Narratively

 

What Do You Give a Country for Its 100th Birthday? How About an Entire Mountain?

Neighborly Norwegians hatched a plan for Finland’s 2017 centennial: gift them their country’s new highest peak. But is their quirky plan an insurmountable climb?

By | January 17, 2017

This story is republished from MEL Magazine. MEL aims to challenge, inspire and encourage readers to drop any preconceived notions of who they’re supposed to be.

Norway is pondering an unusual birthday gift for Finland: an Arctic mountain peak. Mount Halti is the highest mountain in Finland, but its 4,478-foot summit is in Norway. To help commemorate the 100th anniversary of Finland’s declaration of independence from Russia on December 6, 1917, a group of Norwegians—led by retired geophysicist Bjørn Geirr Harsson—is urging the government to move a point on its border with Finland some 490 feet to the north and 650 feet to the east. Halti’s peak would then become the highest point in Finland, surpassing a spur of the mountain that tops out at 4,344 feet.

Considering the tumultuous history of international boundaries—and the current discussion in this country about building a wall between ourselves and one of our neighbors—this would be an unprecedented show of kindness between nations. (And much better than cake or a watch.)

But how exactly does one give away a mountain? MEL Films recently traveled to Norway to find out.

Play

Mission Impossible: Finding the Perfect Name for My Kid

A new dad on the nightmare-inducing challenge of coming up with a timeless but fresh, cool but not too cool name for his son.

Play

Adventure Is in My DNA

A filmmaker and surfer proudly explores her Indigenous roots, and discovers that thrill-seeking runs in the family.

Play

These 4 Women Are Taking on a Politician Near You

The coalminer’s daughter. The bartender. The police brutality activist. The grieving mother. Each looked at the man representing her in Congress and said, “I can do better.”

Play

The Collector of Time

As Mark McKinley puts it, “no collector ever says, ‘I’ve gone too far.'” After 27 years and an official Guinness World Record, he stands by that statement.

Play

The Saviors of Saffron

Three young Spaniards are reviving the farming tradition that flourished in their grandparents' generation.

Play

An Aging Mother’s Animated Love Letter to Her Autistic Son

“Who would look after him if I wasn’t here?” and other questions this mom asks herself every day.

Play

Courvosier Cox Knows He’s a Superstar

Meet a teenage actor-singer-comedian with absolutely no doubt that his tumultuous adolescence will soon give way to Hollywood fame.

Play

A 360° View of India’s Gravity-Defying Pole Wrestlers

Get up close and personal with the athletes of the reemerging ancient pastime of mallakamb, in Narratively’s first 360 film.

Play

This Breathtaking Greek Fireworks Battle Puts Your July 4th to Shame

Once a year, residents of this mountainous island gather at two churches on opposite ends of town and launch 100,000 handmade rockets — directly at each other.