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Culture Of Estonia

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Estonian culture combines indigenous roots, as shown by the Estonian language and the sauna, with mainstream Nordic and European cultural elements. Estonian culture has been affected by the traditions of the surrounding area’s diverse Finnic, Baltic, Slavic, and Germanic peoples, as well as cultural changes in the previous dominating powers Sweden and Russia, due to its history and location.

Today, Estonian society promotes liberty and liberalism, with widespread support for the principles of limited government, while opposing centralized authority and corruption. The Protestant work ethic is still a cultural mainstay, and free education is a widely valued institution. Estonian culture, like the mainstream culture of the other Nordic countries, can be seen to build on ascetic environmental realities and traditional livelihoods, a legacy of comparatively widespread egalitarianism for practical reasons (see: Everyman’s right and universal suffrage), and the ideals of closeness to nature and self-sufficiency (see: summer cottage).

The Estonian Academy of Arts (Estonian: Eesti Kunstiakadeemia, EKA) offers higher education in art, design, architecture, media, art history, and conservation, whereas the Viljandi Culture Academy of the University of Tartu promotes native culture through curricula such as native construction, native blacksmithing, native textile design, traditional handicraft, and traditional music. In 2010, Estonia has 245 museums, with a total collection of more than 10 million items.

Music

The first reference of Estonian singing may be found in Saxo Grammaticus Gesta Danorum (ca. 1179). Saxo tells of Estonian soldiers who sang in the middle of the night while ready for a fight. The earlier folk songs are also known as regilaulud, which are songs in the poetic metre regivärss, which is a tradition shared by all Baltic Finns. Runic singing was common among Estonians until the 18th century, when rhythmic folk melodies took their place.

Traditional wind instruments adapted from those used by shepherds were previously prevalent, but are increasingly becoming more popular. Other instruments used to perform polka or other dancing music include the violin, zither, concertina, and accordion. The kannel is a native instrument that is regaining popularity in Estonia. Viljandi’s Native Music Preserving Centre launched in 2008.

The tradition of Estonian Song Festivals (Laulupidu) began in 1869, during the height of Estonian national awakening. It is now one of the world’s biggest amateur choral festivals. The Song Festival drew about 100,000 attendees in 2004. The Tallinn Song Festival Grounds (Lauluväljak) have hosted the festival every five years in July since 1928. The most recent event was held in July of 2014. Furthermore, Youth Song Festivals are conducted every four or five years, with the most recent one taking place in 2011, and the next one planned for 2017.

In the late nineteenth century, professional Estonian musicians and composers like as Rudolf Tobias, Miina Härma, Mart Saar, Artur Kapp, Juhan Aavik, Artur Lemba, and Heino Eller arose. Arvo Pärt, Eduard Tubin, and Veljo Tormis are the most well-known Estonian composers at the time of writing. For the fourth year in a running, Arvo Pärt was the world’s most performed living composer in 2014.

Georg Ots, an Estonian baritone, came to international fame as an opera singer in the 1950s.

Kerli Kiv, an Estonian singer-songwriter, has gained modest success in North America as well as in Europe. She composed music for the 2010 Disney feature Alice in Wonderland as well as the American television series Smallville.

Tanel Padar and Dave Benton won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2001 with the song “Everybody.” Estonia hosted the tournament in 2002. Maarja-Liis Ilus has represented Estonia twice (1996 and 1997), while Eda-Ines Etti, Koit Toome, and Evelin Samuel have all gained fame as a result of the Eurovision Song Contest. Lenna Kuurmaa, together with her band Vanilla Ninja, is a well-known vocalist in Europe. “Rändajad” by Urban Symphony was the first Estonian song to chart in the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Switzerland.

Architecture

Estonia’s architectural history mostly reflects the country’s current growth in Northern Europe. The architectural ensemble that makes up Tallinn’s medieval old town, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, is particularly noteworthy. Furthermore, the land contains many unique, more or less surviving pre-Christian hill forts, a significant number of still intact medieval castles and cathedrals, and the existence of a large number of manor homes from previous ages.

Cuisine

Historically, Estonian cuisine has been strongly affected by seasons and basic peasant fare, although it is now inspired by many nations. Today, it contains a wide variety of traditional foreign cuisines. In Estonia, the most common foods are black bread, pig, potatoes, and dairy products. Traditionally, Estonians like eating anything fresh throughout the summer and spring, including berries, herbs, veggies, and anything else fresh from the garden. Hunting and fishing have also been popular, but these activities are now mainly enjoyed as hobbies. Grilling outdoors in the summer is also extremely popular nowadays.

