Sunday, 30 July 2017
Did you know that the first synthetic rubber that had commerical success was synthesised in Estonia?
Ivan Lavrentyevich Kondakov (1857–1931) took a post as pharmaceutics professor at the University of Tartu in 1895. In 1900, he became the first in the world to synthesise a product that had similar properties to natural rubber. He published his discovery in 1901 and wrote the first monograph on synthetic rubber in Tartu in 1912. The method he used, resulting in methyl rubber, is known today as the Kondakov process.
The Kondakov’s invention quickly took on commercial significance, as demand for scarce and costly natural rubber outstripped supply in the early 20th century, especially due to the booming automotive industry. The Kondakov’s invention was the first synthetic rubber that entered production on an industrial scale.
Today there are more than 200 types of synthetic rubber available. The most common products made from these materials include bicycle and automobile tyres
Source: Estonian Research on Facebook
Wednesday, 26 July 2017
The Estonian language is beautiful but can be quite tricky to pronounce. To help you during your next trip to Tallinn, Visit Tallinn has put together this very useful list of Estonian phrases. They're sure to come in handy!
Short summer vocabulary
Hi - Tere
How are you? - Kuidas läheb?
Good - Hästi
I’m on a holiday - Olen puhkusel.
I like summer. - Mulle meeldib suvi.
I like it here - Mulle meeldib siin.
Lovely weather - Ilus ilm
Sun is shining - Päike paistab.
It’s cloudy today - Täna on pilvine.
It is raining - Sajab.
I like thunder and rain - Mulle meeldib äike ja vihm.
Stormy sea is awesome! - Tormine meri on äge!
Winter is coming - Talv tuleb.
Two scoops of ice-cream please - Kaks palli jäätist palun.
Chocolate - Šokolaad
Vanilla - Vanilje
Two more please - Kaks veel palun
Strawberry - Maasikas
Blueberry - Mustikas
Let's have a BBQ - Grillime
Shashlik - Šašlõkk
Burger - Burger
Beer - Õlu
Party - Pidu
I want to ride my bicycle - Tahan rattaga sõita.
Let’s rent bikes and ride by the seaside - Laenutame rattad ja sõidame mere ääres.
I’m going to the Pirita beach - Ma lähen Pirita randa.
I want to swim with the locals - Tahan kohalikega koos ujuda.
Let’s climb the towers of Old Town! - Ronime vanalinna tornides!
I’m afraid of heights - Ma kardan kõrgust.
Don’t be afraid - Ära karda.
I’ll hold your hand - Ma hoian sul käest kinni.
Let’s walk in Kadriorg park - Lähme jalutame Kadrioru pargis.
Will you come with me? - Kas sa tuled ka minuga?
We’re relaxing - Me tšillime.
We’re hanging out - Me hängime.
Source: Short summer vocabulary for your Tallinn trip
Monday, 24 July 2017
The Government Office is creating a web store for the Estonian centenary that will sell merchandise branded with the visual identity of the EV100 or Estonia 100 program.
The store will sell centenary merchandise and will have to guarantee the delivery of all the products as well as working logistics behind the scenes.
The Government Office has specified that the store needs to be available in Estonian as well as Russian and English, and that there needs to be a product search function. The web store also needs to work with all the “most common” browsers, and be adaptable for mobile display. An authentication feature for the customers is not required.
The public tender now open to bidders also includes customer service and correspondence in Estonian, Russian and English, and if needed a way to buy back goods.
What exactly they are planning to sell in the web store is not yet known. According to the tender, the list of products is open—though the state as the commissioning party retains the right to change the selection of the shop at any given time.
Source - ERR News: http://news.err.ee/609041/estonia-to-get-centenary-web-store
Wednesday, 19 July 2017
If you live in the Northern Hemisphere then no doubt you are enjoying the summer and busy planning your next getaway. Last year I spent my summer holiday in Hungary. It's a country I've always been curious about but only recently set time aside to visit. As Estonian belongs to the Finno-Ugric language group I wanted to see if I could detect any similarities but there are few. The only time I thought Hungariam resembled Estonian was when I heard it in the background on the TV and the melody of the language, the rising and falling of the pitch, reminded me of Estonian.
I must admit I knew very little about Hungary before my trip. In primary school I had a good friend, Suzanne, who was Hungarian and I remember she often ate desserts with lots of cinnamon. Once I arrived in Budapest I was very pleasantly surprised. It's a very popular city with tourists. I heard a lot of foreign languages spoken on the street and everyone seemed to speak English. Budapest is a very vibrant city full of intersting places to visit. Unfortunately in the three days I was there, I didn't have time to see them all. But there's always next time!
Budapest is divided into two section by the Danube River - 'Buda' and 'Pest'.
I stayed in Pest.
The impressive Parliament Buildings.
They contain the Hungarian Crown Jewels.
This underground station was the only thing I found that
vaguely resembled an Estonian word.
Budapest has many charming old train stations. Some lines of the underground still
use trains dating back to the 19th century. The wooden interiors and individual light
fittings really felt like I was stepping back in time.
The stone bridge with the lion bridgeheads was the first permanent
connection between Buda and Pest.
The Danube Promenade
60 pairs of steel sculpted shoes can be found here to commemorate
the Jews who were shot here during WWII.
Heroes' Square and the Millennium Monument
This is a nice part of town featuring many interesting buildings, sculptures and gardens.
St. Stephen’s Basilica
Impressive interior. Visitors can climb to the top of the tower
to gain an excellent view of the city.
Budapest has many lovely parks and gardens.
