SÁPMI: No Fake Samis, Stop the Misuse of Our Culture
ROAVVENJÁRGA -- Hundreds of sami youth had a non-violent manifestation in Rovaniemi yesterday evening. "We don`t accept that Finnish touristindustry is using fake costumes and fake samis, said Lars Miguel Utsi, one of the organizers of this peaceful demonstration
Sami youth from four countries, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Russia, descided to make a statement about how badly the Finnish tourist industry is using sami culture, clothes and livelihood.
- The misuse is a discrimination against our people and we can´t accept all those "fake samis" in the tourist industry, said Lars Miguel Utsi.
Anne Kirste Aikio is from Finland and she maintains that more than 500 000 tourists visit Rovaniemi yearly. They visit "fake Samis" and the tourists believe that all the badly dressed "Samis" in famous the ´Santa Claus Land´ are real indigenous people.
- It is time to change from "fake" to real Samis. We would like to show our culture to tourists and we are willing to share our knowledge with others. To show authentic Sami life is the best experience for visitors and tourists, said Aikio and Utsi.
Fake or real Miss Sami
Last year the Finnish candidate for Miss Universe wore a Sami costume made in Hong Kong. This demonstrated a gross disrespect for the Sami culture.
During this manifestation the Sami youth showed how the "real Miss Sami" should look, with handmade traditional sami clothes and a "gakti" worn with pride.
Look at the photogallery from the Rovaniemi Manifestation
Published by: Liv Inger Somby