Ilus Eesti, beautiful Estonia. My family's homeland. Estonia's countryside and people have an endearing gentleness about them which you fall in love with slowly and imperceptibly. I have nothing but respect and admiration for Estonians' courage and determination to survive despite centuries of repression, tyranny and foreign occupation. This blog aims to promote Estonian news, history and culture and seeks to enlighten readers about everything this unique country has to offer.
Saturday, 30 April 2022
Estonian Defence Minister Kalle Laanet meets his Ukrainian counterpart in Kiev
Tuesday, 26 April 2022
New stamp issued in commemoration of the Raeapteek's 600th birthday
Tallinn's Town Hall Pharmacy (The Raeapteek) celebrates its 600th birthday this month. It is the oldest pharmacy in Europe that has been continuously operating in the original building since it first opened. The pharmacy was first mentioned on 8th April 1422 in the records of the town council of Tallinn. Those records reveal the Raeapteek was already on to its third owner by 1422 so the pharmacy is actually older than 600 years, however, the exact age will never be known.
Monday, 25 April 2022
Happy DNA Day!
April 25 is International DNA Day. It began as an American national holiday which has since been celebrated internationally. World DNA Day commemorates the day in 1953 when scientists James Watson (USA), Francis Crick (UK), Maurice Wilkins (NZ) and Rosalind Franklin (UK) published a paper revealing the discovery of DNA's double helix structure.
DNA testing has become increasingly popular in recent years. People take the test for a number of reasons. They might be searching for a relative due to adoption or a parent being absent from their lives or they might be curious about their background or genetic make-up. I had my DNA tested in 2016 and then my father's in 2018 and the results were fascinating. I discovered I have so many relatives I never knew existed and the fun part (also frustrating) is trying to work out how we are all related.
Wednesday, 20 April 2022
Plans underway to rename Tallinn's Lembitu Park as Ukraine Square
Lembitu Park is the most likely choice. It is a symbolic place for many reasons – firstly, buildings in the area were destroyed in the March 1944 Soviet bombings and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is located on one side of the park. Nearby is Iceland Square, named after the first country to re-recognise Estonia's independence in 1991. If all goes to plan the MFA will be between two squares named after two brave nations.
Lembitu Park is likely to be renamed before summer and will undergo a design change. A bed of sunflowers (the national flower of Ukraine) will feature in the park and possibly a pond.
Tuesday, 19 April 2022
Estonia leads the world in providing support for Ukraine’s defense in terms of GDP
According to the Kiel Institute, Estonia's humanitarian and military assistance to Ukraine amounts to 0.8% of its GDP. This is far more than any other nation. There is only one word to describe Germany - pathetic.
Monday, 18 April 2022
Easter in Lithuania: Palanga's Easter Egg Alley
Easter is one of my favourite holidays. The ancient pagan springtime tradition is all about fertility and new life which is reflected in the symbols of the bunny, chicken and eggs. Easter is a fun celebration that inspires us to be creative by making colourful decorations and painting eggs. It's also a long four day holiday so it's a great time of year to get away for a long weekend.
I've often gone away for the Easter break. I've enjoyed Easter in Prague, Kiev, Krakow and Lusatia. They have such beautifully painted eggs in these places. One place I'm interested in going to perhaps next year is Palanga in Lithuania. Every year they have an Easter egg display in the street and its truly delightful.
This year's exhibition features designs from around the world.
Sunday, 17 April 2022
Happy Easter everyone! Häid lihavõttepühi!
Friday, 15 April 2022
Our thoughts are with Ukraine this Easter
Many things have emerged since the war began, namely the strength and resilience of the Ukrainian people. They have shown extraordinary bravery and determination as they fight for their country's existence. Their spirit and resolve is to be admired. The support for Ukraine has been fantastic. Military and humanitarian aid has been pouring in from all over the world, people have taken to the streets in protest of the invasion, there have been so many displays of solidarity.. Governments, businesses and private citizens alike have all been generous with their time, goods and money. There have been many acts of kindness reported about people taking the initative and doing what they can to help Ukraine. People care.
Estonia has been doing an excellent job from the start in supporting Ukraine. Estonia has provided more military aid to Ukraine than France and Germany because Estonia has always understood the situation. They 'get it' unlike many other western leaders who naïvely misjudged Russia and were slow to act.
Estonia has now accepted over 33,000 war refugees from Ukraine. The people are welcome in Estonia and are made to feel safe and secure away from the horrors of war. At times there were logistical issues in finding suitable accommodation for the refugees but Estonians are good at finding solutions. When hotels filled up, the government chartered a cruise ship.
Almost half of the refugees who arrived in Estonia are children. Last Monday a new Ukrainian school opened in Tallinn to support their educational needs. It's the only school in Estonia where so many Ukrainian students can study together in the one place.
Ukrainian women are finding employment in Estonia in teaching, nursing and through a new website launched by the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund (Eesti Töötukassa).
Easter is an important date on the Ukrainian calendar but sadly for many, it won't be a happy ocassion this year. May the spirit of Ukraine continue to shine and may those who are suffering find peace soon.
Monday, 11 April 2022
Tennis stars Kaia Kanepi and Anett Kontaveit feature on new stamp
100 years of the Estonian Tennis Association / Eesti Tennise Liit 100.
Immigrants From Europe In Australia (1948)
Friday, 8 April 2022
Kaja Kallas stands out as a strong EU leader in support of Ukraine
Sunday, 3 April 2022
'Apteeker Melchior' to premier on April 11
If you enjoy reading Indrek Hargla's medieval novels then no doubt you'll be keen to watch the film. Apteeker Melchior will premier at the Tallinn's Cinamon cinema on April 11.