Estonia- A cool country with warm heart


ESTONIA- A cool country with a warm heart

What is the best expression of Estonia’s character? Is it the grey limestone, used in the walls of medieval houses and churches, that pushes its way through the soil and takes the form of majestic cliffs when it reaches the sea. The Baltic Sea, which touches the beaches of Estonia’s thousand islands, sometimes gently, sometimes angrily. The forest, which cover the whole country and has for centuries provided Estonians with a roof over their heads, warmth and a place of refuge. Excitement about the melting of the snow and the touch of the warm spring sun on one’s face- an indescribable joy that one can only fully comprehend in a northern country. The Midsummer Night bonfire on the beach or in a meadow, the enhancement of white summer nights when the sun only sets for a moment… The three colors of the Estonian flag- blue representing the sky, black the soil and white the snow. Or perhaps the hard work, thirst for education, perseverance and stubbornness of a million people, whose greatest monument is the Estonian nation itself- which has survived all of its conquerors and difficult times.

At the end of the day, it is people who shape the face of their country. Estonians are not light-hearted, but that is what is interesting! We do not praise without reason, but at the same time we never forget real friends. In this country, level-headedness and good judgement are highly respected- “Measure nine times, cut once, “says the Estonian proverb. We want everything to be better, and we sometimes even strive too hard to achieve that”.

“Still water runs deep” says the Estonian proverb. Estonian humour is apparently distinctive- there have not been many periods in history when we have been able to breathe and speak freely. Living on the edge of Scandinavia, on the border between East and West, has made us not only serious, but also flexible and creative, and also quite cheerful! Thus Estonians are definitely not just serious and modest- the old and dignified Hanseatic city Tallinn is gradually becoming the entertainment capital of Northern Europe, although good food, cold beer, hot saunas and adventures in nature can be enjoyed throughout Estonia. It is not accidental that Estonians are eager Internet surfers and keen mobile phone users. They are also responsible for inventing and applying new solutions- in order to make life even more comfortable and save even more time for communication, enjoying life with one’s friends and relatives or instead perhaps being alone.

What one sees when travelling around in the city and in the country is inseparable from our history. Estonians are among the oldest peoples in Europe, and they already lived in their home by the Baltic Sea when the first pyramids were being built in Egypt. Estonia has an extraordinary building of its own- in the 16th century Oleviste Church, whose tower is 159 metres high, was the highest in the world.

Since the 13th century, we have been conquered and ruled by Germans, Danes, Swedes, Poles and Russians- but they also left some good legacies. As members of the powerful Hanseatic League, Estonia’s cities flourished, and throughout the country there arose not only manors and fortifications for the conquerors, but also churches, monasteries and schools. The Republic of Estonia was declared on 24 February 1918, and for a little over twenty years, the people felt enthusiasm and happiness about their home, work, children and creative work. In 1940, in accordance with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the Soviet Union forcibly annexed this small, peaceful Baltic country and occupied it for nearly half a century. The existing way of life was destroyed, and the Communist terror that was launched meant, among other things, mass deportations and the elimination of dissidents. The occupation arrested the development of most areas of the country’s  life, which until then had been at the same level as that of Finand.

In 1991 Estonians regained their independence, during the “singing revolution”, and reassumed their place in Europe and the world. In 2004, the Republic of Estonia became a member of the European Union and NATO. Today Estonia, which has chosen the path of decisive reforms is attempting to strike a balance between nature and modern technology, dynamic economic development and social security, openness and its historical roots. Estonia has become one of the most successful e-countries in Europe, and a hotbed of new ideas and solutions in the areas of Internet banking, the raising of efficiency on production, communication between citizen and state, and entertainment.

Estonia has no high mountains, great plains or deep canyons. Estonia is, however, larger on the inside that it is on the outside- such diversity in landscape types, vegetation, seasons, weather and moods cannot be found in many places. In addition to modern amenities and its vibrant nightlife, there is still an abundance of unspoiled nature, air and space in Estonia- room for everyone to be himself. Estonia is above all a country where everything has a human dimension- nothing is too big or too insignificant to attract attention. It is a place where history and the present meet in a genuine and personal manner; a country that is not yet finished- where life does not stand still, where people are open and curious, and tomorrow always promises to be better than the previous day.

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