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"Summer rubbers" now include instructions in three Sámi languages

This is the 24th summer that a joint campaign for sexual health will provide information and free condoms for young people.

Sámegielat geassegummekondoma páhkat.
Image: Vesa Toppari / Yle

The Kesäkumi campaign ("summer rubber") promoting sexual health among youths will for the first time include information and instructions in three Sámi languages spoken in Finland: Inari Sámi, Northern Sámi and Skolt Sámi.

The campaign was instituted in 1995 and is a joint project between the Finnish Red Cross, the Family Federation of Finland, radio channel YleX, the Cancer Society of Finland and the Service Club Association (Sotilaskotiliitto). Information and condoms are freely distributed at festivals and other events.

The instruction texts for proper condom use were translated into the three minority languages in cooperation between the Sámi Parliament's youth council and the Family Federation. Every "summer rubber" package contains sexual health information in at least one of the three Sámi languages as well as English.

A survey included in the campaign can now also be filled out in the Sámi languages.

Sexual issues taboo in Sámi culture

Sexual health is one of the Sámi Parliament's youth council's main themes this year. In addition to collaborating on the condom campaign, the council also intends to publish a glossary of sexual terms in the autumn.

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Geassegummekondomapáhka nuortalašgillii.
Instructions in Skolt Sámi and English. Image: Inger-Elle Suoninen / Yle

Youth leader Kaisa Tapiola-Länsman told Yle Sapmi in April that sexual issues have always been taboo in Sámi communities. She also recounts that after the interview her 70-year-old mother-in-law received phone calls from people concerned about Tapiola-Länsman speaking on sexual matters in public.

The Kesäkumi campaign has also been ridiculed in the Finnish Sámi community. Tapiola-Länsman says that the new instruction translations are sorely needed.

200,000 johnnies handed out

Each year the Kesäkumi campaign also features an original song by a contmeporary artist that touches on issues of sexual health. The song for 2018 is singer Antti Tuisku's piece Kumipuku ("rubber suit").

Some 200,000 condoms are distributed for free during the campaign. Some 190,000 of those will be distributed at large public events, and the Service Club Association will hand out 30,000 "military leave rubbers" for young people in military service.

Condoms with Sámi language texts will be distributed at the Ijahis Idjassa indigenous music festival in August, but they are also available directly from Tapiola-Länsman's office.

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