Fjords, glaciers and the highest mountains in the Arctic: East Greenland with its spectacular nature is one of the most sparsely populated regions on earth. The people here live in extreme isolation and depend on helicopter flights for their supplies. Despite harsh conditions, the inhabitants here lovingly maintain their traditions and enjoy their outdoor leisure time even at minus 20 degrees Celsius.
The town of Tasiilaq is the "metropolis" with 4,000 inhabitants and offers a very special attraction: the only ski lift on the east coast. Thomas Mikaelsen, the lift attendant, is not to be envied for his job. The only 100 meter long lift comes from Switzerland and is already 20 years old. If Thomas gets the drag lift running at all, it often only lasts for an hour. Then the ski crazy's luck depends on his repair skills. The lift is the only frosty open-air pleasure.
For Salo Kunuk his sled dogs are both pleasure and work. He is currently teaching his daughter Karla how to steer a dog sled, private driving lessons from her father, so to speak. Karla will need it, because in the eternal ice the sled is the only means of transportation.
Tobias Ignatiussen owns a motorized sled version with 100 HP. He goes, like already his ancestors, on seal hunt. Only with the help of the snowmobile he can reach ice-free places in the fjord. Despite strict hunting restrictions, the Inuit still depend on seal meat and fur to survive.
A tradition almost as important as hunting is the tupilak, small figures from Greenlandic mythology, made from whale teeth or reindeer antlers. Gideon Quqe made it to the master as a carver, and some of his tupilaks look quite spooky. Because from his ancestors, Gideon knows that the tupilak was intended by its owner to be used as an evil spirit to harm the enemy. Nowadays Gideon also carves nice looking figures, because lucky charms simply sell better.
At the Klubben, Tasiilaq's only pub, the concert of the year is on: the local combo Dubbi Band, named after the nickname of band leader Tobias Sanimuinaq, performs. They call their wild musical style "Greenland Swing". Even in the middle of the white wilderness you can make your audience dance.
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