Episode 6

The Good Neighbour

Episode Producers

Marise Barbosa & Mark Gale

“It is not just about the houses; it is about the community”

A home means many different things to Katarina Sundelin. She feels it in the kitchen where her grandmother once used to cook; she sees it in the comfort of having coffee while talking to her neighbours; she builds it every December when she puts up the Christmas tree right outside her house.

Nobody needs an invitation. Her house is open to all those around her. She doesn’t see them as [strangers] people; she looks at them like they are part of her community, her family.

Now, what happens when someone from the outside tries to break apart your home and this community?  You feel anger and sadness. But Katarina chooses a different path. She chooses to be strong. She reminisces about all the beautiful memories she’s made in this house. Right from the time she used to come here on vacation to taking over the house and making it a home for everyone nearby.

“It was like a kick in the stomach, I couldn’t breathe. What shall we do? It was a shock. You don’t just lose a home, a house, you lose your entire community, your people. This is my home; I don’t have the right to my home anymore, but I still live here.”

While the rest of the people in the world continue with their chaotic lives, not many ever come close to knowing the existence of this gem in one corner of Sweden. Sakajärvi, in the Sámi language, means the space that is near the lake to meet. It was a gathering place for Sámi from the wider area.

“We don’t meet every day, but I know his or her story, and their family, I know who they are. And that’s very important, I think. Maybe we don’t see each other daily, but we know the people are there,” says Katarina, with her heart full of love.

Katarina was always used to living life alone. But moving to Sakajärvi gave her a sense of belonging. She found friends, love and strength in this small, simple village.

“It was like a kick in the stomach, I couldn’t breathe. What shall we do? It was a shock. You don’t just lose a home, a house, you lose your entire community, your people. This is my home; I don’t have the right to my home anymore, but I still live here.”

@galaxymars

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