Wednesday
Jul272016

An old publication's new tricks: How an Estonian-American newspaper is compiled from Tallinn

Estonian Public Broadcasting; news.err.ee.  July 26, 2016

The front page of a June 1949 edition of Estonian-American newspaper Vaba Eesti Sõna ("Free Estonian Word") featuring news about the mass deportations conducted in Estonia contrasted with a more contemporary June edition of the paper. (Vaba Eesti Sõna)

Over half a century before the arrival of the Internet and social media, it was an Estonian-language newspaper published in Manhattan, the Vaba Eesti Sõna, or "Free Estonian Word," founded in 1949, which kept the Estonian-American diaspora connected and up to date on news from both home and the Soviet-occupied homeland. Nearly 70 years later, the paper's official editorial office remains located on the third floor of the New York Estonian House, but in modern e-Estonia style, editor-in-chief Kärt Ulman has been putting the weekly paper together from her home in Tallinn for three years.

Despite being tied up with getting the current week’s paper to press by its Thursday deadline and then immediately beginning preparations for the following week’s edition, Ulman found time this week to answer some questions for ERR News about the Vaba Eesti Sõna (VES), how she came to be involved with it and how the paper ended up seamlessly moving with her back to her native Tallinn.

ERR News: How did you end up working for the VES?

Ulman: I started visiting the New York Estonian House when my New York-born son turned three. I started teaching at the New York Estonian School and was thereafter invited to join all sorts of organizations, about whose activities I began writing articles for the paper. And when longtime editor-in-chief Airi Vaga retired, she recommended me to take her place. This was in 2005.

When did you move back to Estonia, and did the VES move with you right away? How was this decision reached?

I didn’t actually move back to Estonia. Much to my own surprise, we just didn’t return to New York with our son in the fall after our summer vacation in Estonia, but rather decided to stay here for a period of time so that he could attend Estonian-language school.

The VES has come with me everywhere all these years anyway, namely on my laptop, and since I write the paper online and send it to press via the internet, then really all I need is a good internet connection in order for the paper to be published. I know that this concept may be somewhat incomprehensible to the older generation, however for younger people there is nothing unusual about working remotely thus.

Throughout the years and decades, the amount of local Estonian-American content has declined. Who else does the VES collaborate with in sharing content, and what is the ratio of the paper’s own news to news from Estonia, for example?

Cooperation is great between all the publications of Estonians abroad, with whom we exchange materials as needed. Estonian media hasn’t shown much interest in the existence of Estonian media abroad, however this has changed somewhat recently.

We currently might have a bit more news from Estonia than local news in our paper. Of course we would like to put more emphasis on local [diaspora] news, but unfortunately it is difficult to get our hands on materials from across the large US — and there aren’t any more local correspondents who could regularly send us content. We are very grateful for all kinds of contributions!

Is a physical newspaper still necessary when everything today is available — and much faster — online?

We have our own loyal reader base, most of which belongs to the older generation, who specifically want to receive a paper copy of the newspaper in their mailbox. There are also Estonians living outside of Estonian communities and people who don’t use computers for whom the weekly VES embodies the entirety of their Estonian-speaking world — this is where they get their news and information. This generation once built up the entire Estonian community in the US, and out of respect for and a sense of duty to them, we will continue offering them their physical newspaper for as long as they would like to keep receiving it.

Who is the average VES reader? Besides Estonia, what is the furthest corner of the Earth to which the paper is sent?

The average reader is an Estonian-American of the older generation whose parents were already readers of the paper before them. Most subscribers are located in North America, however one paper is sent to New Zealand, and papers are sent to Hawaii and some countries in Europe as well.

What is the VES’ current readership, and how does it compare to previous numbers over the decades?

Current readership is approximately 1,000 — the paper’s circulation is approximately 800 but we know that multiple people will read a single copy, and not always even members of the same family!

During its heyday in the 1960s, the paper’s circulation reached nearly 5,000, however it has seen a steady decline since sometime during the 1980s — the older generation disappears and we don’t get new young subscribers because unfortunately many young third- and fourth-generation people’s Estonian language skills are not good enough to read the paper anymore.

