By Karan Baijal from Mumbai Hosted in Finland on AFS Programs 2018

“In my Finnish High School, we once had a group of French students staying with us for a week. It was a great opportunity to learn French and Finnish culture. As I was an exchange student and not a tourist, it was interesting to see Lapland through the perspective of a tourist group. I had been in Finland for 6 months, and some of them did not speak English, so I found myself proudly translating Finnish into French for them. It surprises me to the core of how Reindeer are the lifeline for the Finish people. From milk, meat, transportation is eased by Reindeer. Such a versatile creature! Of course Finland being Finland, all of these practices are closely regulated. It was a surreal experience to feed and pet a reindeer. To see how pure, innocent and noble they are because of them, many in the north can make a living.”