Laponia etiquette

This heritage is ours and the world’s. We loan this land from those who will come after us. We want as many as possible to have the chance to experience Laponia, while nature and the people living here must not find ugly traces of our presence here.

Traditional knowledge is important in the World Heritage Site. It is the knowledge that has been passed on from generation to generation, teaching an approach to the land that allows us to be here without leaving marks.

A traditional peat goahte for example is built so that the land can reclaim it when it is no longer used. Litter must disappear and not lie in the hearth when you leave.

If you ask an elderly man or woman in the Sámi communities, you will probably hear that:

  • an árran (hearth) is in all probability a trace of a dwelling site. Or a tourist has made it. The locals seldom place stones around a fire for making coffee. They prefer to use an old hearth to cook, rather than making a new one. You should not take stones from an árran, since it is one of the traveller’s many homes. For a long period, people have here eaten, rested, and found warmth and light.
  • if you wash upstream in a brook where others use the water, you pollute their drinking water.
  • sacred places are still sacred, even though the way to use them has changed. To respect the place is to respect the people who live in Laponia.
  • litter does not disappear just because it cannot be seen. Do not bury it, but carry away what you brought here.
  • neither other visitors nor those who are living in settlements and villages like it when you pitch your tent too close to them. Nor do hikers like to encounter your tent right on the trail.

In addition to this, there are of course regulations you must follow in the national parks and nature reserves. You find the regulations  here.