Lapland is not a country, but rather an international region. It is an area of the Northern Scandinavian peninsula that straddles four countries — Finland, Sweden, Russia and Norway. For the most part, Lapland is North of the Arctic circle and so enjoys midnight suns during the summer. In the heart of winter, the sun never rises, making this area ideal for viewing the Aurora Borealis — the Northern Lights. The indigenous people of Lapland are the Sami with a 4000 year old culture. They had been pushed to the Northern extremes as the Viking kingdoms expanded. The Scandinavian countries had tried to assimilate the Sami and convert them to Christianity during the 17th century but now the Sami culture is protected and celebrated. Today the Sami number in the tens of thousands. The largest concentrations are in Norway and Sweden. In modern culture, Lapland has become associated with Christmas. Santa's home is often said to be in Lapland. In Finnish Lapland there is a Santa theme park.