Traditionally, jams, preserves, and pickles are served at the table throughout the winter. Gathering and storing fruits, mushrooms, and vegetables for the winter has long been popular, but gathering and storing is becoming less frequent since everything can be purchased in shops. Preparing food for the winter, on the other hand, is still extremely popular in the rural.

How To Travel To Estonia

By planeTallinn serves as Estonia's primary international gateway. Aside from direct daily flights to/from all main Scandinavian (Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Oslo) and Baltic cities (Riga and Vilnius), there are direct flights from all major European hubs such as London, Frankfurt, Munich, Brussels, and Amsterdam, as well as regional hubs...

How To Travel Around Estonia

Because the local Eastern European style driving culture may be hazardous for the untrained, it is recommended to walk, bike, or use public transportation in Estonia.By busEstonia has a well-developed bus system that runs across the nation. A direct bus from Tallinn may take you to almost any place....

Visa & Passport Requirements for Estonia

The Schengen Agreement includes Estonia.Between nations that have signed and implemented the pact, there are usually no border restrictions. This covers the majority of the European Union as well as a few additional nations.Before boarding foreign planes or vessels, identification checks are typically performed. At land boundaries, there are...

Destinations in Estonia

Regions in EstoniaThe country of Estonia is split into 15 counties (or maakonnad, singular - maakond). In this guide, we utilize four different areas to highlight Estonia's unique features. Because Estonia is a tiny country, most places can be visited in a few hours from Tallinn.North EstoniaWith almost a...

Accommodation & Hotels in Estonia

Following the restoration of Estonian independence, the number of hotels has grown from a few to tens of thousands. Tallinn was top among Baltic Sea cities in terms of hotel overnight stays in 2004, although it was still behind Stockholm and Helsinki in terms of overall overnight stays.Following the...

Things To See in Estonia

Medieval history and manorsTallinn's Old Town is Europe's most preserved and well-protected medieval city and Estonia's top tourist destination. Its unique significance stems from its well-preserved (intact) medieval atmosphere and structure, which has been lost in other northern European cities. The Old Town has been on the UNESCO World...

Things To Do in Estonia

Film festivalsTallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF). November/December. The festival includes a feature film festival as well as animation, student film, and children/youth film sub-festivals.Music festivalsTallinn Music Week, Tallinn. Spring. Showcase festival with the goal of showcasing the finest and most remarkable Estonian artists over two nights in Tallinn's most dynamic live venues, as...

Food & Drinks in Estonia

Food in EstoniaEstonian cuisine is strongly influenced by German and Nordic cuisine. Verivorst, or black pudding, is the closest thing to a national meal, and it's paired with mulgikapsad, or sauerkraut stew.Many foods, such as hapukoor (smetana in Russian), a sour 20 percent-fat milk dressing for salads, particularly "kartulisalat"...

Money & Shopping in Estonia

CurrencyThe Estonian currency is the euro. It is one of many European nations that utilize the Euro. All euro banknotes and coins are legal tender across the EU.One euro is made up of 100 cents.The euro's official sign is €, and its ISO code is EUR. The cent does...

Festivals & Holidays in Estonia

HolidaysNational holiday : Independence Day, February 24th; on this day in 1918, the United States declared independence from Soviet Russia (20 August 1991 was the date of re-independence from the Soviet Union). The president hosts a big gala on February 24th for famous and significant members of society as well...

Traditions & Customs in Estonia

When meeting a stranger, Estonians in general are surprisingly reticent to begin with. They don't speak much in the way of social pleasantries or small chat; they just say what's appropriate. Once you've broken the ice, you'll find them to be open and honest.Estonians maintain a physical distance from...

Internet & Communications in Estonia

InternetTallinn and Tartu have extensive access to wireless, free internet.On the open road, you will often come across gas stations that also provide wireless internet connection.If you do not own a laptop, public libraries have free computers.The number of internet cafés is decreasing, although many are open nearly all...

Language & Phrasebook in Estonia

Estonian is the official language, which is linguistically extremely similar to Finnish and therefore unconnected to other neighboring languages including English. Many individuals in cities (particularly young ones) are fluent in English. According to a Eurobarometer survey conducted in 2005, 66% of Estonians can speak some Russian; nevertheless, fewer...

History Of Estonia

PrehistoryWhen the ice from the previous glacial period receded, human habitation in Estonia became conceivable 13,000 to 11,000 years ago. The Pulli village, located on the banks of the river Pärnu near the town of Sindi in south-western Estonia, is the country's earliest known habitation. It was settled about...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Estonia

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