Lappish magic

Reindeer Herders Drinks

sirmakko ettoillan ryyppy drinkki ravintolaEttonights drink

Etto means collecting reindeer in to the corral. Reindeer are collected from forest fields to special corrals in autumn. Reindeer herders live in forest cabins during round-up without electricity and running water. Most of the cabins have sauna, gas stove and fireplace. Around the cabin are common beds to sleep. The beds are made of wood and are circling around the cabin. Collecting reindeer used to be done by walking and running but nowadays there are ATV´s. Besides ATV’s there are also one of the Finnish national dogs, Lappish reindeer dog, worth own weight of gold. Sometimes very close to the corral reindeer get very wild and they run away. Then the hard work is wasted and has to be started again often ten’s of kilometres away. After a successful day when men have eaten reindeer meat soup, had sauna and are relaxing in front of a fireplace it’s used to take a drink. Then calm sleep relaxes muscles for the next days hard work.


Night before round-up

sirmakko poro husku poro

When all reindeer are inside the corral it’s time to start round-up. Separating day is the high moment of reindeer harvest, even though the day is full of hard work. The night before separating day is called väliyö. When night falls, inside the cabin reindeer herders go through how successful herding has been and whose reindeer are inside the corral. During the night men tell old stories and jokes and play card. And of course it’s a tradition to have a warm drink. The drink is made of whiskey, hot water and honey. In the morning when sun rises reindeer are moved from big corral to main corral. There is a long day ahead.


Living with nature

sirmakko kattaus ravintolaThey are committed to their work. Reindeer herders. The incentive is not money it’s something else: reindeer, nature, life, a good day. They could be industry experts or risk managers, with government jobs that are well paid and neat. But, it’s not as. And they are not company men, which are rewarded or publicly praised for the work. When the ignorant and envious criticize and hurt, they go to fight for survival. They go into the woods and expansive countries, they are there for some time and return. Wind blows away the bitterness and brightens the mind. They sleep off the fatigue. And they go back to their work again. Nature has trained them, taught toughness and sensitivity, humility and gratitude. A sense of proportion. They wake up with the sun and their calendar is four seasons of the year.  Rain or shine. And they go to the blizzards

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