Thursday, 22 July 2021

Similarities between Finno-Ugric languages

Whilst Hungarian, Finnish and Estonian all belong to the Finno-Ugric language group, modern Hungarian shows little resemblance to contemporary Estonian and Finnish. It may, however, come as a surprise that many words and their meanings are indeed related. 

Sunday, 18 July 2021

Estonian co-production 'Compartment No.6' wins prestigious award at Cannes

The Estonian film industry is celebrating today. The film Hytti No.6 (Compartment No.6) was awarded the second highest honour at the Cannes Film Festival last night - the Grand Prix Prize. Hytti No.6 is an Estonian/Finnish/Russian/German co-production directed by Juho Kuosmanen. The film tells the story of a Finnish woman who is forced to share a small train compartment with a Russian miner as they travel 1100 km across Russia. 


More information can be found here: 74th Cannes Film Festival

Thursday, 15 July 2021

The relief of being vaccinated

We have been living with the coronavirus pandemic for over a year and a half now and it's unlikely to disappear any time soon.  We all still need ro excerise vigilance, wear a mask in public and adhere to social distancing rules. Top proirity should be to get vaccinated.


Three weeks ago I had the Johnson & Johnson jab and I am now fully vaccinated. Naturally I was concerned about side-effects but I didn't experience any. Such a relief! I now have my EU vaccination passport and can travel without restriction to many places.  A summer holiday in Estonia is definitely looking favourable at the moment. My brother in Poland (vaccinated with Pfizer) is likely to join me.

The situation in Australia is quite concerning. The government has done a dreadful job rolling out the vaccine despite having ample time to get organised. There is no excuse for such poor management. Most of my family live in Australia and they are only starting to get vaccinated now. One family member had a bad reaction to her first dose of AstraZeneca and is worried about her second. Pfizer seems the way to go but it is only available to people under the age of 50. 

We must keep in mind that the vaccines don't give 100% protection. The risk of infection is greatly reduced, however you can still catch covid and be sick for several weeks afterwards. It has happened,  cases have been reported. Being vaccinated should keep you out of hospital and the intensive care unit. Vaccination gives you peace of mind and saves lives.

Monday, 12 July 2021

Estonia is the only EU country where the risk of poverty has decreased

According to Eurostat, Estonia is the only country in the European Union where the at-risk-of-poverty rate decreased compared to the 2019 figures.  The below graph shows the majority of EU countries are stable however the risk level has risen in Spain, Italy, Sweden, Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Austria. The coronavirus pandemic is the main cause for the rise in unemployment and reduced working hours. Estonia has weathered the storm reasonally well due to the ease of working remotely. 

For further reading visit Eurostat

Earlier this year Big 7 Travel named Tallinn as the best city in the world for remote workers.

Saturday, 10 July 2021

Tilt Reigo: Mina olen eestlane - I am Estonian

There are many interesting stories of Estonians who fled their country due to World War Two.  This video featuring 104 year-old Tilt Reigo was made in February 2015 and tells his story. He was a key figure at the Estonian House in London from 1959 until his death in July 2015. 

Saturday, 3 July 2021

33 athletes to represent Estonia at the Olympic Games in Tokyo

The Estonian Olympic Committee announced yesterday that thirty-three Estonian athletes from 14 sports will participate in the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games. They will be accompanied by a 48-member support team.

The official Estonian Olympic team uniform

The Estonian 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games team are:

Archery: Reena Pärnat

Athletics: Ksenija Balta, Roman Fosti, Tiidrek Nurme, Rasmus Mägi, Maicel Uibo, Johannes Erm, Karel Tilga

Badminton: Kristin Kuuba, Raul Must

Cycling: Tanel Kangert, Peeter Pruus, Janika Lõiv

Equestrian: Dina Ellermann

Fencing: Erika Kirpu, Julia Belyaeva, Katrina Lehis, Irina Embrich (stock)

Judo: Grigori Minaškin

Rowing: Tõnu Endrekson, Jüri-Mikk Udam, Allar Raja, Kaspar Taimsoo, Johann Poolak (reserve)

Sailing: Ingrid Puusta, Karl-Martin Rammo

Shooting: Peeter Olesk

Swimming: Eneli Jefimova, Kregor Zirk

Tennis: Anett Kontaveit

Triathlon: Kaidi Kivioja

Wrestling: Epp Mäe, Artur Vititin