Estonian history

Estonian beliefs and rituals carried on by Jaanipäev

Along with Christmas, Jaaniõhtu (Midsummer Eve – 23 June) and Jaanipäev (Midsummer Day, St John’s Day – 24 June) are the most important holidays in the Estonian calendar – people around the country will gather with their families, or at larger events to celebrate with singing, dancing and lighting the bonfires, as …

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Estonia’s former prime minister Mart Laar awarded the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom

The Washington-based Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation has awarded the former Estonian prime minister, Mart Laar, the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom for his role and work in exposing the atrocities of the communist regimes. A historian by academic qualification, Laar has over the years drawn attention to and written about …

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Celebrations in St Petersburg mark 100 years from the demonstration of Estonians

Celebrations will be held in St Petersburg, Russia, to mark the passing of 100 years from the demonstration of Estonians in support of their country’s autonomy. The 1917 Russian revolution and the generally unstable situation in the country created the opportunity for Estonians to demand self-governance. The impetus for independence …

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VIDEO: A historian debunks the myth of the golden age of the Baltics in the Soviet Union

Watch Gatis Krumins, a Latvian historian, debunk the myth that the Soviet occupation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania was the golden age for those countries and their peoples. When the Baltic countries were occupied by the Soviet Union, the people in these countries – Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians – were …

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The very first Estonian feminists – Lilli Suburg and Marie Reisik

As we celebrate the international women’s day, it is worth to take a look at the stories of two strong and highly influential women who played the leading roles in Estonian women’s rights movement in the 19th and 20th century. In anticipation of Estonia’s 100th birthday in 2018, there are …

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One-minute lecture: Why is the number of Finno-Ugric peoples decreasing?

According to the census, there are 9,614 “other” Finno-Ugric people living in Estonia: Erzyas, Mokshas, Udmurts, Komis, Karelians, Maris, Hungarians, Finns, Ingrians and many others. Overall, there are around 25 million Finno-Ugrians in the world. Still, the number of those who speak Finno-Ugric languages keeps declining, says doctor Natalia Abrosimova …

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Austria’s new president has Estonian ancestry

Alexander Van der Bellen, whose mother was Estonian, has won Austria’s presidential election, preventing Norbert Hofer from becoming the EU’s first far-right head of state. The election on 4 December was a re-run of May’s poll which suffered irregularities in the postal vote. Van der Bellen, who was backed by the …

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