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Storyteller Outi Kurkela

Living in Enontekiö

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Outi Kurkela from Enontekiö (Lapland, Finland) tells a story about the Enontekiö and about her life in the region.

The story is in Finnish.

The story of Outi Kurkela

I live in Enontekiö, Hetta. Its quiet place, the main business here is mainly reindeer herding and tourism. Most of the people are locals, but more and more people are coming outside the region. This is result of booming tourism industry.

Enontekiö is a melting pot of different nationalities

This region has been a melting pot for Sami people, Norwegians and Finnish people. Its has obviously affected to us in a way that we are more open to new people here. Its good to have new blood here also. The municipality has made decision to take 20 new immigrants to Enontekiö. The weather is one issue which I wonder; its really cold climate here comparing the Southern Europe or Africa for instance. It needs a lot to adapt to the climate.


I have written couple poem-books. First book was about my childhood village, Ketomella (previous Sami village). My brother Kari Autto has made a study about the village called ”Ounaksen terrori”. This story tells about the history of village. To the village was no official road, no electricity or water. My family name is Autto and I have been living in a Sami-Finnish family. I never learned the Sami language. Is is a true, that in 1960`s the Sami language was being destroyed. It wasn’t allowed to speak Sami at school. After my mother and father died I started to remember my life in the village.

The story about the birth

I was born in 1952 in this small village. The birth of mine was really dangerous to my mother and myself. It lasts two days until the midwife came, mom was bleeding. Eventually my mom was Brough to Hetta by a river-boat. Mom was so bad conditions that they brought her to Muonio (which is about 70-80 km away) by taxi, the only car in the region at that time. After birth doctors assumed that I was dead, but then I cried. I have been very healthy child since then. It made me think how little it needs to live or die, my birth was a real miracle.

When I delivered two children I came to understand how different it had been then. Today hospitals are well-equipped and prepared, back then, it wasn’t the case. It was natural occasion. After the birth women went to milking the cow. My mom was very strong lady and had 11 children. Two of them died during the war-time.

Outi Kurkela Enontekiöltä kertoo tarinaa alueesta sekä omasta elämästä.

Country of origin: Finland

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Lapland UAS

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Svefi Academy

Torget 3
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JORD Ek. För.

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980 61 Tärendö
0046-(0)978-718 39

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