Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The New Estonian National Museum Set to Open on 1st October 2016

It's been years in the making and the wait is soon to be over.  The Estonian National Museum will finally open its doors at its new location on 1st October. For the past year the old site in Tartu has been partially closed due to the relocation with only a very small temporary exhibit on display. During this time, all other display items have been carefully transported to the new building. 

The new home of the Estonian National Museum is absolutely huge and set to become the largest high-tech museum in the region. The site was originally part of the Raadi Manor estate, once owned by a Baltic German family. In 1940, a large part of the property was used to build a Soviet air base and the new museum occupies the old runaway. 

The glass, box-shaped building was designed by Paris design firm Dorell Ghotmeh Tane (DGT) and is intended to restore the area’s cultural significance whilst showcasing Estonia's history and culture.

For more information about the Estonian National Museum please click here: http://www.erm.ee/en

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Estonian Vello Vaher wows judges on America's Got Talent 2016

If you're feeling a bit down in the dumps about the current state of European politics, then this might give you a few minutes' respite. Estonian acrobat Vello Vaher recently stunned judges and the audience on America's Got Talent. Take a look! 

Friday, 24 June 2016

Hilarious Estonia: Midsummer Celebrations | University of Tartu

Jaanipäev is the second most celebrated holiday in Estonia other than Christmas. Bonfires will be blazing, live music playing and everyone likes to get up and dance after a drink. If you are not out partying tonight then perhaps you might enjoy this article instead.

Hilarious Estonia: Midsummer Celebrations | University of Tartu

Estonian Central Bank: UK decision probably won't lead to economic decline

While the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union increases uncertainty, it will probably not result in a major decline of the economy, the Bank of Estonia finds.

Britain’s decision to leave the EU is extremely regrettable, the central bank's Vice-President Ulo Kaasik told BNS on Friday. "In our opinion it is definitely bad both for the United Kingdom and all other members of the European Union."

Kaasik said that while nothing will change right away, businesses will face many unknowns.

To read the full Baltic Times article, please click on the below link.
Estonian Central Bank: UK decision probably won't lead to economic decline

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Tana on Võidupüha / Today is Victory Day

Today Estonia celebrates Victory Day. 97 years ago the last decisive battles took place ending the Estonian War of Independence.  Head Võidupüha!

On this day I feel extremely proud of my great uncles for their contribution to the war effort and achieving Estonia's independence.

For more information about Victory Day please click on the link.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Hilda: 2015 EstDocs Short Film Winner

The Estonian documentary film festival EstDocs is now open for submissions. Each year the competition is held in Toronto, Canada and attracts entries from all over the world. Last year's 1st Prize and Audience Award went to the film 'Hilda' by Jaak Kilmi & Aleksandr Heifets. 

For more information about EstDocs please click here: EstDocs 2016

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Estonians produce the least waste per capita

The latest OECD Regions at a Glance Report  has been released showing Estonia ranks first when it comes to waste management.  

OECD Regions at a Glance shows how regions and cities contribute to national economic growth and well-being. This edition updates more than 40 region-by-region indicators to assess disparities within countries and their evolution over the past 15 years. The report covers all the OECD member countries and, where data are available, Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Latvia, Lithuania, Peru, Russia and South Africa. 

For more information, please click here: OECD Regions at a Glance 2016

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Memorial Day / Leinapäev

The 14th of June is a national day of mourning in Estonia. Every year we remember the victims of the first mass deportations and the atrocities committed by the Soviet Union against the Estonian people. Today, thousands of blue balloons filled Tallinn's Freedom Square commemorating the victims. The balloons represent 'a sea of tears'.

On 14th June 1941 the first mass deportations from the Baltic States took place. Over 10,000 Estonians were deported to Siberia that day. Another larger deportation took place in March 1949 when more than 20,000 Estonians were deported to Siberia. Altogether up to 60,000 Estonians were killed or deported in the 1940s.

