Saturday, 27 April 2019

Estonian Sporting Superstars

Estonia often makes headlines around the world for its tech savvy start-up culture and digital innovation but there are many other areas that deserve the spotlight. Estonia may not be known as a sporting nation but everyone enjoys time in the great outdoors. Sometimes those pursuits turn to passions with the desire to achieve the very best. Over the years Estonia has produced many fine athletes who have made the country proud. Here are just five of them. 

Skiing - Kelly Sildaru
Born in Tallinn in 2002, Kelly is a world champion skier. She won her first gold medal when she was thirteen years old at the X-Games in Aspen, Colorado. To date Kelly has a total of ten gold medals to her name and that figure is sure to increase in the near future. A true champion!

Car Racing - Ott Tänak
Born in Kärla Parish in 1987 Ott is Estonia's most successful rally driver. In 2009 he made his World Rally Championship (WRC) debut and has since won seven of them. In 2017 he was named Estonian Athlete of the Year.

Tennis - Anett Kontaveit
Born in Tallinn in 1995, Anett took up tennis at a young age and in 2009 she became the youngest person to win the Estonian Championships. She did it again in 2010. After turning pro she won her first ITF title in 2011 and went on to compete in all the major tournaments. On 1 April 2019 Annett was ranked No.14 in the world making her the highest ranked Estonian tennis player of all time.

Discus Thrower - Gerd Kanter
Born in Tallinn in 1979 Gerd Kanter is a gold medal Olympic athlete. He first started competing internationally in 2001 and won his first gold medal at the Universiade Compeition in Turkey in 2005. From 2007 to 2008 Gerd was on fire, winning world championships in Japan, Germany and China. Gerd Kanter was named Estonian Sportsman of the Year in 2007, 2008 and 2011 and was awarded the Order of the White Star, 4th Class in 2006 and Order of the Estonian Red Cross, 1st Class in 2009.

Rowing - Jüri Jaanson
Born in Tartu in 1965, Jüri Jaanson is the most successful Estonian rower of all time and the winner of five medals at the World Rowing Championships. He has competed at six Olympic Games and won silver in Athens (2004) and Beijing (2008). In 2004 he was named Estonian sportsman of the year.

Monday, 22 April 2019

Estonians have a strong sense of civic duty

A recent survey conducted by the Baltic Research Institute has shown that volunteering is widespread in Estonia and is gaining in popularity. The comparative study showed that five years ago 31% of people living in Estonia donated their time to a worthy cause, in 2018 that figure had risen to 49%. This means every second person in Estonia has volunteered in the past year.

The following areas have the largest numbers of volunteers: promotion of local life (42%), environmental protection and nature conservation (34%), education and research (23%), sports and fitness (23%) and animal welfare (20%). The most popular activities are upkeep and maintenance work (33%) and event organisation (15%).

Friday, 19 April 2019

Skywheel is Tallinn's newest tourist attraction

Located on top of the T1 Mall of Tallinn, the Skywheel Ferris wheel lifts you 120 metres above sea-level where you can enjoy fantastic views of Tallinn, lake Ülemiste and the airport.

Thanks to its smart positioning on top of a hill, on a roof of a shopping centre, the Skywheel is the second highest vantage point in Tallinn, right after the TV-Tower, offering city vistas from a new exciting angle!

The wheel’s weatherproof pods hold up to six people, either sitting or standing, and are accessible for wheelchairs and prams.

Skywheel is open everyday from 10am until 10pm. Tickets costs 10€ each with a discount available when using a Tallinn Card.

Address: Peterburi tee 2, Tallinn. Contact:

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

'Sõnajalaõis' voted most Estonian word

ERR's quest to determine the "most Estonian word" concluded on Sunday, when sõnajalaõis, or "fern blossom," was announced the winner of the final vote. Öö, or "night," and kullakallis, or "precious," came in second and third place, respectively.

"Sõnajalaõis is a fantastic choice," said ERR's Rain Kooli, who came up with the idea for the vote. "It is profoundly Estonian in several respects — as an ethno-mythical concept it involves mystery, a yearning for happiness and general quest through hardship to the stars. With its short, quick syllables and two letter Õs, it is also a very Estonian word in its pronunciation as well."

A total of 7,000 votes were cast in the contest, in which the top five consisted of the words sõnajalaõis ("fern blossom"), öö ("night"), kullakallis ("precious"), pööriöö ("solstice"), and kurat ("devil").

The winning word was announced on ETV's Sunday morning programme Hommik Anuga, where Supernova and Ivo Linna also performed the song "Sõnajalaõis" — whose lyrics, penned by Aapo Ilves, included the words most frequently submitted by voters — set to the tune of "Suur loterii," originally by Rainer Michelson and Urmas Jaarman.

"It was interesting to see that people's choices fell more or less equally into one of two categories, based on either the aural beauty or the actual meaning of the words, but the final result was still a largely ethno-nostalgic list," Mr Ilves said.

2019 marks the Year of the Estonian Language.

Eesti Hümn (Kõigi Eesti Laul 2019)

The Kõigi Eesti Laul concert brought over 10,000 people to the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds on Sunday. This beautiful event proved that Estonians are ready to look for a common ground and focus on the good values that unite us all. 

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

The Estonian Institute to launch the first ever worldwide Estonian learning week

From 23-29 September 2019 the first worldwide Estonian learning week will take place. The aim of the week is to reach three million people and teach them some basic Estonians words and expressions. Estonian is considered to be one of the most beautiful languages in the world and Estonians are encouraged  to share their knowledge of it with others during the language week.

More information can be found on the official website. Worldwide Estonian Learning Week

Monday, 1 April 2019

Estonian handicrafts (käsitöö)

I love Estonian handicrafts and the ones you find on the Estonian island of Muhu are absolutely beautiful. A few years ago I visited the shop featured in this video and it was hard to decide what to buy when everything looked so wonderful!