Finns And Norwegians Argue Over Who Owns The Northern Lights

from the alaska? dept

Perhaps it's because I live in the US, but I always associated the Northern Lights/Aurora Borealis with Alaska. Apparently, over in Europe, they associate it with some Scandanavian countries... but apparently there's a bit of a fight over which one. Matthew A. Sawtell alerts us to what he refers to as "a sign of the times," in which Norwegians and Finns are fighting over who "owns" the Aurora Borealis. Apparently, the Norwegians believe that their country is most regularly associated with the phenomenon. But Finland has just kicked off a tourism campaign that focuses on highlighting that you can see the Northern Lights from Finland. And the Norwegians are none too pleased:
The tension was triggered by a short film that the Finnish Tourist Board posted on its channel on video-sharing platform YouTube, featuring time-lapse footage of the aurora in Finnish Lapland. The film has been viewed almost 400,000 times since September, prompting Norwegians to complain that the Finns are trying to "steal" the northern lights.

"We can not stand by and watch the Finns try to grab a bigger share" of the northern lights market, said Per-Arne Tuftin of Innovation Norway, a state-owned company that promotes tourism in Norway. "We will not give up -- the northern lights will be ours," he told the Troms&ostrok;-based newspaper Nordlys, whose name translates appropriately as Northern Lights. Back in 2009, Innovation Norway launched a campaign to brand the northern lights as a Norwegian phenomenon.
The idea of ownership over shared things is getting downright ridiculous.

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  1. icon
    mhenriday (profile), 20 Nov 2011 @ 7:09am

    There's no need for the Finns or the Norwegians to get all hot and bothered ;

    everybody knows that we Swedes own the norrsken. Why our (unofficial) national song refers to Din himmel (Your sky), which for all unbiased observers should suffice to clinch the argument. Tourists are, of course, welcome to observe the phenomenon, but woe betide them if any pieces of the Lights are discovered on them when they pass through check-in at the aeroport on the way home !...


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