Estonian World’s twelve most popular stories in 2021

Entering our tenth year, we take a look back at the twelve most popular articles, published by Estonian World in 2021.

First of all, as an independently run media outlet in a challenging media landscape, we at Estonian World thank all of our supporters and patrons – we wouldn’t be here without you!

As one of Estonia’s most global media outlets, Estonian World last year had readers from 230 countries and territories – all the way from Estonia to the Pacific island of Tuvalu. Most readers came from Estonia, the US, the UK, Finland, Canada, Germany, Australia, Sweden, the Netherlands and France.

Last year, Estonian World published 400 articles and stories. We take a look back at the twelve most popular articles in 2021, published by Estonian World (click on the headline to open the article).

Estonia becomes the only country in the world led by women

Kaja Kallas (photo by Ronet Tänav) and Kersti Kaljulaid (photo by Eleri Ever). The collage by Estonian World.

On 26 January, at sunrise – 8:44 AM to be precise – Estonia became the only country in the world that was then led by women: both the elected president, Kersti Kaljulaid (Kaljulaid wasn’t elected for the second term; instead, Alar Karis was elected the new president in August), and the elected prime minister, Kaja Kallas, were female.

The most popular article in Estonian World in 2021, it was read across the world by over 80,000 people.

The Baltic Finns were Vikings too, but the world ignores it

“Guests from Overseas” (1901) by Nicholas Roerich, depicting a Viking raid. Public domain (Wikipedia).

The Estonian archaeologist, Marika Mägi, argues that the Baltic Finns – the people who lived in the territories of modern Finland and Estonia – were Vikings, too, but the world ignores this fact.

This story was originally published in collaboration with Research in Estonia in 2020 – but it proved to be one of those timeless articles that are read in years to come.

Twenty historic pictures of Estonia and its people, restored in colour

A boy by the Port of Tallinn, 1930s.

The history of photography is about two hundred years old, but colour photography has been the dominant form of photography for only about fifty years – since the 1970s.

Colour makes us perceive the image we view as more realistic and thanks to new technologies, it is now possible to colorise black and white photos pretty well. The Estonian photo enthusiast, Hanno Puskar, is colorising old black and white photos of Estonia and its people. Estonian World brought you a selection of his work.

This is another article that was published by Estonian World in 2020, but is eternally popular.

The Estonian-invented anti-COVID nasal spray to hit the shelves

Nasal and throat spray SARS-CoV-2 BioBlock. Photo by manufacturer.

The Estonian-invented anti-COVID-19 nasal spray was approved to be put on sale; the product hit the shelves in Estonia on 3 May.

The spray was developed in cooperation between Estonian companies, the University of Tartu and the Estonian University of Life Sciences. It’s a nasal and throat spray based on the antibodies against the novel coronavirus and the developers say it may help prevent infection.

British-Estonian movie “Firebird” to premiere at the London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival

A screenshot from “Firebird”.

British-Estonian movie “Firebird”, a debut feature by Estonian director Peeter Rebane, premiered at the BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival in March.

“Firebird” tells a love story set at the height of the Cold War, where a troubled soldier (Tom Prior) forms a forbidden love triangle with a daring fighter pilot (Oleg Zagorodnii) and his female comrade (Diana Pozharskaya) amid the dangerous surroundings of an air base in the Soviet-occupied Estonia.

Thirty exquisite maps to teach a great deal about Estonia

Population in Estonia. Data: Estonian Statistics. Map by Evelyn Uuemaa.

Geographers from the University of Tartu participated in a global 30-day map challenge, creating thirty maps of Estonia.

Video: An Estonian MP enjoying an e-ciggy and music during parliament’s debate – in his bed

Tarmo Kruusimäe, an MP of the Isamaa party, enjoying an e-ciggy and music during parliament’s debate – in his bed.

While the Estonian parliament, Riigikogu, held a debate on climate change, Tarmo Kruusimäe, an MP of the Isamaa party and a former punk rocker, had a better idea; although he had previously stated he wanted to ask a question during the debate, when his turn came, he was seen enjoying an e-cigarette and music in his bed – showing no interest in asking a question.

Estonia’s prime minister Jüri Ratas resigns, Kaja Kallas asked to form the government

Jüri Ratas and Kaja Kallas on the balcony of Stenbock House, the seat of the Estonian prime ministers. Photo by Stenbock House.

On 13 January, Jüri Ratas, the Estonian prime minister and the head of the Centre Party, resigned, following the party’s suspected criminal involvement in a corruption case, bringing an end to the coalition government that included the populist Estonian Conservative People’s Party, also known as EKRE.

On 25 January, Kaja Kallas became Estonia’s first female prime minister.

A hundred facts about Estonia

The world’s first underwater draughts tournament was held in January 2011 in Valtu, near the Estonian town of Rapla. The event was attended by 52 Estonian divers and made it into the Guinness Book of Records.

Estonian World compiled, with the help of its co-authors, a list of a hundred facts about the country – some known, but some perhaps even surprising. The third article in this list that was originally published years before – back in 2018.

New discoveries place a question mark on the official MS Estonia disaster report

MS Estonia’s recovered bow visor, stored at the Muskö Naval Base in Sweden. Photo by Anneli Karlsson, shared under the Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 licence.

Two unrelated discoveries place a question mark on the cause of the sinking of MS Estonia and one of them – by a Swedish expert group – does not rule out an explosion; the Estonian-Swedish ferry sank on 28 September 1994.

Women’s épée team delivers Estonia’s first Olympic gold medal in 13 years

The Estonian team of Irina Embrich, Katrina Lehis, Julia Beljajeva and Erika Kirpu took the women’s épée team gold. Photo by the Estonian Olympic Committee.

The Estonian team of Katrina Lehis, Julia Beljajeva, Erika Kirpu and Irina Embrich won the women’s épée team gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. It was Estonia’s first gold medal at an Olympic Games since Beijing 2008.

Pictures: Tallinn Airport through the ages

Tallinn Airport’s new terminal in 1980. Photo by Tallinn Airport.

Tallinn Airport celebrated its 85th birthday in 2021 – the airport was established by Lake Ülemiste on 20 September 1936; Estonian World brought you a selection of pictures taken of the airport and the aircraft over the past eight decades.

Cover: Collage by Estonian World.

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