Sunday, 22 October 2017

Estonian Meigo Märk - The Walk Around the World

27-year-old Estonian Meigo Mark is an man on a mission. Three years ago he embarked upon an epic journey of walking around the world, a feat that has only been completely by less than a dozen men. During the last three years, four months and three weeks, Meigo has walked 17,810 km, travelled through 21 countries and has slept out in the open in a tent, as well as spent nights in some 180 homes.  Meigo began his walking journey in Tallinn on May 11, 2014 and is now in Singapore.


Meigo has said he is not out to break any records, for him the journey is about having a great learning experience. On average Meigo walks 30 to 40 kilometres before resting. Sometimes he rests for a day or a few weeks at a time. He is in no rush, he likes to take in the cultures of the places he visits along the way. 

To cross oceans and bodies of water Meigo relies on boats, ferries, ships, and airplanes. On land, he prefers to walk. He is currently on his 21st pair of shoes.

Meigo is currently spending a month in Singapore while waiting for his Estonian passport to be renewed as he has run out of pages. Meigo plans to continue walking for another six years.


The below video is an interview with Meigo during his time spent in Vietnam.


Monday, 16 October 2017

Family Tree DNA - The Forefathers of Estonians

The fascinating field of genetic research had led to the discovery that all ethnic Estonians can now trace their ancestry back to one of five men. These men came to settle in Estonia during different periods in time and their descendants are all among us today. If you wish to unlock the secret of your DNA then participating in the Family Tree DNA  - 'The Estonia Project' may be the thing for you!

The Estonia project is a dual Y-DNA (paternal) / mtDNA (maternal) project, which is mainly created for ethnic Estonians, descended from paternal and/or maternal line from families that have their earliest-known origins in what is now Estonia. Over past centuries, territory of Estonia or parts of it belonged politically at various times to: German crusaders' and their descendants' states, Kingdom of Denmark, various Christian bishops, Kingdom of Poland, Kingdom of Sweden and Russian Empire. Populations moved to and from the neighbouring states of Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Poland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Finland. DNA of families of Estonian origin could exhibit Finno-Ugric, Baltic, Western European, Eastern European or other characteristics. This group will allow those who have a family ethnic and geographic origin in Estonia to compare their DNA with that of their geographic neighbours and, possibly, find family matches.

The below video is about the male lineages of Estonians and is aimed at Estonians living abroad to participate in the genetic research.



I took the DNA test and it revealed some interesting results. When I told my sister she was quite disappointed to discover that we are only 3% British. As our mother's family are originally from England we naturally assumed the result would be closer to 50%. We were mistaken. It appears we may be descended from Norwegian vikings on my mother's side, which, I think is quite a good thing. I've always considered myself to have the heart of a warrior - I don't like to give up on things I believe in and I am very protective towards those I love. Makes sense to me! Unfortunately I have yet to discover which of the original five men I am descended from. This can only be determined from the Y chromosome in the male line so looks like I need to get my father tested! The test costs $99 US.

Once you take the DNA test you can see all the genetic matches and contact those people if you wish. I discovered that my closest relative in an man called Per in Sweden. We have since corresponded.  


To find out more and to participate in the Estonia Project, please click here:
DNA test - genetic ancestry of Estonians

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Travel back in time onboard Tallinn's retro blue trams

As part of the Republic of Estonia's 100th birthday celebrations, six retro trams will soon be in service in Tallinn.  All the trams will bear the name of important Estonians of the first Republic of Estonia. This beautiful blue tram is dedicated to Estonia's first President, Mr Konstantin Päts.


The trams will operate on tramline 3. 
They will take you to the green area of Kadriorg.

Interior


President Päts served five times as Estonia's head of state.
More information about Mr.Päts can be found here: Konstantin Päts

Saturday, 7 October 2017

A. Le Coq Beer Museum in Tartu gives the most comprehensive overview of Estonian beer history and its culture


Tartu was the birthplace of the Estonian beer industry and it has been a beer city for almost a thousand years. The Beer Museum opened on 1st July 2003 in order to preserve the history of industrial beer brewing. It is located in the malt tower on the original A. Le Coq site built in 1898. The museum features the story of beer brewing around the world from the beer culture of ancient Egypt to the present day. On display are more than 2000 items including equipment used for making beer at home as well as old industrial brewing equipment. Also featured among the museum’s collection are many bottle caps, bottles, mugs and barrels used throughout the ages.

Entry to the Beer Museum is 10€ for adults and guided tours are available in Estonian, English and Russian.  To learn more about the production of beer, you can view the historic timeline here.

A. Le Coq is the oldest and biggest drinks manufacturer in Estonia. For more information about the A.Le Coq Beer Museum, please refer to their official website: Beer Museum

Friday, 6 October 2017

Estonia leads the way in e-governance

Today 32 European countries agreed upon common goals for e-government development over the next five years. The European ministers responsible for e-government unanimously approved and signed a joint declaration in Tallinn, now known as the Tallinn Declaration. 

The overall vision is to strive to be open, efficient and inclusive, providing borderless, interoperable, personalised, user-friendly, end-to-end digital public services to all citizens and businesses – at all levels of public administration.


To read more about the Tallinn Declaration, please click here: Tallinn Declaration on eGovernment

Aljazeera: Estonia's experiment with digital IDs




Estonia has been called the most advanced digital society in the world. It has led the way with ID cards, online voting and electronic government services, but with all this comes greater exposure to cyber attacks. This Aljazeera report explores Estonia's digital society.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

The Estonian Society of Sydney to Celebrate its 90th Birthday!


If you are going to be in Sydney this week then get ready to party for the Estonian Society of Sydney is set to celebrate its 90th anniversary! There is no doubt that that is will be a highlight of festivities at Estonian House this year!

Save the date! Saturday 7th October 2017 from  5:30 pm.
Dinner  will include a sumptuous three course meal - classic Estonian-style canapés, dinner buffet and a celebratory birthday cake. 

Entertainment will come directly from Estonia including Meelis Punder and Antti Kammiste.

The theme for the night is ‘Black and White’ but anyone who chooses to wear blue will certainly be most welcome!

Tickets 

General admission: $65
Members of the Estonian Society of Sydney Inc: $55
Children 12-17 years: $55
Children 11 years and under: Free

Venue: Eesti Maja, 141 Campbell Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2011

Contact Details: info@sydneyeestiselts.com.au Tel: / 0408 698 986 Tiina Alvre