Ida-Maria is a member of the indigenous Sami community who has created opportunities for visitors to Northern Sweden to better understand the Sami culture, life and the local relationship with the Northern Lights.
What do you do for work? I have a company that teaches people about our sami life and culture.
What do you like to do for fun? For me it is very important to be out in the nature with my family. it makes me feel very good. We have reindeer and we follow them through the seasons, from forest to the mountain. When we are in the nature we use to fish, gather berries and herbs and have a nice moment around the fire.
Where do you live? I live in different places around the year, always near our reindeer. When it is winter we live in a village, Jukkasjärvi and when it is spring, summer and autumn we live up in the mountais. I have always lived at the same place (Lappland – Sweden) and I enjoying our life with the reindeer and moving around during the year.
What do you love about the Arctic? I love the life in Arctic. Nature, the wild animals and the contrast between summer and winter. From the coldness and darkness in the winter to the midnight sun (light around the clock) and warmness in summer. The forest and the mountains that we have. The silence in the nature. And all the things that nature gives us, berries, herbs, fish and the meat from the wild animals.
What do the northern lights mean to you? Northern lights gives me a wunderful light in the dark winter. It makes me happy. I use to lay in the bed in the evenings and look at the northern light from my bedroom window before I will fall in to sleep.
Did your family tell you stories about the northern lights when you were a child? The northern light is magical for us and the old stories tells that the northern light told us about the weather and it helped us to see in the dark.
What top three things would you recommend a visitor to the artic to experience? Top things to do when you are in the Arctic – Experience the sami culture – It is a sustainable culture and it have so much interesting and important knowledge to learn about. Nature – be out in the nature and experience the silence. The tastes – try food from the nature, berries, herbs and taste of the meat from the wild animals.
What is your favourite season? And why is that your favourite season? My favourite season is the autumn. I love the different colours in the nature and the fresh air. It is the time for gather berries, mushrooms and herbs, fill the food supply.
What’s your favourite local food or dish? My favourite food is all food that you can find here out in the nature. If I must choose one it will be the cloudberry – it has an amazing taste.