A special sprint prize called "Varki tjarki" has been set up at Sunday's Tåssåsen Criterium 64 powered by Visma. At the sprint point on the first lap, the first man and women get a large reindeer meat delicacy box. At the second lap's sprint point, the first man and women may each name a reindeer calf.
"Varki tjarki" means fast and persistent in Southern Sami language. The support from the Tåssåsen Sami village was important to make the Sunday event happen.
"We love sports and have skiing in our genes," says Per Erik Jonasson, secretary in Tåssåsen's Sami village.
"Today, the snowmobile has taken over the role of skis at work, but not too long ago, endurance, and the ability to run and ski fast, was very important to have on your CV if you were to work with reindeer husbandry," Jonasson continues.
When Visma Ski Classics CEO David Nilsson contacted Tåssåsen's Sami village and asked if it was possible to carry out Sunday's competition on their land, Per Erik Jonasson did not hesitate.
"Of course, we said yes straight away. We want everyone to feel warmly welcome to Tåssåsen Criterium 64 and hope for good conditions for the athletes. It will be exciting to see who is the fastest in the finish and who will take the sprint prizes "Varki tjarki". "
"We also want to take the opportunity to make our Sami villages and the Sami presence visible in a way. Because even though we have "always" been here, not many of those who visit our reindeer grazing mountains today know that we exist," says Per Erik Jonasson.
The ignorance about Sami and reindeer husbandry is great. Despite the fact that the Sami are an indigenous people, designated by the ILO (International Labour Organization) as Europe's only, the history of the Sami is poorly described in schools. The mountains are marketed as an untouched wilderness when it's, in fact, is a Sami cultural landscape characterized by the Sami reindeer husbandry for centuries.
" Few know what a Sami village is and how the mountain world is and has been farmed. Few know that with the reindeer as a base, we have stably produced thousands of climate-smart and sustainable annual jobs throughout history," says Per Erik Jonasson.
How long the Sami have lived in this area, no one knows. New research shows that small-scale domestic reindeer husbandry was established as early as the 11th century AD. The Sami are Sweden's indigenous peoples. Contemporary and historical traces of the Sami can be seen everywhere, in the form of reindeer enclosures, huts, reindeer herders' cottages, old hut plots, hunting pits, and more.
"Tåssåsen's Sami village today has about fifty members in our Sami village and about 9000 reindeer in the summer flock. In order for more people to be able to stay and work in the Sami village area, we are also developing small-scale tourism in line with reindeer husbandry," Per Erik Jonasson concludes.
Here are the facts you need to know about Tåssåsen Criterium 64 powered by Visma:
LOCATION: Vålådalen, Sweden
DATE: Sunday March 21st 2021
START TIME: Men CET 07:55, Women CET 08:00.
DISTANCE: 64 km Classic Technique
VISMA SKI CLASSICS SPRINTS: Varki Tjarki 22 km, Varki Tjarki 54 km
Map and Profile: