Life

Stories about Estonians

My grandmother’s shoes, my grandfather’s hat – my rediscovery of Tartu

My grandparents grew up in Tartu, leaving after WWII to escape the Soviet occupation. This is a little story of  how I rediscovered the intellectual capital of Estonia. I was shocked when my Canadian university approved my visiting student application. To Tartu? Really? Many Canadians couldn’t even point to Estonia …

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Thoughts about Estonia from an Englishman’s perspective

At the forefront of the English persons outlook on life is to wonder what others think about what they do. I wouldn’t say that this is absent from a typical Estonian viewpoint, but it certainly doesn’t seem to be so important. To me this denotes a lack of insecurity, something that the …

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The story behind “Kati and me” – adventure, friendship and meeting Canadian Estonians

Reelika Virunurm explores the story behind “Kati and me” – how an Estonian girl called “Kati” prompted a Canadian couple to visit Estonia, fall in love with the country, and make a short film about it – the film which has become an internet sensation in last few weeks. It …

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Sir Malcolm Bruce: Estonia is clearly a Nordic country

Interview with Sir Malcolm Bruce, British Liberal Democrat member of parliament (MP) for Gordon (Scotland), Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Estonia, and Chair of the Select Committee on International Development. “Do you speak any Estonian?” is the first thing Sir Malcolm Bruce MP asks me, and I reply …

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For U.S. Diplomat, Culture Shock after Estonia Stint

A U.S. ambassador returned home after decades abroad to disappointingly observe that his country was less technologically developed than one of Europe’s smallest states kept for decades behind the Iron Curtain. Michael C. Polt is back in the U.S. after a 35-year diplomatic career. He most recently served as the …

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A day in student’s life in Tartu: What Irina saw out of the window

This day in Tartu, like many others, starts and ends at Ruunipizza. Apart from offering heavenly pancakes with honey and nuts, this is, strangely enough, the only place in the whole city where I can actually get studying done. Over time I have turned into the person who hovers outside …

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How chili peppers made Estonia famous at The Economist

Chili peppers are not part of Estonian cuisine. But they have helped make some of Estonia’s most distinguished sons and daughters famous at the Economist magazine. I should begin by explaining that my enthusiasm for all things Estonian is not my only eccentricity. Among the others are obsessive interests in …

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