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About Estonia - we are proud to be Estonians!
Estonians speak a soft, melodious language. Estonia is rich in folk songs. Estonians are poetically inclined, with lively imaginations and good memories. They are benevolent and of a friendly disposition (…), but certain vices, like flying into a rage, the desire for revenge and stubbornness, are not altogether alien to them (…).
Conversations-Lexicon, Brockhaus, 1877

"Imagine the scene in 'Casablanca' in which the French patrons sing 'La Marseillaise' in defiance of the Germans, then multiply its power by a factor of thousands, and you've only begun to imagine the force of 'The Singing Revolution'."
Matt Zoller Seitz, The New York Times
 


Estonia in camera

Estonia – the Land of Freedom
Estonia is world wide known of regaining it’s independence in 1991 after 50 years of occupation with singing revolution without any drop of blood. Occupied by the Soviets in 1939, then by the Nazis, and then by the Soviets again, Estonia lived through decades of terror. By the end of World War II, more than one-quarter of the population had been deported to Siberia, been executed, or had fled the country. Music sustained the Estonian people during those years, and was such a crucial part of their struggle for freedom that their successful bid for independence is known as the Singing Revolution.

About our awakening have been made a film "The Singing Revolution" which is the first film to tell this historically vital tale. "This is a story that has not been told outside Estonia," said film maker James Tusty, who is of Estonian descent. "We felt it was time the rest of the world knew of the amazing events that happened here." Most people don’t think about singing when they think about revolution. But song was the weapon of choice when Estonians sought to free themselves from decades of Soviet occupation. "The Singing Revolution" is an inspiring account of one nation’s dramatic rebirth. It is the story of humankind’s irrepressible drive for freedom and self-determination.


Historically Estonia has been occupied by Danes, Swedes, Germans, Russians, Livonians and Polish. In 1918 Estonia gained first time it's independence which last 22 years. Estonia underwent a number of economic, social, and political reforms necessary to come to terms with its new status as a sovereign state. Economically and socially, land reform in 1919 was the most important step. Large estate holdings belonging to the Baltic nobility were redistributed among the peasants and especially among volunteers in the Estonian War of Independence. Looking at the history can be understand why Estonians take their freedom, their country's freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of press, and the democracy very seriously. More detailed information about Estonian history can be found there.

Estonia lies along the Baltic Sea, just below Finland. Tallinn, with its medieval city centre, is Estonia’s capital city only about 80 kilometers south of Helsinki, across the Gulf of Finland. Sweden is Estonia's western neighbour across the Baltic. Russia is to the east, with St. Petersburg just across the north-eastern border. To the south is Latvia with its capital city Riga. The area of 45,227 km2, ca 10% of Estonia’s territory is made up of more than 1500 islands, 5% are inland waterbodies, 48% is forest, 7% is marshland and moor, and 37% is agricultural land. The Estonia's population ranks amongst the smallest in the world approximately 1 360 000 people live in Estonia which of 68% Estonians, 26% Russians, 2% Ukrainians, 1% Byelorussians and 1% Finns. A density of only 30.2 people per sq. km. Some pics about Estonia today can be found there.

Estonian symbols:
Estonian Flag
- the coloures of the flag, which were founded 29.09.1881 to represent Estonia (Vironia) long before the Republic itself was formed, have been freedom symbol to Estonians more then a century. Through all this century, out of our short freedom times, people that carried Estonian flag colours or hoist Estonian flag were attacked, arrested, prisoned and many lost their lives. The colours itself have meanings: the Blue - represents faith and hope for freedom and our nations future, also the blue sky above our fatherland, the Black - reminisce our nations dark and torturing past also being symbol of our attachment to the black soil of our fatherland, the White - is symbol of our nations brighter future and our nations hope for education and enlightment.
Estonian National Anthem - was composed by Fredrik Pacius in 1848 the lyrics by Johann Voldemar Jannsen.
Estonian Defence Forces - have become for Estonian nation one of the symbols of the Free Estonia. Which is very easy to understand if looking at the history. Having Defence Forces shows our will to protect our homeland and remain our freedom. Estonia is also particiapting in UN operations and Estonians have been in missions also of such as Iraq and Afghanistan where lost also some of our men. According to one of the last researches the Estonian Defence Forces is the most reliable governemental institution for our nation.

Estonia - the Member of:

European Union
NATO
United Nations - UN
UNESCO

Estonia - the Land of Untouched Nature
The natural heritage and wildlife of Estonia are unique. And fortunately they have been widely preserved throughout the country, thanks to conscious efforts in conservation, and a deep-rooted tradition of respect for the natural world. Which also helps is the high level of urbanisation which around 69% of the human populations lives in towns. The contryside area is on the other hand very low populated. National parks cover around 10% of Estonia and there are important conservation areas on the coast and islands for the protection of the nesting and migrating seabirds. The most remarkable features of the country’s topography are the uplands, ancient valleys, depressions, and the Clint. Forest makes up slightly under half of Estonia's territory. In fact, Estonia joins Finland and Sweden in being the most forested countries in Europe. Estonia’s wetlands and primeval forests continue to preserve natural phenomena, which have for the most part, disappeared from the rest of Europe. Some pics of the Estonian nature can be found from there - Summer in Estonia and Winter in Estonia.

