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Minority report: the plight of Estonia’s ethnic Swedes

Estonia’s Swedes survived revolution, invasion and exile. Their struggles tell the story of 20th-century Europe. In 1993 I found myself living on a former collective farm in a remote border protection zone in western Estonia. The place was like small collective farms everywhere in the Soviet Union: there was a …

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20 pictures of Soviet-era Estonia

Tomas Alexandersson, a young Swede, who moved to Tallinn, started collecting the postcards and travel brochures of the Soviet-era Estonia, ultimately dedicating an entire website to it. During the Soviet occupation of Estonia, there was only one official travel agency in the Soviet Union – Intourist. Founded in 1929 by …

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The world’s biggest sauna marathon to take place in Estonia

For the past six years, the Estonian winter capital, Otepää, has played host to a sauna marathon where hundreds of competitors sweat to visit as many of the outposts as possible in the shortest time. The European Sauna Marathon, as it’s called, will be held for the sixth time on …

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An expat in Tallinn, Scott Diel, tells Estonians to “dream bigger”

In “Expats corner” we catch up with foreigners who live or have lived in Estonia, to find out what they really think of the country. Scott Diel, originally from the United States, is a colourful and charismatic writer and journalist who runs Slothrop’s – the first and only second-hand English/foreign language …

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The most important events for Estonia in 2014 – as chosen by Estonian World

Estonian World’s authors choose the events that have, in their opinion, shaped the life of Estonians and their country most this year.   Claire Millard “Koos” “Koos” – shorthand for kooseluseadus, the civil partnership act, which passed this year into a law in Estonia. Translated directly as “living together law”, …

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Christmas traditions in Estonia

Christmas time is still the most important holiday celebrated in Estonia. For Estonians, Christmas is a mixture of the traditional, the modern, the secular and the religious.* Like in other Nordic countries, Estonia’s celebration of Christmas mostly falls on Christmas Eve; however, Christmas season starts from the first Advent with …

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