A City called many names and
the heroes take the spoils!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Browse the photo gallery here

 

Rovaniemi has many appeals: the call of an arctic town, a congress town, a town of snow and winter; the call of the nature of Lapland as well as of a modern town. Rovaniemi is the gate to Lapland and its beating heart.

However, Rovaniemi is also the town of free, legendary men. Nätti-Jussi, Santa Claus and Lordi are alive as the heroes of mythic legends. Nätti's stories were composed in bunkhouses at logging sites as "popular art". As for Santa Claus and monster Lordi, these are elaborately developed hero stories for marketing. A trek has been made which is geographically short, but long in timescale, from the rocky virgin Ounasvaara to the Lordi's square. On this square our three heroes set their foot as hosts of a story tent in oder to excel each other, that is "to sink each other into marsh by their own song".

From the square the heroes continue their journey in the nightless night and in the twilight of the kaamos season. They rest their feet for a while at the Jätkä statue, (Lumberjack statue), and proceed along the Jätkänkynttilä bridge (Lumberjack candle bridge) to cross over the Kemijoki river toward the Juhannuskallio (Midsummer rock) of Ounasvaara and the ski slopes gleaming in the rays of the winter sun. They boast of their own land. Lordi has his square, the Santa his Christmas, but the land of the king Lumberjack is boundless.

  • On the shores of the Ounaskoski River in Rovaniemi, there is a lumber- jack statute in the form of a log-tanner. Nätti-Jussi wanted to help a log- tanner once and said to him: “Listen, mate, I feel sorry for you, having to spend all your weekdays and holidays come winter or summer tanning those logs. It’s a sweaty job. Why don’t you go take a swim in the rapids and I’ll tan that piece of wood while you’re at it? Then we can go and have ourselves a little brew at Pohjanhovi!”

    (Pentti Harjumaa: Nätti-Jussin tarinoita I [Nätti-Jussi’s tales I], p.19

  • At Lumberjack Statue Park in Rovaniemi, Nätti-Jussi once had to submit to a passport inspection. The young policeman asked:

    ”Have you got a passport?”
    ”What in the blazes would I be doing with a passport, since I’m here already?”
    “Well, then—where you do actually live?”
    “Who lives in any special place in the summertime?” Nätti-Jussi replied, clearly an-noyed.

    Even so, the policeman continued his enquiry. ”Just what sort of man are you?”

    At that, ‘Nätti’ snapped: “I’m Nätti-Jussi—who makes an appearance here seven days a week. And if you ask that lumberjack statue over there what my job is, you’ll hear that I’m one hell of a good lumberjack!”

    The passport was not required and the young constable left considerably embarrassed, since he did not know Nätti-Jussi at all.
    (Pentti Harjumaa: Nätti-Jussin tarinoita II [Nätti-Jussi’s tales II], p. 47)

  • Nätti-Jussi had won quite a pile of money at cards. In Rovaniemi, he stopped at a clothing shop, his pockets bulging with cash. The saleswoman came to ask how she could help him.

    Nätti-Jussi eyed the rows of suits and jackets, nimbly drew a semicircle in the air with his hand, and said: “I’ll buy everything in the shop—and a scarf as well. It doesn’t matter what colour it is, as long as it’s a nice red.”

    (Pentti Harjumaa: Nätti-Jussin tarinoita II [Nätti-Jussi’s tales II], p. 40)


 

luettelomerkki

Land of the Arctic Circle
--------------------------

luettelomerkki

Mountain of the
Midnight Sun

--------------------------

luettelomerkki

Finland’s Klondike
--------------------------

luettelomerkki

From sleigh rides to the
age of the Concorde

--------------------------

luettelomerkki

The nearest real hotel
--------------------------

luettelomerkki

Santa Claus Land
--------------------------

luettelomerkki

A city called by many
names - and the heroes
take the spoils

--------------------------

 


 


Travellers in Lapland - Info - © 2007 University of Lapland