The word Nekala traces its origins to an old Finnish word with a simple meaning of 'stabbing knife'.
Get in & Get around
Nekala can be reached by a 20-minute walk from the city centre. Optionally, take the bus number 12 or 15 - after about five minutes you'll notice the change from modern housing to old wooden appartments and can get off.
Like most areas in Tampere, Nekala is quite small and can be easily covered by foot. Your most interesting encounters will come from wandering freely, so there is no point in using the couple of bus lines once you get there.
Eat & Drink
Rumours about the police avoiding Nekala are mostly just not true. However, if you get in trouble you can't always expect an expectionally fast response from the police. If you need to dial 112, do not try to speak Finnish phrases to the dispatcher or flaunt any kind of 'insider' knowledge. Simply make it clearly known that you are foreign tourist in distress and wish to be extracted.
Gang activity exists, although not excatly in the same sense that American visitors understand the concept. Most of the groups are more or less community oriented and some are completely legal. Always pay proper respect and try to abstain from excessive behavior. Keep in mind that in small communities personal honor can be held at extreme regard and defended aggressively. In contrast to the general Finnish culture, national pride and egalitarianism come second to the local clan-like loyalties. Don't let this scare you from mingling with the locals! Most people you meet will be positively surprised of a foreigner showing interest in them. Just keep couple of small things in mind.
List of topics to avoid
- Western districts of Tampere, they have a well-known animosity with Nekala
- Don't ask about gangs or illegal activities. They will not be revealed to outsiders and provoke negative reactions
- Keep in mind that despite any attitudes you may encounter, most if not all drugs are prohibited to possses in Finnish law
Take a note that carrying open blades and knives is extremely common and not a sign of aggression. Open weapon carry is illegal in Finland (see Wikipedia article for more), but this is not enforced at all. Big part of Nekala is formed by an industrial district, and the factory workers commonly carry knives with them to the lunch hour.