In addition to the importance of forests, the proximity of the sea is evident in virtually every aspect of Estonian nature. Estonia has more than 1,500 islands. The islands and the coastal areas of the mainland are on the north-eastern Europe to eastern Atlantic Ocean migratory route. Twice a year - in spring and autumn - many hundreds of thousands of birds stop to visit Estonia. There are also many other natural wonders to be discovered here. The country is home to various rare and beautiful species of orchid, as well as a large number of endangered animals, such as the grey seal. Estonia is the home of several mammals as well as plant species that are extinct or very rare in other parts of Europe. The most numerous species of the large mammals are the roe deer, elk, and wild boar. Beaver, lynx, wolf, brown bear, grey seal, and ringed seal are relatively common as well. Of the 333 recorded bird species, 222 breed in Estonia, including the capercaillie, black stork, and all together at least 400 pairs of eagles. More informatiove site about Estonian nature can be found from there.

Estonia - the Land of Manors
Due to it's history Estonia had more than 1200 manors all over Estonia which hundreds of preserved outstanding historical manors are one of the most attractive sightseeings also in todays Estonia.

Estonians – the Stubborn Nation
Estonians, the proud nature-loving nation, who had been in slavery 600 years and behind the Iron curtain under Sovjet Union 50 years are not the most open people at the first sight. For a typical Estonian it takes time to overcome it’s suspicious nature to trust you.

On the whole, not eager to display great joy or sadness, Estonians are economical with their feelings. Anyone coming from afar is struck by the cool demeanour and restrained reactions of Estonians. Although at official meetings people shake hands, privately, they avoid both handshakes and hugging; a friendly 'hello!' is a good enough substitute. It takes some time to penetrate their cool exterior. Those who have the patience to wait long enough find an easy-going conversation partner, a generous host and a faithful friend. In the worst cases, instead of polite superficiality, Estonians display a rather discourteous indifference. More often, however, they express a sincere and unselfish desire to communicate, and at times, an almost startling eagerness.

The only place one can see an Estonian roaring with laughter, is in a pub. Estonian jokes are for the most part cuttingly ironical and disguised. They are equally directed, without mercy, towards the jokers themselves, their neighbours and the government. Since relations between Estonians and all kind of authorities have always been complicated, an Estonian never trusts anyone merely because of their status. An Estonian is especially sceptical about people trying to teach him what and how he should go about his business. Consequently, he may seem overly headstrong at times. Stubbornness is a quality that an Estonian likes to include in the list of his positive qualities; Estonians associate it with their love of work and faithfulness to the place where they live.

Estonian - the Melodic Language
Typical to small nations, the Estonian identity is closely connected to the language. It is natural, therefore, that Estonians speak Estonian. This melodious language contains loan words from Low German, German, Swedish, Russian, French, Finnish, and English. Those travelling through or those who have come here by chance, have doubtlessly left their mark on the Estonians' way of thinking. However, in the beauty stakes, Estonian is right at the top. You can still find older people who will tell you that at one time the Estonian language took second place after Italian in a language beauty contest, with the sentence Sõida tasa üle silla (Go slowly over the bridge). The Estonian language is not only beautiful, but also strong. It is used as a mother tongue by 1 million people. Estonian is one of the world's smallest cultural languages to include contemporary terminology for all major fields of life

Estonians - the Singing Nation
Eurovision 2009 6th place Urban Symphony - Rändajad - Nomads
Eurovision 2002 3rd place Runaway - Sahlene
Eurovision 2001 1st place Everybody - Tanel Padar & Dave Benton and next years song contest
Eurovision 2002
was held in Estonia where Marko Matvere and Anneli Peebo sang Estonian compositor Raimond Kaugver song The Little Story in the Music which was commonly mistaken as Andrew Lloyd Webber song. :)
Eurovision 2000 4th place Once in a Lifetime - Ines
Eurovision 1999 6th place Diamond of Night - Evelin Samuel & Camille
Eurovision 1997 7th place Keelatud Maa - Maarja Liis Ilus
Eurovision 1996 5th place Kaelakee hääl - Maarja Liis Ilus and Ivo Linna
 
Tõnis Mägi - Koit (Dawn - in Estonian interpreted also as Awakening)
Ruja - Teisel pool vett (Other side of the Water)
Ruja - Minu Eestimaa püsib minus (My Estonia lives in me)
 
The Singing Revolution
Ärkamisaeg - Eestlane olen ja Eestlaseks jään (I am Estonian and Remain Estonian)
Ärgake Baltimaad - Balti Kett (Baltic Chain - 2 million people joining hands from Estonia, through Latvia till the end of Lithuania)
Baltic Chain in much better quality but without explanations
Ei ole üksi ükski maa - singing for freedom (No Land is an Island)
Tõnis Mägi - Palve - Laulupidu 2007 - (The Prayer - The Creator Protect Estonia - recreation in 2007 song festival)
 
National Tragedy
The disaster of Estonia - 28.09.1994 sank ferry named Estonia on the way from Tallinn to Stockholm, 852 people died

Estonians - the Sporting Nation

Popularity of sports in different areas amongst our population is the reason of success of our sportsmens since the beginning of the Republic, during the decades of Sovjet Union and continuing after regaining the independence. Estonians have won several gold, silver and pronze medals from Olympic Games, from Winter Olympics and also from World Championships and European Championships. Estonia in Olympics

Are interested of more? Go to the Encyclopedia about Estonia the Estonica