Introduction:

"This blog is not necessarily for lovers of art, it includes a variety of topics and whatever. I'm a painter who likes to know what's really going on in the world today. So you might find anything from Shamrocks to Salmiakki mentioned here on my blog. There will of course be some boring, factual and informational posts, but I'll keep them to a minimum, I promise!

And I might get a bit nostalgic now and then.

So you have been warned!"


- Alan Hogan



Showing posts with label Lapland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lapland. Show all posts

Monday, June 12, 2017

Eyes Wide Open













Visiting Finland during the summer months offers the chance to experience long evenings and for a certain period the midnight sun. In most parts of Finland it doesn't get very dark at all. Where I live along the south-west coast the darkness is set at twilight, so it can be bright enough to play a game of football.
















Having spent almost ten years now living in Finland I am still amazed every June as the Midsummer period arrives with it's seemingly endless hours of light. It's an eerie sensation which can create wonder and plenty of sleepless nights. Black-out blinds are an essential purchase if you want to sleep!

While I still haven't been to the northern part of Finland yet, I can almost imagine what it must be like to have the sun up all day. It's something I would still like to experience sometime. One reason I haven't been so far north in the summer may be the presence of Finland's not-so loveable mosquitos. While we do get quite a lot of these bloodsuckers here in the south of Finland, I have heard stories of mild discomfort caused by the amount they have up north. This may be over-exaggerated, but during my first few years of living in southern Finland my legs were constantly under attack. After several days of itching and scratching they resembled a pair of crusty old pizzas! I think I offered the mosquitos a new dining experience of Irish blood which they took to like a vintage wine!


















Nowadays my blood may have altered a bit or become less tasteful as they don't bother me too much anymore. Perhaps my tolerence for them has levelled out,  I honestly don't know!






Anyway I thought I'd reactivate my blog here today having read about a short-film been shown at a Finnish film festival this week. It's certainly an apt film to show as it's relevent to the festival's location and this time of year. It's called 'How a Mosquito Operates', a silent animated film made way back in 1912 by American cartoonist and animator Winsor McCay. It's just one of many films been shown, full list here


















This Wednesday June 14th 2017, the Midnight Sun Film Festival begins it's five-day event in Sodankylä, Finland. It's an unusual film festival as it shows films around the clock without any breaks, just as the sun shines around the clock! 
The festival began in 1986 in the village of Sodenkylä, located in Finnish Lapland, some 120 kilometres above the Arctic Circle where the sun doesn't set at all in the summertime. So if you suffer from insomnia, this is the place for you!!

..and don't worry about the mossies!










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Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to share it with any of your friends.



- Alan


    

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Date with the Saami people!





Renée Zellweger chews her finger
in the title role of Bridget Jones’s Diary.

From Universal/Neal Peters Collection





Living in Finland for over two years now I am still amazed at just how large the country is. Finland has a similar population size to my home country Ireland, but is actually four times larger in area coverage.
Of course a large area of northern Finland is open to severe weather conditions in the winter months and therefore considered uninhabitable by some. Add to this the lack of daylight and it paints a grim picture of how anyone could survive winters in this northern region of Finland where temperatures can drop to between -45°C and -50°C.
I live in the most southerly area of Finland and winter here can be hard enough to bear. I honestly cannot understand how anybody can live in the north of Finland.

However this northern area of Finland we all know as Lapland has a large community with busy towns and modern infrastructure. And with a population of about 184,000 it seems that long cold winters hasn't deterred anyone from living there.
Of this quite large population living in Finnish Lapland around 7,000 belong to the Saami community. These are the people who most of us are used to seeing in photos and on TV wearing traditional red, blue and yellow lined clothing and usually occupied by reindeer herding and age-old crafts like carpentry and sowing.
However, nowadays you are more likely to see a Saami rushing around after reindeer on a turbo-quad vehicle with an iphone gps attached. And why not? These are people who welcome the use of modern devices where needed, yet they still maintain and respect old traditions.

Here's a clip about the modern Saami in Norwegian Lapland.




I don't know much more about the Saami people and I'm not qualified to write any detailed information, but since moving to Finland I have discovered that they are very much a part of a detached culture to most Finnish people. They have their own language, they even have there own TV broadcasts I believe. You can read more about the Saami here.




Lapland


This leads me on to Hollywood star Renée Zellweger.

What???....... What has she got to do with Finland you may ask?

Homeland of the Saami people


Well, nothing really.
But I was a little surprised to see her photo on Wikipedia's page about some of Finland's most northerly inhabitants, the Saami. Well actually the Saami people live in the nordic area more commonly known as Lapland, which encompasses parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.

The Saami Flag












It appears that Renée Zellweger's mother, Kjellfried Irene (née Andreassen), is Norwegian-born and of Saami origin.
And today, February 6th marks the Saami National Day.
I wonder if the Hollywood star has this date written in her diary, definately a day to toast a proud part of her heritage.





And finally a little bit of modern Sami music. I'm not familar too much with the Sami culture, I think it would be great to head up to Lapland one day and say hello to all the gang. Here's some music I found on YouTube which appealed to me.





You can find out more about the Saami people and Finnish weather at these interesting links.






Thanks for reading my blog and please share it with all your friends.

-Alan

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