Can you describe the typical weekly cycle of the VES — from content aggregation to press and distribution?

Preparations for the paper’s next edition begin just as soon as the previous edition is sent to press. I check online newspapers, news portals and social media daily and make note of stories that might interest our readers. On Monday or Tuesday I begin to slowly put the paper together — first I make a new template and then begin positioning material on it. Stories involving the Estonian-American community are usually submitted via email; on very rare occasions we still have printed articles sent to our [New York] office, which then need to be typed up on a computer. Printed articles used to arrive in the mail for us every week.

Estonian news I often have to rewrite myself, compiling multiple articles in order to provide context for our readers, and often simplifying the language used, as Estonian media loves using complex language in their writing. Tracking down and piecing together the content for a short, 6-7 paragraph article can take hours sometimes. Articles written by foreign-born Estonians need to be edited for grammar; I try not to change their unique writing style, but I make sure that the text is linguistically correct. All stories that I include in the paper need to be looked over — I proofread as well as fix any mistakes involving layout.

The majority of the time spent on the paper is spent on searching for and compiling content. Once I have all the texts, I begin positioning them on the paper, i.e. work on its layout. This is technical work, but it takes time to make sure that the proportions of all the headlines and texts are all visually in place. I always leave photos for last; editing and positioning them in the layout also takes a bit of time.

I then send the paper via Skype to our editorial office in New York for proofing — we are in constant contact via Skype from Tuesday through Thursday every week — and it gets sent back to me the same way. Once I have completed any final corrections, I draft the technical conditions for newsprint and delivery note and upload the newspaper’s PDF directly to the printers’ servers. Our newspaper is printed on Thursday afternoon and mailed out to our subscribers on Friday morning.

Has anything changed a great deal due to the fact that you are now managing this remotely?

Working remotely from Estonia has not actually changed anything in my daily life; putting the paper together takes exactly the same amount of time no matter where I do it. Thanks to the time difference [between Tallinn and New York], however, I have gained extra hours in every day.

Of course there is less communication with both colleagues and readers alike; I miss that. But every now and then I “go to work” in the New York office in order to help renew interpersonal relationships.

Are reader submissions involving Estonia and Estonians welcome? For example, say, from American expats living in Tallinn or Estonian-Americans living in Alaska.

Of course! We are very grateful for all kinds of contributions! We have always stressed the fact that contributions can be submitted to us in English; in the case of enough material, we have considered expanding the paper’s English-language section, which is currently just one page.

Who or what pays for the publication of this newspaper? Does VES pay for itself or does it receive financial assistance from diaspora-Estonian organizations for example?

VES finances itself from reader subscriptions and paid advertisements. As its readership continues to decline, however, and the number of advertisements decreases — the sale of obituaries isn’t known to be a particularly sustainable business — VES has been running a deficit for years already. Our financial reserves have also run out and multiple times in recent years we have come very close to ceasing print production.

Our biggest sponsor is the Estonian American National Council (ERKÜ) and a considerable amount is also raised in small donations from readers. We have also received a few inheritances which have helped us continue. We have tried raising the issue with the Estonian side multiple times — that the state should help support Estonian diaspora media the same way it supports the diaspora’s other cultural manifestations — but without luck thus far.

What is the future of the VES? Digital? Have you considered joining forces with other Estonian diaspora news portals such as the Canadian Estonian World Review?

I cannot say what the future will be. One possibility would be to just stop publishing the newspaper which has been in continuous publication since 1949. It seems a bit senseless to interrupt such cultural continuity, doesn’t it? Another possibility would be the VES going online-only, though I personally don’t see a future in this — the Internet is full of websites that nobody reads.

A printed newspaper, particularly a regularly published paper, is an asset! It is living history, recorded weekly into a time capsule together with its fonts and advertisements of its day — an authentic imprint of a time which cannot be changed retrospectively. So it was, and so it happened.

We have discussed future prospects with a number of Estonian diaspora publications, but have thus far been hampered by administrative and technical issues. We will not, however, rule out any cooperation, and we are thankful for any ideas that would help us to go on.

Editor: Aili Sarapik
Thursday
Nov052015

Estonia is Lonely Planet’s best value destination for 2016

BY ESTONIAN WORLD IN LIFE · OCTOBER 28, 2015

Lonely Planet, the largest travel guide book publisher in the world, has ranked the best value destinations for 2016 and Estonia is number one.

Viru Raba

“Bagging a good deal on the road can be almost as thrilling as the trip itself, no matter what your travel budget,” the Lonely Planet said in the introduction.

“If you’ve just got off the ferry from Stockholm or Helsinki then Estonia can feel like the promised land. Why? That chunk of change in your pocket you’ve had since last leaving the eurozone will buy you a round of drinks. Upsizing from a hostel to hotel might seem like a good – and affordable – idea. Best of all, what you get in exchange for your hard-earned cash is experiencing a gloriously distinctive slice of Europe, where Eastern and Nordic influences mix together,” the guide said about Estonia.

Palmse in Lahemaa National Park - Jarek Jõepera

Lonely Planet added that “beyond the irresistible capital of Tallinn there are little-known Baltic islands and the seashore and forest delights of Lahemaa National Park, which holds the distinction of being the first national park in the old Soviet Union”.

 

Estonia received more than six million foreign visitors in 2014 and the country’s income from foreign tourism amounted to €1.39 billion.

Lonely Planet, founded by British-Australian couple Maureen and Tony Wheeler in 1972, is the largest travel guide publisher in the world.

Lonely Planet’s best value destinations for 2016

1. Estonia
2. Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Vietnam
3. East Africa
4. New Mexico
5. Bosnia and Hercegovina
6. Galicia, Spain
7. Québec City, Canada
8. Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast
9. Timor-Leste
10. Western Australia

Cover photo: Viru bog in Lahemaa National Park (photo by Silver Tambur).

Thursday
May212015

Eesti Ekspress ootab välismaalaste nalju eestlaste kohta

Eesti Ekspress:  Võistluse info ja reeglid:

​The rules of the contest are simple:

1) Either send an editorial cartoon (acceptable file formats .jpg, .pdf) or a simple joke in English/Russian (please try to ensure it translates across languages) about Estonia or Estonians to the e-mail address fun@ekspress.ee by end of the day May 29th. Please add your contact details (although the presentation may remain anonymous – please specify).

2) We will publish all of the entries in the digital (and paper – as much as we can fit) edition of our newspaper on June 3rdand announce a public vote. Participants agree unconditionally that all submissions can and will be used by the newspaper Eesti Ekspress in various forms of display.

3) The winner will be determined based on the public voting by June 12th. The 2 winners (best cartoon and best joke) will be awarded an extended weekend trip to Estonia, including flights, accommodation, and eccentric experiences only possible in Estonia – timing will be agreed with the winners.

 

 

Friday
Mar062015

The 2015 European Tree of the Year is Estonia’s Oak tree on a football field.

The voting ended on 28 February 2015. The winner is the Oak tree on a football field from Estonia with 59,836 votes. The great plane of Tata (Hungary) with 53,487 votes placed second. Third place goes to Poplar pollard of the Remolinar (Spain) with 13,951 votes. Details at: http://www.treeoftheyear.org/Uvod.aspx
Congratulations!


The Estonian tree's story:

Is there a place in the world where you can find a stadium which has an oak tree in the middle of it? For the locals in Orissaare its a common thing, but this tree is at heart of the community. Before 1951 there was a small sporting area beside the oak tree, and when it was expanded the tree ended up in the middle of the stadium. Legend says two of Stalin´s tractors tried to pull it out of the ground, but the cables kept breaking. It still has marks from the cables. Students know how to use the tree to complete passes, and it offers shade to the players.Photo: Elina Kalm

Wednesday
Mar042015

Eesti film "Mandariinid"/Estonian Film "Tangerines" makes 2015 Oscar short list

Saturday
Aug232014

Tallinn named one of top hottest cities in 2014

National Geographic Traveler 's list of 50 hottest, smartest cities in 2014 includes Tallinn as #22.  

Monday
Jul282014

Conducting Hands in Tallinn

Instead of plain, boring parking gates, the Estonian National Opera in Tallinn turned them into a conductor’s hand holding a baton (the proper name for the conductor’s stick). With a parking entrance like that you know you’re going to have a good time! You can even see the conductor baton parking gates on Google Maps here.

Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia with a population of 431,184 (32.7% of Estonia’s total population). The country is one of the smallest member states of the EU. They are also considered one of the most digitally wired countries in Europe. Estonia is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia (343 km), and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia (338.6 km). 

 

Wednesday
Jul162014

Laulupidu / Estonian song Festival timeline in photos

From: estonianworld.com
By Maris Hellrand
The Estonian Song Celebration (Laulupidu) is a unique event, which every five years brings together a huge choir of 25,000 people for a weekend in July. More than 100,000 spectators enjoy the concerts and sing along to the most popular songs.Photo by Kaarel Mikkin

This article is published in partnership with Life In Estonia magazine.

The festivals have become the main anchor of Estonian identity. Twice the song celebrations have led to Estonia’s independence. In the 19th century, the choirs and song celebrations were at the core of the national awakening of Estonian peasants, who discovered the value of their own language and cultural heritage through singing. The national awakening and establishment of identity led to Estonian independence in 1918. After WWII, during the Soviet occupation, the song celebrations helped keep the national identity alive. In 1988, several hundred thousand people gathered at the Song Festival grounds and sang for freedom for many days and nights. The Singing Revolution helped end the Soviet rule and indirectly led to Estonia’s independence once again in 1991.

The Estonian Song Celebration 2014 is the twenty-sixth of its kind. This timeline highlights the most important instances of this unique Estonian tradition.

Thursday
Jun262014

Jaanipäev: Estonia's Most Important Holiday Decoded

20.06.2014 from Estonian Public Broadcasting, news.err.ee:
The Chronicle of Livonia by Balthasar Russow, published in 1578. (Wikipedia Commons)
If you need proof that Estonia is a pagan nation at heart, you can get it this Monday and Tuesday, when time seemingly stands still.  The shops close, the roads are empty, and people simply disappear - especially from the cities. 

St John's Eve (Jaaniõhtu, also Jaanilaupäev) and St John's Day (Jaanipäev) are the most important days on the calendar in these parts, arguable much more important in the yearly calendar than Christmas.

Balthasar Russow had the holiday figured out long ago. Russow was one of the first writers who wrote about events in then-Livonia, and was the Lutheran pastor of the Church of the Holy Ghost in Old Town Tallinn.

He shared his frustration about Estonian’s approach to Jaanipäev in 1578 in his Livonian Chronicle journal, complaining about the lack of church attendence, and saying that the locals would rather spend their time lighting bonfires, drinking, dancing, and singing. There will be little difference this year.
Former President Lennart Meri suggested that in his 1976 book, "Silverwhite," that Jaanipäev traditions, particularly the lighting of bonfires, re-enact the fall of the Kaali meteorite around 4,000 years ago, which left nine impact craters in Saaremaa. So, the holiday is one of Estonia’s connections to its ancient past.

Jaanipäev was merged with the celebration of Victory Day (Võidupüha), when Estonian forces defeated German troops in Latvia on June 23, 1919, which marked a high water mark against the region’s long-time occupiers, and linked with it with Estonia’s own ideas of freedom and independence. It shifted from an unofficial time off to a national holiday in 1992, when another occupation was receding. Appropriately, this year's Victory Day parade takes place in Valga and Valka, right across the border in Latvia.

Theoretically, St. John’s Day would be the brightest time of the year, coming just after the summer solstice on Friday. Estonia, though, it seems, is rarely blessed with good weather, and this year may be no exception, with rain in the forecast and the high temperature expected around 16 C, according to the national weather service.

But there will be fires, regardless. Look to any beach or clearing for signs of smoke. ERR News wishes you a good holiday, and we’ll be lighting our own bonfires until we return on Wednesday.
Wednesday
May212014

On the map – Lakewood Estonian House

BY ANDRES SIMONSON IN "LIFE", "Estonian World" · MAY 12, 2014 

About 4,300 miles (7,000 km) separate Lakewood, New Jersey, from Tallinn, Estonia. But on Friday nights the distance is closer to zero.

Not literally, of course. No matter the day of the week, Lakewood is still located along the Atlantic seaboard in the United States while Tallinn faces the Gulf of Finland in northern Europe. Tallinn sits at 59 degrees north latitude, Lakewood at 40 degrees north. Along the longitudinals, Tallinn is at 24 degrees east and Lakewood is at 74 degrees west. In fact, thanks to the spreading of tectonic plates at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the two locales drift apart a few centimetres each year.
Yet still, in a clubhouse in Lakewood a small group of Estonians and estophiles gathers every Friday night.
Predominantly, Estonian is the language spoken. However, pockets of English and an irregular Estonian/English hybrid are heard. Open-faced sandwiches, those ethnic dietary staples of buttered dark rye bread covered with ham, cucumber slices, pickled fish, dill and other suitable toppings are served for a nominal fee. Sometimes, frikadellisupp (Estonian meatball soup) is available. Many wash their meals down with that oddly Japanese-sounding but fully Estonian beer, Saku. On the television in the corner, Estonian news shows appear on the screen through the mystery of satellite beams and internet-woven fibre optic cables. If it weren’t for the dull, green paper currency used for monetary transactions, one might actually think they were in Tallinn.

This is the Lakewood Estonian House. It is a gathering place for pre-independence Estonian political refugees, their American-born offspring, recent emigrants and friends. On the grand scale, it is a place to preserve culture. On the micro scale, it is a place to chat, relax, make new friends and celebrate. With a current membership hovering just over 100, plus many other guests that support the society, the club is vibrant and finding ways to remain relevant.
Photo: Siiri Lind
The physical structure, located on a wooded lot, is a modest building constructed from concrete blocks. The memories, in turn, have been formed from equally concrete moments in time. Inside there is a kitchen, two banquet halls, a stage, multi-function rooms and, of course, a bar. Outdoor amenities include a performance area with bleachers, a sauna, a tenting area for larger events and, you guessed it, a bar. The history behind the mortar and blocks, carefully laid with knowing hands, buckets of sweat, and a shared love for the fatherland, can fill an entire book. Indeed, it did. In 2006, the Lakewood Estonian Association published “Lakewood Estonian Association – 60, History of an Ethnic Community in New Jersey”. The compendium, eloquently told from the perspective of Estonians and non-Estonians alike, begins in the early 1900s and documents the people and the place. From the earliest known arrivals to the area, to the land donated by Konstatin Lacht, to the construction of the original building in 1947 and the expanding population driven structural additions, to the many events that filled the grounds, to the families that made it possible, the book is a rare slice of history.

In addition to regular Friday night gatherings, the clubhouse hosts special events and holiday parties. Vabariigi aastapäev (the Estonian Independence Day) is celebrated with passionate speeches, cultural displays and a feast of traditional food. The Estonian flag, flying on a pole near the front door, seemingly flies a bit stronger and prouder on this day.

In May, the Lakewood Estonian School children put on a Mothers’ Day pageant to show off their new vocabulary skills. The school children sing, recite, dance and act. The parents, in turn, smile broadly. An occasional proud tear dots the faces of the children’s parents.
Jaanipäev (Midsummer Day), a celebration conceived from a pagan past but later baptised in the name of St John, is a grand reason to sing, dance and be merry within the glow of a small bonfire. The summer solstice sun hovers late in the sky in Lakewood, but not nearly as tardily as in Tallinn.
A sports festival in August is bipolar in nature, with vigorous athletic competitions during the day followed by light debauchery after the sun goes down. A time honoured and tested tradition, the Saturday festival is consistently the most well attended event drawing Estonians from far and wide. On Sunday, the remaining crowd gathers at an Atlantic Ocean beach to rest sore muscles and nurse hangovers.

In the autumn, a Tuluõhtu (fundraising night) asks members and patrons to have a fun evening while opening their wallets for the Estonian House is sustained through benefactors and support of members.
The Christmas season is celebrated in mid-December with another performance by the school children, an appearance by jõuluvana (Santa Claus) and generous servings of blood sausage. Matching the yuletide, the mood is cheerful and the conversation expectant. The children will later sleep soundly that night.

Other special events dot the calendar in between. Through the years the clubhouse has hosted travelling dignitaries, concerts and plays. In recent history, the Estonian bands Spido and Meie Mees set up their amps and rocked the crowd, the Estonian Children’s Choir put on a concert to remember and Estonian clowns Piip and Tuut tickled the audience’s funny bones.

The Lakewood Estonian House is certainly not the only such outer-Estonian meeting place in the world. I’ve been to other clubhouses in much larger metropolises: New York, Baltimore, Toronto, Melbourne and elsewhere. They all have their appeal and come highly recommended. But Lakewood has its own unique charm associated with its particular, and maybe even peculiar, place in the Estonian-American history.
So if you’re in the area, stop by on a Friday night. Pull up a chair. Grab a sandwich and beverage of your choice. Tell a tale, or simply listen in on the various stories of things Estonia. You’ll be glad you did.

 

Friday
Dec272013

"Sõjamüra/When the Noise had ended" - Geislingen Estonian DP's

Sel kuul andis OÜ Hea Lugu välja raamatu “Kui sõjamura oli vaibunud.  Geislingeni põgenikelaagri laste mälestused” mille koostajaks on Mai Maddisson ja toimetajaks ning kujundajaks Priit Vesilind.  Raamat on tõlgitud inglisekeelsest ”When the noise had ended: Geislingen’s DP children remember”, mis ilmus 2009.a. Lakeshore Press’i poolt.  
 
Arvustusi raamatu kohta pole veel ilmunud, aga leidsin järgmise anonüümse lugeja kommentaari EPL Online16.02.13: 
“Südamest soovitan lugeda äsjailmunud Priit Vesilinnu ja Mai Maddissoni poolt väljaantud raamatut pealkirjaga, ’Kui sõjamüra oli vaibunud. Geislingeni põgenikelaagri laste mälestused’.
Vajalik teada seda kui eesti rahva ajaloo olulist osa.
Ehk arusaamine vihast ja andestusest ja kuriteost ja leppimisest saavad mõtlemisainest juurde ja maailmanägemine avardub.”
 
See raamat oleks suurepärane kingitus oma sõpradele ja tuttavatele Eestis.
=====================================================================================================================================
The book, ”When the noise had ended: Geislingen’s DP children remember”, published by Lakeshore Press in 2009, has been issued in Estonian by OÜ Hea Lugu and it appeared in the bookstores this month. The Estonian title is "Kui sõjamura oli vaibunud.  Geislingeni põgenikelaagri laste mälestused".  The book was compiled by Mai Madisson and Priit Vesilind is the editor and designer.
 
The book has not yet been reviewed, but the following anonymous commentary appeared in EPL Online on March 16:
“I sincerely recommend the recently published book by Priit Vesilind and Mai Maddisson
'Kui sõjamura oli vaibunud.  Geislingeni põgenikelaagri laste mälestused.'
It is necessary to read it as an essential part of the Estonian nation’s history.  Knowledge about hatred, forgiveness, criminality and reconciliation could add to the intellectual capacity and an expanded world view of a person”.

