The Estonian President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, recently invited Estonian children to take part in an art competition, “All the Good Things in Estonia”. Almost 12,000 drawings were submitted from all over the country.
“With your child, think about what makes Estonia a good place in which to live. We can enjoy both big and small things – our culture, traditions, nature and family, next of kin and friends – everything is important,” Ilves said, inviting the country’s children to participate. “In ten to fifteen years, the children of today will be shaping our country. I am extremely interested in learning about their perspective on Estonia.” The call to participate was sent to all schools and kindergartens, as well as hobby groups and shelters.
Almost 12,000 drawings were submitted. Despite Estonia’s image as an IT-tiger, where kids are taught to code from day one at school, the technological success has not heavily entered into children’s folklore yet – Estonia’s first satellite EstCube is depicted quite a few times, but Skype has inspired just a single aspiring artist.
Most children appreciate Estonia’s relatively unspoilt nature, wildlife and clean environment, but natural food, four seasons, cultural and singing and dancing traditions are also clearly in children’s minds. Naturally, one’s own family and pets, as well as schools are also held in high esteem.
EstonianWorld took a look at few thousands of submitted drawings and chose a selection of some more distinctive ones:
Aliise Talvik (9) likes the folk traditions.
Anete Raabe (9) likes Jaanipäev (St John’s Day) and the singing and dancing traditions.
Alois Andreas Põdra clearly thinks that the countryside and a proper winter is something to be proud of.
Andreas Hubel (11) has taken a notice of Estonia’s first satellite, EstCube.
Estonia is very rainbow-coloured for Alina Aleksejeva (9).
Agnete Markus (13) appreciates the country’s traditional folk designs and patterns.
It’s all about Estonia’s summer and her pet for Anette Teresa Adramees (7).
“Our cows are healthy and our milk is good!” From Anette Hendrikson (11).
Aron Allik (8) believes in the capabilities of Estonian Defence Forces.
“It’s all about the nature.” By Anu-Kristel Unt (11).
“Four seasons!” By Brianna Mumma (8).
Estonia’s New Year’s Eve fireworks have clearly impressed Carmen Lee Kuurmaa (5).
“Hmm, which one today?” Brittany Korkma (11) has noticed Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves’ love for bow ties.
Daniil Kovõtsev (8) likes Estonian wildlife. An occasional turtle has also found itself on the Estonian waters.
Tallinn is the world for arty Elis-Gret Mkrtumova (16). Or is she leaving?
Proper winter, nice summer with yummy strawberries. By Elise Pani (10).
“Who said that you’d have to go to Paris to find fresh bakeries? We have few just around the corner here, in Estonia.” By Emma Vill (12)
Plenty of land. By Enelin Leichter (15).
Fredrik (17) likes the singing nation.
Estelle Peek (3) holds her family and Estonian summer in highest esteem.
Stylish friends make it for Greta Ruga from Tallinn, even in autumn.
No, it’s not Saint Lucia. The cruise ships regularly stop in Tallinn or Saaremaa ports. But Estonia also has its own shipping company, Tallink. By Georgi Potjomkin (9).
Gunnar Pihlak (13) likes the song festivals.
The barn swallow is the national bird of Estonia. By Hanna Keeman (13).
Enjoying the winter activities. By Hanna-Liisa Sarik (10).
“Do you know that there’s a song festival in Estonia?” By Heili Alljärv (4).
Heilika Ventsel (12) has been charmed by autumn colours.
“That’s us, that’s Estonia.” By Henriette-Solweig Hiiemäe (15).
Slightly abstract view of Estonia’s nature by Ines Themas (12).
“We don’t have natural disasters, radioactivity, poisonous snakes nor 9/11 in Estonia!” By Jakup Põlgaste.
“And tonight, I’ll give you…a song festival!” By Iraida Ljamtseva (11).
Estonia’s time-clock is ticking – in four years time it will celebrate its 100th birthday. By Kaarel Lipping (9).
Wooden architecture and unspoiled nature. By Karin Kosemets (14).
Estonian balloons make Toomas Tomberg’s day.
Kauri Kastein (12) cannot live without Tallinn sprats.
Kevin Vahemets (12) has also been inspired by the EstCube, Estonia’s satellite.
Klaudia Kalme (8) loves Lotte, a children’s animation character.
The friendship with other people is the most important for Kristina Alas (7).
Ksenja Randver (8) also values summer fun.
The blue cornflower, Estonia’s national flower. By Laura Lill (6).
Nature, nature, nature. By Linda Heero (12).
Loore Luste (9) appreciates Estonian children’s books.
The barn swallow. By Mailis-Heleen Maastik (13).
Margit Lepik from Tallinn has taken a more surrealist view.
Wild forests. No, they are not that scary, actually. By Marijoola Uuspalu (12).
Naughty characters from the Estonian children literature. By Marta Kostusev (10).
“Our own language, history, wildlife, and people.” By Merilin Tali (12).
The singing culture. By Merris Kivisoo (15).
“Big mysterious fish; the barn swallow; and the President.” By Miia Margaret Tampere (6).
“Estonian mouse is also special.” By Miina Pikkov (5).
One of the wild Estonian lynxes has decided to dress up for the occasion. By Mirell Morozov (12).
Wild storks. By Mirko Hein (13).
A book character Sipsik, a cheerful rag doll. By Natalja Aleksandrova (11).
Nele Rammi from Laeva depicts an abstract view of winter.
The sun is blue, black and white on the Estonian Independence Day. By Remi Raudnagel (3).
“Be united.” By Sandra Merila (13).
Estonian music and sporting heroes have been noticed by Sarah and Sandra Liivo (6).
By Selene-Rete Mägi (6).
Estonian sauna culture. By Sigrid Barnabas (8).
The Estonian wildlife has turned…very wild for Sigrid Kinguste (14).
The sea. By Taavi Markus Põdra (10).
The sheep have found a good home. By Teele Eskor (12).
Estonia has its own brands, too! By Triinu Orgmäe (12).
In touch with its traditions and culture, yet modern and hi-tech in the same time. By Triinu Sepp (15).
The future Dali? From the youngest participant, Joonas Napritson (1).
Tallinn is the world for Vikorija Bolezina (8).
Cover photo by Henriette Solweig-Hiiemäe (15). Photos courtesy of the Office of the President. You can see all the drawings here.