The only indigenous people in the European Union area, the Sámi, are soon to be given their own cultural centre in Inari, located in Finnish Lapland.
Opening on January 2nd 2012, Sami Cultural Centre Sajos will become the headquarters for Sámi culture and administration.
The purpose of Sajos is to preserve and develop Sámi culture and the variety of Sámi languages, to create better possibilities for Sámi business ventures and to manage their cultural self-government.
Sajos is the new home of the Finnish Sámi Parliament and a bastion of multiculturalism.
The Centre aims to actively communicate on all issues concerning the Sámi.
Sámi traditions run deep in their native area, which covers largely the northern parts of Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia.
Traditional sources of livelihood include reindeer herding, hunting, fishing and handicraft.
The Sámi are known for their mythical tales and a belief in everything having a soul. Sámi shamanism is a well-known concept in Finland.
According to Sámi legend, the Northern Lights are caused by a Fox running across the Arctic fells and lighting up the sky with sparks flying from its tail whirling up the snow.
The modern Finnish term “revontulet”, the fox’s fires, derives from this myth.