukko! About a year later my grandpa gave me my first puukko to keep… and I have always have one ever since!

I think this is a great way to start my Finnish Puukko blog! Click the head line to visit The National Museum of Finland where they currently have Puukko Exhibition... Some 500 puukkos and sheaths are on display!

I will be posting other topics of Scandinavian knives, but also other outdoors related subjects… Please feel free to comment!