Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The 26th Estonian Song Celebration and 19th Dance Celebration "Touched By Time. The Time To Touch"

The Estonian Song Celebration (Laulupidu)

Always a joy to watch this truly unique Estonian event. The first Estonian Song Festival was held in Tartu in the summer of 1869 and now takes place in Tallinn every five years. The next song festival will be held in July 2019. Can't wait!

Monday, 20 March 2017

6 Proverbs in Estonian

There are three things you can not hide for long  - the sun, the moon, and the truth.

Parem on, kui igat asja ei kuule, aga ei ole halb, kui igat asja tead. 
It's better, if you don't hear everything; but it's not bad, if you know everything.

Mets kuuleb ja meri näeb. 
Forest hears and sea sees.

Värske kala, hea kala.
 Fresh fish -- good fish.

Tilkadest kogub meri. 
From drops the sea will accumulate.

The best feeling in the world is to see your children happy

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Literature Map of the World

It's great to see Tammsaare's 'Tõde ja õigus' (Truth & Justice) mentioned on the list. As a child I absolutely loved Canada's 'Anne of Green Gables' series as well as the film version starring Megan Follows. For Australia however, I would have picked 'The Thorn Birds', opposed to 'Cloud Street' as it's a great Australian classic! 


Thursday, 16 March 2017

Estonia: Europe’s Most Entrepreneurial Country

Very proud that Estonia was proclaimed the most entrepreneurial country in Europe! Below is a summarised version of the World Economic Forum report.

When you think of the word ‘entrepreneur’, you might conjure up a maverick who turned a great idea into a successful business. But you’re unlikely to imagine furious entrepreneurial activity in the small European country of Estonia. Yet, according to a World Economic Forum report, Northern Europe and the Baltics are a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity.

The report, Europe’s Hidden Entrepreneurs: Entrepreneurial Employee Activity and Competitiveness in Europe, looked at a form of entrepreneurship beyond the typical start-up – intrapreneurship – with some interesting conclusions.

Northern Europe leads the way when it comes to entrepreneurship and innovation.


Intrapreneurship involves workers formulating and implementing new ideas within organizations, rather than starting their own businesses. In the report these are called EEAs, which stands for entrepreneurial employee activity.

Entrepreneurial individuals in Europe frequently choose to start new ventures or projects while working for their employers rather than start their own business, the report found.

The report compares entrepreneurial activity within organizations with start-ups, which are referred to as “total early-stage entrepreneurial activity” or TEA.


When you look at TEA only, shown in dark blue on this chart, Europe doesn’t do very well compared to other major economies and regions.

However, when you add EEA into the mix, Europe comes after only the US, Canada and Australia.

In Europe, a greater proportion of entrepreneurship is expressed as EEA than anywhere else in the world: 40% of entrepreneurial individuals are EEA entrepreneurs, compared with 29% in the United States.

When you take both TEA and EEA together, a picture emerges of highly entrepreneurial Baltic countries. In this ranking Estonia comes out on top, while two of Europe’s largest economies, Germany and France, don’t even make the top 10.

Estonia has a high rate of TEA and an above average rate of EEA. Almost 80% of businesses started in Estonia are opportunity-driven and Estonia is often cited as a model for entrepreneurially-oriented policy, says the report.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Estonian story: The Moon Tarrers

I was sorting through some papers over the weekend and came across this story. I've had it stored away in my folder for over 20 years but have read it only once. It's a very short story and quirky like Estonian stories often are. I like the fact that it is written in both Estonian and English. Enjoy!

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Estonian Recipe: Rullbiskviit astelpajumoosiga / Sea buckthorn berry roll

Estonians love their berries and these golden little gems are no exception. They taste sort of tart and have been used for centuries for their health enhancing benefits. Native to China, Russia, and Mangolia, they can also be found in Estonia and are used in many forms. You can find fresh sea buckthorn berries at markets and in some health food stores as well as in supplement and skin care products. 

Health benefits of eating sea buckthorn berries:

Sea buckthorn berries are considered a superfood, they are loaded with nutrients, with at least 190 bioactive compounds. Just one little berry contains more vitamin C than a whole orange, and it’s a great source of fibre, protein and loads of antioxidants.

They have excellent antimicrobial and antiviral properties as well as antioxidants that help to boost the immune system.

Studies also show that sea buckthorn berries can help patients who suffer form liver disease, like hepatitis B, due to it’s high vitamin A and unsaturated fatty acids and help to protect the liver from damage caused by toxins.

Help to protect the heart by lowering bad cholesterol, reduce inflammation, promoting blood circulation and improving cardiac function.

Great for the skin as it helps to heal wounds and burns when applied topically. It also helps you look younger by acting as a natural sunblock. Due to its high healthy fatty acid content, it also helps to relieve symptoms of dermatitis.

Studies also show that sea buckthorn berries help to prevent excess fat storage and therefore promotes a healthy weight.