Between the Atlantic Ocean and the glacial Arctic Ocean lies a vast, endless ice sheet called Kalaallit nunaat, better known as Greenland . It is the largest island in the world after Australia. With 2,000,000 square kilometers, mostly ice, it is one of the most inhospitable and coldest territories on earth in which some 57,000 people , mostly of Inuit origin , dare to live.

Eskimo is derogatory, and it is preferred to use the term Inuit, which means, in the Inuktitut language, people or human beings.

Formerly they called it Inuit nunaat, “the country of the Inuit”, a people that has survived for hundreds of years in extreme conditions : they have four months of arctic night (without sun), with temperatures of -50ºC, and serious consequences for health , but they have managed to adapt to the modern world, they have learned to live in balance between the old and the new : prefabricated houses, mobile, television, but they continue to preserve their essence and traditions: oral history and stories transmitted through the centuries continue being an important part of their culture, something that surprises these days. And this balance is what they want to maintain, so rules are imposed so as not to alter the environment in which they live ., they adapt to it, but do not transform it; men, animals and plants deserve the same respect and are part of a whole, we speak of ” man in a pure state”.

Inuit people in Greenland.

Nor do they think individually: cooperation, family and exchange are basic principles of this society, and those who meet them for the first time can appreciate that they are a hospitable, kind people, of honest people who do not know how to lie, and with a great sense of humor that borders on verbal violence.

But if something defines them, it is that they are, above all, hunters, in fact they are considered ” the most advanced hunting society in the world “, they say that they feed on the souls of animals and, once dead, they feed them . They have three basic rules: it is forbidden to go on a snowmobile to hunt, you have to go on a dog sled out of respect for the environment, they share the hunt (part of the food is for the dogs as they are the ones who help them with their tasks), and they never go out drunk. His fetish animal is the polar bear, the king of the arctic, because it has the greatest adaptation to the environment, its skin is black (it helps to get the heat from the sun) and its hair is transparent (for an optical effect it seems white), the camouflage Perfect, from them they learned to hunt seals.

Francesc Bailón , a university professor, anthropologist specializing in Inuit culture, and one of the greatest experts on this subject in Europe, is also well acquainted with this peculiar vision of life . He is also a writer and travel guide with X-Plore. The enthusiasm he transmits when you talk to him makes you want to follow him anywhere in the world, in fact, as a guide he participates in an original proposal: enjoy an anthropological and cultural journey in the land of the Inuit.Local Inuit hunters.

Since his first trip, in 1999, he has made 23 expeditions , and after having a sung duel with the last poet of the Arctic, he has managed to create a bond of great friendship with his family, to the point that he took them on trips to the Canary Islands, and made a documentary that can be seen on YouTube: The smile of the sun.

He thoroughly knows their ideas and customs such as: calling a newborn with the name of the last deceased so that his soul continues to live; that of having a neutral language, the names can be both masculine and feminine; he knows the old tradition of resolving disputes by improvising songs or poems (this practice is currently prohibited); furthermore, there are no secrets between them, the confessions are public; they believe that nature is nurtured by spirits: the moon, the sun, the rivers, the mountains, they are all spirits, and to contact them they have the shaman who, without any type of narcotic, enters a trance only with the voice and the drum; and if they offer you the blood and liver of a dead animal, it is a symbol of friendship. He tries to transmit all this knowledge in his books, conferences and expeditions.

Legends say that the northern lights are the lights of the dead that live in the sky, and whistling helps them to communicate with them

His first memory, at -20ºC and in short sleeves, is the feeling of nothingness, of being at the “end of the world”, and that is the feeling that those who venture to travel to this spectacular destination can have: fjords , glaciers, icebergs, wild nature , no roads, no cars, no shops, no hotels, an adventure for the most intrepid. Camp of the X-Plore trip to Greenland.

There are no age restrictions, you just have to be prepared to withstand extreme weather, Francesc has suffered hell at -69ºC; and to adapt to something totally different from what we know: silence, loneliness and a feeling of emptiness , and, although it seems somewhat idyllic, it is something that we are not used to and can be hard, at least shocking. It is a unique experiencethat those people who, after traveling a lot, flee from the traditional tourist formula in search of something more personal usually look for.

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