Guest post: Jokkmokks marknad; a great way to learn, experience and having fun

A few words from two visitors from The Netherlands, the low and flat country (now 10 degrees, rainy and stormy). For us the market is a great opportunity to experience live above the Arctic Circle during winter time, while having fun and learn about Sámi culture and with some luck to see Northern Lights. All good reasons to travel 2500 kilometers by plane, night train and bus.

On Wednesday Jokkmokk was already vibrant with activities such as building the market and the nice weaving-workshop from Stoorstålka. One of the highlights of our first full market day was the Reindeer race where participants and crew have as much fun as the public, great! Another highlight is the atmosphere; friendly and relaxed. Also the Sámi handicraft and colorful clothing are beautiful, positive to see that young people take pride in keeping their cultural heritage alive. Somewhat surprising, in a good sense, is that current challenges such as climate change and the risks associated with mining activities are also addressed during the market-week. One might be tempted to only highlight the ideal ‘touristic view’ of the region.

Two market days left, there is so much to see and experience it is unlikely to do it all. To name a few; we look forward to drink coffee in Länta’s Sámi hut, listen to Björn Uglem’s talk about his experiences with the Nunamiut people in Alaska, enjoy Slow Food Sápmi and see or buy handicraft in Östra skolan. And we will certainly go to the Reindeer race again, fun for all!

Eelke and Pytrik

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