Inside the “folkvimmel”

Jokkmokk winter market - Friday, February 7th, 2014

Three of the streets in the market area, Friday afternoon, all full of people…

The word “folkvimmel” is Swedish, and can be translated as “crowds of people”, and it is commonly used to describe the winter market. Jokkmokk is a small town with a population of approximately 3.000 people. During the winter market, there are usually more than 30.000 people in Jokkmokk, a tenfold increase. Since the majority of people are here to see the main market area, the streets are more or less constantly full of people. Anytime you enter the main market area, you end up in the folkvimmel. And it is a big part of the experience, with a lot of random meetings between people of different backgrounds and from different parts of the world, as well as lots of things to see. The example from yesterday, with Björn Uglem walking around dressed in a huge Alaskan inuit dress, is just one of many examples. Running into old colleagues and friends from school are other examples.

For me and others who live in Jokkmokk, chances are big to meet old friends who have moved to other parts of Sweden – and in some cases to other parts of the world. The winter market has historically been all about meetings, both planned ones and random and co-incidental ones. This year, I had the pleasure of meeting a man who had come all the way from Fairbanks, Alaska, to experience the Jokkmokk winter market.

Now, the second day of the winter market is coming to an end, and once again evening activities have started. Tomorrow will be the last winter market day for this year. But there is still plenty of time for random meetings, interesting discussions and surprises. See you in the folkvimmel!