Poronkusema

As explained by Ziya Tong in The Reality Bubble: how science reveals the hidden truths that shape our world (2019):

In Finland, the indigenous Sami people have a very special unit of measurement. It's called a poronkusema, which is defined as the distance a reindeer can travel before it needs to stop and urinate. The Sami, who have lived alongside reindeer for centuries, attentively noted that the animals won't walk and relieve themselves at the same time. And so, once approximately every 7.5 kilometres, a poronkusema, they stop and empty their bladders. While this measurement may seem a touch absurd to non-reindeer herders, it should be said that before the metric system came along, many countries and cultures had their own rather peculiar systems. It's likely that people of the future will find it just as weird that we described the unfathomable loss of our rainforests in terms of "football fields."

I found a Finnish-language book titled Poronkusema, but the google-translated blurb is somewhat incomprehensible and doesn't mention anything about urinating reindeers.

Poronkusema is a humane, unadorned and dramatic story about acceptance, forgiveness, equality and growing up. Poronkusema is a series of events with a flavor of the life of the main character and his close circle, not too salty smoothed, where treatment and head and tail are missing. Mother's forgiveness and acceptance of loved ones as they are. How can the death of a child change and shape the future of family members and close friends. This is the countdown for this story. You'll jump like a fly on a moldy ceiling and juice up juicy coincidences like peeking into locker rooms in elementary school. We were kind of the usual The Usual Suspects, like from that classic Yankee movie directed by Bryan Singer. The only difference. We weren't that good looking.

     Posted By: Alex - Wed Dec 07, 2022
     Category: Animals | Instruments and Measuring Devices | Body Fluids





Comments
A girlfriend of mine some years ago couldn't travel in a car more than 7.5 kilometres without needing to urinate – or so it seemed, anyway.



Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 12/07/22 at 08:09 AM
Poronkusema isn´t limited to Finland, it´s used throughout Lappland even among those speaking Meänkieli.
Posted by F.U.D in Stockholm on 12/07/22 at 09:12 AM
A resident of the dorm in college had me pick a Finnish grammar book out of the school library (which I was surprised to find there) for some work he was doing. I glanced through it to see how it compared with German grammar, because German I found somewhat confusing, but Finnish I found nearly incomprehensible. It's no wonder you didn't make sense out of what you saw. The piece included reads like a literal translation out of the Finnish.
Posted by KDP on 12/07/22 at 10:54 AM
@KDP: that's because German is closely related to English (and my own Dutch and Nether-Saxon), but not related at all to Finnish. In Europe, Finnish is closely related to Estonian, somewhat related to Sámi, and all of those are distantly related to Hungarian - and to nothing else found in Europe at all. Almost all of the rest of us speak Indo-European languages.

(Now try to find a language related to Basque. No, really, do, if you succeed it'll make you famous.)
Posted by Richard Bos on 12/10/22 at 09:23 AM









Rules for posting: 1) No spam. 2) Don't be a jerk.