Friday, 17 August 2018

Three books to add to your library in honour of EV100

Now that Estonia's Grand Celebration Week is underway, it's a good time to take a look at some quality keepsakes to mark the occasion. During my last trip to Estonia in May I purchased all three of these books. They make an excellent addition to any Estonian's home.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia, TEA Publishers has produced the ultimate Estonian reference book. Republic of Estonia 100 is a comprehensive encyclopaedia containing everything that defines and characterises Estonia. The book is divided into 6 chapters with a general introductory chapter followed by History, Population, Nature, Economy and Culture. The 160-page hardcover volume provides an overview of how the Republic of Estonia was created, how it lost its independence, what life was like in exile and in occupied Estonia, as well as how independence was restored. 

Republic of Estonia 100 is illustrated with more than 1,000 new and historic photographs and numerous maps, charts and tables. Over 250 authors, compilers, editors, consultants and illustrators contributed to the production of this book. Copies of Republic of Estonia 100 are available in both Estonian and English.

If you take pride in your parish colours then you are sure to find this book interesting. Eesti Kihelkondade Värvid was written by Reet Piiri from the Estonian National Museum. The book is a great reference tool for sourcing parish colours and makes it easy to get the tones right by providing all the colour codes.  Great for all craft projects!

Estonians have a deep connection to nature and the forest which is why it has a strong presence in Estonian folklore. Tales of  supernatural beings, crafty animals and people living in the forest have entertained Estonians for generations. In honour of the Republic of Estonia's 100th birthday, Deep in the Forest has been published in English and features a collection of 100 fairytales relating to the forest. Many of the fairytales that appear in the book were written in the mid to late 1800s and are an enjoyable read.  I highly recommend!

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Special Event - Estonia 100 Grand Celebration Week - August 20

Põlvest põlve - from generation to generation.

Open-air performance ‘Saja-aastane öö’.

Time: 20 August at 10 p.m.
Place: Pärnu Vallikäär
Entrance: Free

The performance features folk dancers, musicians, acrobats, fire-swallowers, and members of the Defence League to celebrate the restoration of Estonia's independence.

For more information:

Monday, 13 August 2018

Video: Kihnu culture

Home to a community of 600 people, Kihnu is an island rich in history and culture.

August 13 is Left Handers' Day!

Happy Left Handers' Day! I only recently discovered that there is actually a special day for this and since I am left handed myself, I thought I might mention it. I quite like the fact that I am left handed as I have no problem being a little bit different from everyone else. I enjoy the fact that I am creative, someone who thinks outside of the box and can multi-task with ease. It comes naturally.

A few years ago while I was in Tallinn I had a fascinating encounter with some of my relatives. I was sitting in a cafe with my third cousin Natalja and her daughter Katriin when we all simutaneously picked up our spoons and began stirring our coffee's at the same time. This in itself was no big deal until Natalja pointed out that we were all doing it with our left hands!  I had no idea they were both left handed. I was truly amazed! Not even in my immediate family is anyone left handed, apart from one uncle, so to realise this was truly amazing. Natalja is the grand-daughter of my grandfather's cousin Ralf which shows this gene is particularly strong in that side of the family.  I was delighted to discover this!

A few facts about left handed people:
1. Make up roughly 12% of the population.
2. Use the right side of the brain the most.
3. Better at 3D perception and thinking.
4. Better at multi-tasking.
5. Have good leadership qualities.
6. Left-handed people are often quite athletic, roughly 40% of the top tennis players are lefties.

Left-handed people tend to make more use of the right side of their brains.

Famous left handed people:
Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Leonardo da Vinci, Mozart,  
Albert Einstein, Paul McCartney, Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, 
Jimi Hendrix, Marilyn Monroe, Keanu Reeves, Brad Pitt and Tom  Cruise. 
Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and Prince William are all left handed too..

For more information, please refer to the official website Happy Left Handers Day!

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Estonia ranks 2nd for cleanest food in Europe

Pure food comes from a clean environment. Our nature inspires our food industry to produce clean and nutritious products. This is the slogan for Estonian food industry: fresh air, clean water, pure food. Now the claim is backed up by a recent EU study.

According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) 2017 study which looked into residual pesticides, Estonia has the second cleanest food in Europe.

The percentage of residual pesticides in Estonian food is over two times less than the EU average (18% vs 42,1%), only bettered by our good Nordic neighbours Finland.

Pure food comes from a clean environment. According to World Health Organisation Estonia is ranked fourth by urban air quality. Over half of our territory is covered with forests of which 45 percent are organic collection areas. Our nature inspires our food industry to produce clean and nutritious products.

Our climatic location also gives us an advantage. Most plant pests do not survive sub-zero winter temperatures, so in a way cold is our best pesticide. It means, we do not have to use strong insecticides common in tropical climates.

Source: Estonia has 2nd cleanest food in Europe. For more information, please click on the EFSA website:

Monday, 6 August 2018

Learn Estonian with "Viimne Reliikvia"

The Estonian film Viimne Reliikvia (The Last Relic) is a cult classic. The film was produced in 1969 and in 2000 the Estonian Film Foundation declared Viimne Reliikvia to be an important part of Estonian cultural heritage. In 2002 the film was digitalised and once again became a bestseller and usually appears on Estonian television at least once a year. 

For those seeking to learn Estonian, these clips from the film may help you with your meeting and greetings.

Friday, 3 August 2018

Estonia 100 Grand Celebration Week 17 - 25 August 2018

During the 100th anniversary year of the Republic of Estonia, the country will celebrate re-independence day with a week of summer celebrations from August 17 to 25.

The Grand Celebration Week will start on August 17 with the first poetry festival in Rakvere and will conclude on August 25 with a night of ancient bonfires.

One of the highlights of the week will be the global sing-along on August 19, that will bring together people from various parts of the world to sing the songs they love. Tour d'ÖÖ (“Tour of the Night”) is also holding a cycling tour during the centenary year, which will encircle all of Estonia during the Grand Celebration Week. For more information, please refer to the official web site: