We define Swedish Lapland in a hundred ways or more. For the mountains, forests and wetlands, and for the major rivers flowing continuously into the archipelago of the Baltic sea. For the people who live here and for the broad, untouched expanses of untamed nature. For the art, music and literature. For a cultural landscape and for wildlife. Naturally, our everyday arctic lifestyle also defines us as people. The seasons, distances and climate have not only dictated a special way of life, but also a life in which nature is a major aspect, almost like a religion.
The destination Swedish Lapland is not only defined by geographic boundaries, but also a common brand used by the northernmost municipalities in Sweden, making it Your Arctic Destination. For us, at Swedish Lapland Visitors Board, the quality of life in the region is more important than its boundaries. And what we are trying to define is an arctic soul. But what is that?
Indigenous people lived here long before any king moved the boundaries for his domain farther north. The king’s men called these people Lapps, but they called themselves the Sámi and their homeland Sápmi. Sápmi is a borderless land that stretches across the entire Nordkalotten region, from northernmost Norway, over northern Sweden, into northern Finland, all the way to the Kola Peninsula in Russia.
Today we refer to this region as Arctic Europe. It is a part of the world that has become increasingly interesting for political powers and foreign investors. A place in love with the open and progressive society, sometimes referred to as “swedishness”, but always on our own terms, under hail or mosquito swarms, snowstorms or sun blisters. Today this northern region is the most progressive in Europe.
Naturally, Swedish Lapland, is a vital part of the global fabric, but it has been shaped since time immemorial in a multicultural melting pot. Via our neighbors to the east and west – Finnish Lapland and northern Norway – we are the only part of Sweden to share national boundaries with two countries. And, somewhere at this intersection, there is something that we wish to define as a unique lifestyle.
We dry our meat in the spring, smoke our fish in the summer and boil our coffee over an open fire all year round. And we put ‘coffee cheese’ in our boiled coffee because we love the taste and the squeaky sound it makes between our teeth. Amid the clatter of reindeer hooves, fiery sermons and weathered log cabins, something very exciting has emerged. A destination, of course, but also a place to call home is evolving under northern lights or midnight sun. An everyday arctic lifestyle deeply rooted in nature that we wish to share.
For us, Swedish Lapland is not really a place, but rather a way of life.
And you are welcome to share our Arctic lifestyle.
We would like to acknowledge that all our work take place on the traditional grounds of the following reindeer husbandry associations, the indigenous Sámi people, of: Könkämä, Lainiovuoma, Saarivuoma, Talma, Vittangi, Muonio, Gabna, Laevas, Girjas, Baste čearru, Tärendö, Sattajärvi, Korju, Unna Tjerusj, Sirges, Jåhkågaska tjiellde, Slakka, Gällivare, Ängeså, Pirttijärvi, Kalix, Liehittäja, Tuorpon, Luokta-Mavas, Semisjaur-Njarg, Ståkke, Udtja, Svaipa, Maskaur, Västra Kikkejaur, Östra Kikkejaur, Gran, Ran, Mausjaur and Malå.