The Rubik Cube was invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor
of architecture Ernő Rubik.
Hungarian post box.
No trip to Budapest is complete without a cruise along the Danube river.
There are many different tours to choose from that depart regularly.
Budapest was an absolutely lovely city that surpassed my expectations.
I will defintely return one day!
This year I will spend my summer holiday in beautiful Poland. My brother has been living in Krakow for the past two years and we will hire a holiday cottage for a week. I am especially looking forward to visiting the salt mines, Zakopane and the enchanting Polish folk art village of Zalipie. Can't wait!
A team comprising Witteveen+Bos, plein06 and Novarc Group recently won a global competition to design Estonia's first movable pedestrian bridge in the old harbor of the Tallinn capital. Their winning scheme, “New Balance 100” — whose name pays tribute to the country's ongoing centennial celebration — was chosen for its aesthetic form and technical balancing solutions. According to the team, the bridge is currently scheduled for completion in late 2018.
To learn more, please click here: Estonia's first movable pedestrian bridge in Tallinn
Sunday, 16 July 2017
A banknote collector recently contacted me with an interesting question. He asked if I had an English translation for the text written on the back of the old 100 kroon Estonian banknote. I must admit I didn't know the answer off the top of my head, but I soon found out!
The extract is taken from the poem 'Unenägu' (Dream) written by Estonian poet Lydia Koidula.
United stand the ends of the bridge (Silla otsad ühendatud)
Bearing a single fatherland (Kandes ühte isamaad)
The truth´s temple hallowed … (Tõe templiks pühendatud …)
Dream – when shalt thou become true?! (Nägu – millal tõeks saad?!)
'Unenägu' (Dream) was written by Lydia Koidula in 1881.
Tuesday, 11 July 2017
Juhan Liiv (30 April 1864 - 1 December 1913) is one of Estonia's most famous poets. His poem 'Ta lendab mesipuu poole' (He flies to the beehive) is often sung at the Estonian Song Festive. It's a soul touching song loved by many. The below image features text taken from the first verse.
He flies from flower to flower
And flies toward the bee tree;
And the frock shines up -
He flies toward the bee tree.
And thousands also fall on the road:
Thousands are coming home
And they will endeavor and care
And fly to the bee tree.
Juhan Liiv - Ta lendab mesipuu poole (1910)
Ta lendab lillest lillesse
ja lendab mesipuu poole;
ja tõuseb kõuepilv ülesse —
ta lendab mesipuu poole.
Ja langevad teele ka tuhanded:
veel koju jõuavad tuhanded
ja viivad vaeva ja hoole
ja lendavad mesipuu poole.
Kuis süda mul tuksud sa rahuta,
kuis kipud sa isamaa poole!
Kesk kodumaad — siiski nii koduta,
mis ihkad sa tema poole!
kuis püüad sa välja kahtlusest,
kuis ikka leiad sa tema eest,
kuis rõhub rusuja voole
sind, tungides tema poole!
Oh sina, kes oled sa väljamaal,
kuis õhkad sa isamaa poole!
kes väljamaal oled raskel a'al —
kuis ihkad sa tema poole!
Ja puhugu vastu sul surmatuul
ja lennaku vastu surmakuul —
hing tõuseb isamaa poole!
Ei ole sa, süda, väljamaal,
kust ihkaks sa kodu poole.
Sa oled kodu, kesk isamaa raal
ja otsid teed tema poole.
Teed otsin, oh teed otsin ma
ja suren ja ärkan tund tunniga:
kuid kuhu mind viskab ka voole:
hing tõuseb säält sinu poole.
Monday, 3 July 2017
So much joy filled the streets of Tallinn over the weekend during the 12th Youth Song and Dance Festival. There were many smiles, flowers, Estonian flags and beautiful clothes seen everywhere that it was easy to get carried away by the amazing atmosphere.
This year's theme of the Youth Song and Dance Celebration is 'Mina Jään' - Here I`ll stay.
Nearly 40,000 performers shared their love of song, dance and the Estonian homeland at the festival.
Estonian youth choirs from 17 countries participated in the event.
The beautiful tri-colour Estonian flag waved with pride.
Despite the rain on Saturday and the cancellation of the second show, some dancers decided to carry-on and did a spontaneous performance at Freedom Square.
Performers range from the age of 7 - 27 years.
The song and dance festival is a truly wonderful Estonian tradition dating back to 1869. In 2019 we will see some more amazing performances at the adult version of the festival. 2019 will mark the 150th anniversary of the Estonian Song Festvial
If you missed this year's song festival, you can watch it here:
Saturday, 1 July 2017
Estonia holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first time from 1st July 2017 until the end of December. Taking over the leadership of this role is important for the Estonian state and its people. On Thursday a grand concert took place on Freedom Square to mark the start of the presidency.
Performers include popular Estonian artists and groups: Vaiko Eplik, Kadri Voorand and Mari Jürjens with the Estonian Cello Ensemble, Kukerpillid, Genka, Winny Puhh, Estonian Voices, NOËP, Frankie Animal and Miljardid. The audience was greeted by Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission and Jüri Ratas, the Prime Minister of Estonia.
President Tusk surprised the audience with a poem spoken in perfect Estonian
'Me laheme läbi mere!' at the concert.
You can watch concert here via ERR News: Opening concert of Estonia's 2017 EU presidency
Estonia is committed to a strong and unified European Union. As a leader in digital innovation, Estonia will pave the way forward in the digital sphere. The Estonian government recently approved the programme for the EU presidency, you can view it here: www.eu2017.ee/programme