Our Stories film crew has been visiting during august in different spots at Kemi-Tornio area. These documentaries contains stories that are connected to regions nearby Northern Lights Route.
Laitakari, an old island near town of Kemi where has been sawmill and over 200 hundred people living was one story production. Last inhabitants of island moved away in the end of 1960’s and last decades the island including the old ruins of houses and sawmill have been abandoned and nature has taken its spot back. During couple of years, there’s been a project that has been making a lot of work for clearing the island and restoring the paths and it’s locations. Oskar Van Leperen has been the project coordinator for it. “Laitakari island is a forgotten pearl, this sort of beautiful area with wide history so near town is quite unusual. We are making a lot of work for restoring this place and bringing many of stories to known for public.” Van Leperen tells.
Film crew visited Laitakari with three former inhabitants of island. they are: Eine Manninen, Allen Slotte and Veikko Vuoma. All three storytellers have been living in island at their childhood and young adulthood. Inhabitants of island remember the place very well. “Even though the island has changed during decades, I still know where is my old home and childhood memories haven’t faded away.” There are deep connection to place in everyone’s heart. “It makes me so happy seeing the new life of this island, to see its new awakening.” They tell.
Laitakari island’s restoring project and story collecting that people are doing are great examples of how travelling entrepreneurs can advance stories and storytelling to tourists for example.
Traditional Salmon fishing competition in Vojakkala Village
Tornio river is well known from fish and fishing. In little village of Vojakkala, 10 miles from town of Tornio was held 25th salmon fishing competition. The competition is traditional and during first years it gathered hundreds of fishers from all over the Finland and even from other countries. In this anniversary, there was unfortunately not so many participants to competition.
Film crew interviewed two men, Arvo Norman and Juhani Pelttari who have been more or less arranging competition from start of it. They shared memories and talked about the fear of that new generation might not keeping the tradition alive. The other main topic in these stories was the Tornio river, which they see very potential for travelers and different enterprises.
Both of these story documentaries will be published in Our Stories website in the future.