Major General Martin Jervan

Many Estonian families were affected by these deportations. Some victims were ordinary civilians who cruelly had their lives taken whilst others were leaders in society whom the Soviets wanted to eradicate because they were perceived as a threat to Soviet rule. The most notable person in my family to be murdered by the Soviets was my great-grandmother's cousin Major General Martin Jervan. He was a doctor in the Estonian Army.

Martin was a career military officer. He studied medicine at University of Tartu and after graduating in 1914 was mobilised into the Russian Army, seeing action in World War One. During the Estonian War of Independence Martin volunteered and served in the 1st Infantry Regiment as a senior doctor from 21st November 1918 – 30th May 1919. On Independence Day in 1921 Martin was awarded the Cross of Liberty. In 1937 Martin was promoted to the rank of Major General and served as the head of the Estonian Army Medical Service from 1935 until Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940.  In 1941 Martin was arrested by the Red Army and murdered in Chelyabinsk Prison Camp, Russia on the 15th September 1942.

More information about Martin and his peers can be found here:
FOTOD ja FAKTID: Johan Laidoner ning Eesti armee vangistatud eliit enne oma surma

A Father's Letters From Siberia I ERR NEWS

Many Estonian families were and still are affected by the purges and deportations orchestrated by the Soviet authorities under Stalin. Personal tragedies and how they entered into people’s lives years later are easily forgotten when totals are quoted. This is the story of Leonhard Raukas and his family. Raukas was deported to Siberia in 1950.

To read the full ERR News article, please click here: A father's letters from Siberia

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Estonian Film "MOTHER" (Ema) to Screen at the Edinburgh Film Festival

If anyone happens to be in Scotland next week, the Estonian film Mother (Ema) will be making its UK premier at the Edinburgh Film Festival on the 16th June 2016. Mother is a delicious pitch-black murder comedy-mystery that screened at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year.

A small Estonian town hides some dark secrets in Kadri Kõusaar’s wonderfully pitch black comedy Mother (Ema). She draws out Leana Jaluskse’s clever script that revolves around a wife and mother (the excellent Tiina Malberg) whose grown-up son lies comatose in his bedroom after a shooting, with the police unable to find the identity of his attacker. His visitors stand over his unblinking body revealing truths as the film gradually teases out who his attacker actually is. Playful and funny as well as beautifully put together, Mother is a dark gem of a film.

Estonia Is Demonstrating How Government Should Work in a Digital World

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Song: Naised köögis - Naised, naised

I woke up this morning to find this song on my Facebook feed. I thought I would share. Enjoy!

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Eesti Lipu Päev / Estonian Flag Day

The 4th of June marks National Flag Day in Estonia. On this day we honour our beloved blue, black and white flag which will be flown proudly across the country today.

The Estonian flag originated in Otepää in 1884.
It was first used as a students' flag before being adopted as the national flag of Estonia.

A patriotic song honouring the tricolour flag is 'Eesti Lipp' (Estonian Flag). 
It was written by Nõo pastor Martin Lipp in the late 1890s. 

St. Lawrence Lutheran church in Nõo.
It is one of the oldest churches in Estonia.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Promoting Estonia Through Postcrossing

A few months ago I joined the postcard exchange group Postcrossing and have since sent and received postcards from all over the world. So far I have received 66 postcards in total featuring some really beautiful designs and goodwill messages. When I send out my postcards they usually have an Estonian focus; often featuring an attractive image of Tallinn on the front and three fun facts about Estonia on the reverse. Sometimes I also like to include a few useful Estonian phrases. The feedback I have received from my postcards has been quite positive. People often write back to say how much they like my cards and hope to visit Estonia one day. I am glad I am inspiring people to learn more about  Estonia. It's well worth the visit!

Some of the postcards I have received so far.

At the end of each month Postcrossing emails users statistics showing where their postcards have come from. As you can see the membership group is quite diverse. Over 200 countries participate.

Postcards I received in May 2016 came from these countries.

Designing postcards is one of my hobbies. Here's my latest design.

More information about Postcrossing can be found here: Postcrossing