The book makes an excellent present for friends and acquaintances in Estonia. 
-- Ilvi Cannon.  March 2013
Thursday
Aug082013

The First Vikings -- Viking Bones Found in Salme, Saaremaa

From the July/Aug 2013 issue of Archeology Magazine:

Two remarkable ships found in Salme, Saaremaa, Estonia may show that the Viking storm was brewing long before their assault on England and the continent(Courtesy Liina Maldre, University of Tallinn)

By ANDREW CURRY
Monday, June 10, 2013
According to historians, the Viking Age began on June 8, A.D. 793, at an island monastery off the coast of northern England... The Vikings’ explosion across Europe and Asia and into the Americas was the result of the right combination of tools, technology, adventurousness, and ferocity. They came to be known as an unstoppable force capable of raiding and trading on four continents, yet our understanding of what led up to that June day on Lindisfarne is surprisingly shaky.

A recent discovery on a remote Baltic island is beginning to change that. Two ships filled with slain warriors uncovered on the Estonian island of Saaremaa may help archaeologists and historians understand how the Vikings’ warships evolved from short-range, rowed craft to sailing ships; where the first warriors came from; and how their battle tactics developed. “We all agree these burials are Scandinavian in origin,” says Marge Konsa, an archaeologist at the University of Tartu. “This is our first taste of the Viking era.” Read more 

 

 

Sunday
Feb242013

There is a European Sauna Race every year!

Six hundred people in Otepaa, Estonia, got together on Sunday to race from sauna to sauna in below-freezing temperatures.  

 

Read the story and view more photos here:  http://www.buzzfeed.com/

Thursday
Dec202012

Tallinn, land of startups and Skype, is making an epic transformation

By Kalpana Sunder, Oct 28, 2012. The author is a Japanese language specialist, blogger and travel writer based in Chennai, India.

Read the article here.  Very interesting impressions of Tallinn from a foreigner's perspective.

Saturday
Nov032012

"Kati and Me" Video Causes Sensation on the Net

Published: 02.11.2012 13:39, ERR News
"A Canadian film clip introducing Estonia has become the focus of the nation's YouTube watchers, earning an unusually high number of views late this week. Produced by Toronto couple Kim Bagayawa and Mike Dell, "Kati and Me" is a seven-minute film that follows the pair's discovery of Estonia by virtue of befriending their Estonian housemate and later traveling to the country. In a simple and endearing style, it presents basic information about Estonia, painting it in a highly positive light.

The film took third place at the EstDocs documentary film festival in mid-October.
Though it was posted on YouTube weeks earlier, it had not garnered much attention until Thursday, the same day local media reported its internet success. Since then it has seen its number of views jump to over 27,000 (as of early Friday afternoon), a rare feat for material related to the small nation."

 

Wednesday
Oct172012

Estonian World - How Estonians See It

Estonian World is a London based online magazine founded in 2012 to write about cosmopolitan Estonians and their views, ideas, experiences and achievements. EW also writes about Estonia’s global success stories in technology, business and arts.  Here is the link to its homepage.

Thursday
Sep062012

ESTOWEAR

Estonian handicrafts and design available at ESTOWEAR.

Monday
Aug272012

"Külakiik" project in Wisconsin funded by Kickstarter.  

"Külakiik - the Village Swing" was fully funded by contributions to Kickstarter this summer.  The swing was built on a farm in Gays Mills, Wisconsin, as part of a new public sculpture park.  Read more about the project and about külakiigud.

Tuesday
Jun262012

"Estonia and the Wisdom of the Ages"

From Science and Culture Blog by Stuart Kauffman, National Public Radio (NPR) staff, June 4, 2012:

"The boat is shallow draft, some 40-feet long and 18-feet of beam, tar pitched, almost clinker built, wide on the Mother of Rivers, the Emajõgi. For 600 years these boats, with their single square sails, plied the Mother of Rivers from Estonia half way to Moscow with spices, returning with furs.
The last of these boats worked some 70 years ago. A federation of Estonians have gathered lost knowledge and built just one, wide on the river, easing its way, Estonian pastries for the guests, of which I am one. Magic."  Read entire blog and reader comments.
Wednesday
Jun202012

YouTube Presentation on Estonia