The market is over, and life in Jokkmokk has started to return to normal. Here are two photos showing Storgatan, which was the center of the winter market area. It looks a bit sad, but it really isn’t. The traces of tens of thousands of visitors have already been covered in the snow that has been falling today, and even though the winter market is over for this time, there are plenty of adventures and experiences ahead. Jokkmokk has a lot more to offer than the winter market. More about that in the final post later tonight…
On Friday the 7th, Björn Uglem (who is, by now, a familiar name to readers of this blog) had two performances at Ájtte museum. The first was in the grand hall, and I was there to listen and photograph him as he showed throat-singing and Alaskan inuit dancing. He started his performance dressed in the magnicifient dress that I have mentioned earlier, and gradually took it off since it is way too warm to use indoors – especially when dancing.
The hall was full of people, so many that I had to sit on the floor as all seats were already taken. During the performance, many in the audience tried to sing along – and a few brave people even joined Björn on stage for a dance. Serious points, life wisdoms and stories were mixed with humorous jokes and surprises. It was a great show, with many good lessons and things worth keeping in mind. And spending time with Björn before, during and after the reindeer race on Thursday was nothing but a pleasure. I hope to see you back in Jokkmokk again soon, Björn!
Attached video: Björn Uglem shows throat-singing, encouraging the audience to sing along. He explains that you can practice in the subway (which makes the audience laugh) or the shower, but also says that if you practice in your bed with your partner beside you, it may be a good idea to explain what you do before you do it.
After almost ten hours of sleep, I am back at the computer to sort all the photos and videos from yesterday. I will continue to publish posts throughout the day, and also upload videos and photo galleries, before ending the coverage of this week with a summary tonight.
The roads in the market area has been opened up for regular traffic again, but there are still plenty of cars and trailers parked on the sidewalks. Many visitors have left Jokkmokk, but for those who are still here, this Sunday could be a good day to see the exhibitions that are still open. Ájtte museum with the art of Maj Doris Rimpi and Queering Sápmi among many other things, The Old Pharmacy with lots of handicraft and the clothes from the fashion show are still open. So is the workshop, shop and exhibition of Jokkmokks Tenn, which is a great place to find beautiful gifts and souvenirs.
(The video above shows Storgatan, yesterday afternoon.)
Daylight has faded away, and the last evening of the winter market is here. It will be full of entertainment events, dances, artist performances and lots of parties and festivities. Hotel Jokkmokk will serve a multi-course dinner, and after that the much-anticipated Sámi dance party will start. At Folkets Hus, singer Jan Johansen will perform with the band In Depth. I would assume that a lot of people in Jokkmokk will be away for many, many more hours tonight – as this is the final night that puts an end to this years winter market.
Personally, I am opting out of parties and other evening activities, to rather spend this Saturday night at home with my family. But I will do my best to collect stories and possibly photos from other people who will be at different events tonight, and publish it tomorrow.
Tomorrow, yes… There is really a tomorrow, despite the fact that the winter market will be over by then. It is commonly said that the winter market in Jokkmokk is what define the start and the end of the year. There is the time before the market, and the time after the market. The time after the market is usually very calm, very silent and very relaxed. The last thing I wrote in this blog last year, was that it was time to start a new year. But I will continue to publish material tomorrow, since I have a lot of photos and videos collected, and a number of more stories to tell. For example, I still need to show the video of inuit dance and throat-singing!
So, welcome back tomorrow for more posts, and for a summary of the 2014 winter market in Jokkmokk from the perspectives of a number of different people (including me)…
Another great experience that will be remembered for a long time: Hearing a full symphony orchestra live. Instant goose-bumps. I’ll write a longer text about it when I summarize the winter market week tomorrow, but for now, here are a few photos:
Just a reminder: There is a webcam page on this site, where you can see a realtime stream of the park in the middle of the winter market area.
In about 10 minutes, I will walking by the webcam on my way to the symphony orchestra concert. Keep an eye on the camera feed (click the screenshot above to go to the webcam page), and I promise to wave to you all. If anyone manages to take a screenshot showing me waving, I promise to send a souvenir from Jokkmokk if you get in touch!
Saturday, the third and final day of the main winter market, is always the day with the most visitors. The streets are crowded, sometimes so much that you need to stop and find ways to walk around the crowds. Saturday is also the day when salesmen sells the most of all days, and the day when there is a slightly better chance to successfully negotiate about the prices for the products you are interested in buying. The last few hours are, except for the mentioned bargaining, also the time for me to take a final walk through the market area and speak with people (both visitors and salesmen) about their experiences of this years market.
In an hour, I will listen to beautiful music performed by a youth symphony orchestra, hosted by talented musician and TV host Kalle Moraeus. To me, personally, it will be one of the highlights of the market. More about that later. But first: Time for a last walk through the market…
Three of the streets in the market area, Friday afternoon, all full of people…
The word “folkvimmel” is Swedish, and can be translated as “crowds of people”, and it is commonly used to describe the winter market. Jokkmokk is a small town with a population of approximately 3.000 people. During the winter market, there are usually more than 30.000 people in Jokkmokk, a tenfold increase. Since the majority of people are here to see the main market area, the streets are more or less constantly full of people. Anytime you enter the main market area, you end up in the folkvimmel. And it is a big part of the experience, with a lot of random meetings between people of different backgrounds and from different parts of the world, as well as lots of things to see. The example from yesterday, with Björn Uglem walking around dressed in a huge Alaskan inuit dress, is just one of many examples. Running into old colleagues and friends from school are other examples.
For me and others who live in Jokkmokk, chances are big to meet old friends who have moved to other parts of Sweden – and in some cases to other parts of the world. The winter market has historically been all about meetings, both planned ones and random and co-incidental ones. This year, I had the pleasure of meeting a man who had come all the way from Fairbanks, Alaska, to experience the Jokkmokk winter market.
Now, the second day of the winter market is coming to an end, and once again evening activities have started. Tomorrow will be the last winter market day for this year. But there is still plenty of time for random meetings, interesting discussions and surprises. See you in the folkvimmel!
Today, there was a fashion show on the big snow stage in the middle of the market area. On display were clothes that were designed with personality and made from natural materials. Several of the outfits are for sale at The Old Pharmacy, and being hand made they are unique – there is only one copy of each outfit made. The park was full of people of all ages, and some eavesdropping on the people standing close to me confirmed that the interest for locally designed clothes is rather big.