Here is an Official Postcrossing card from Finland! Each of these panels shows one of the many faces you might encounter if you travel to the region of Lapland, the northernmost region in the country. In this region lives the European Union’s only indigenous population – the Sámi people. The Sámi, who reside in areas of Finland, Norway, Sweden and Russia, are thought to be descendants of nomadic peoples who existed thousands of years ago. They have an autonomous parliament in Finland (in a village called Inari), and are distinguished in their culture through things such as their own language, national anthem and flag. As you can see on this card, they also bear unique fashion. The clothes they wear are known as gákti, which are characterized by their use of contrasting colors and embroidered designs. Traditionally, Sámi live in temporary tepee-like dwellings known as lavvu, which you can see in a few of the panels here. You can also see one of Finland’s most popular staples here alongside the people – reindeer! Reindeer herding is like a keystone in Sámi culture. Reindeer have long been a source of sustenance for these people: for example, their meat provides food, their fur provides clothing, and their bones provide tools/crafts. I find it highly respectable that none of what the reindeer has to offer goes wasted! In the wintertime, there is also plenty of reindeer sleigh riding that takes place, including the Reindeer Racing Championship held in the northernmost region of Norway. Of course, with the passage of time, the Sámi have integrated westernized culture a bit more with their own, but overall I think their traditions remain highly intact. And that’s a beautiful thing! Thank you lots for this marvelous postcard!