Archive for the 'Estonia' Category

Worldwide Pop-up Restaurant Day August 17

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

An international idea celebrated in 50 countries, Restaurant Day is a food carnival created by food-loving people setting up one-day restaurants. The idea of the day is to have fun, share new food experiences and meet others in our community. People offer their family cuisine, favorite recipes, desserts or whatever in their backyard or a park.  Prices are very inexpensive.RestaurantDay

Check the maps to see if there is one in your city.

Date: Sunday, August 17

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Dinner in Tallinn – Cosmos Tour

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

The Cosmos dinner in Tallinn rates some stars as it was  scrumptious. It began with what we presumed was borscht (this being the Baltics after all) as it was red and seemed to have bits of cabbage floating, but it was more of a flavorful minestrone with a bit of a kick. There was a slab of crusty bread sitting in the middle with some soft cheese and olives on top.

The main course had slices of beef (with some beef gravy) and thinly sliced mixed vegetables sitting on a rich version of Lyonnaise potatoes.

Dessert was presented in a parfait glass which was filled with a good vanilla ice cream, raspberry sherbet, a dollop of caramel sauce and a tuile rising out of the top – simple, pretty and a perfect ending.

Estonian Beer – Cosmos Tour

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Saku BeerBrewing at  Saku Brewery was first documented in October 1820. It was owned by count Karl Friedrich Rehbinder who built a distillery and a brewery on his estate.  Saku still is among the  most popular beers  in Estonia. Beer was already known in present-day Estonia between 500 and 1000 A.D.

Renting Tallinn Bikes – Cosmos Tour

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

To rent a bike in Tallinn, Estonia after you have located a bike stand, you call a phone number, give them you credit card number, and then they give you a code to release that bike. When done, you call them again and they charge you for time used.

First Newspaper In Estonia – Cosmos Tour

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Johann Voldemar Jannsen was an Estonian journalist and poet who wrote the words of the Estonian national anthem, Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm, (My Fatherland). In 1864, Jannsen also managed to persuade the Imperial censors to allow him to publish the first national Estonian language newspaper Postimees (The Courier) which is still published today in an online version.

As the leader of the choral society which organized the first nationwide Song Festival in Tartu in 1869, Jannsen played a crucial role in the Estonian National Awakening (every festival closed with his song, My Fatherland. Look for the blog called “Estonia Sings for Freedom” about this.)

Jannsen was the father of the poet Lydia Emilie Florentine Jannsen, who had to use the pen name of Lydia Koidula. Lydia wrote for her father’s newspapers, but had to use a different name because in the mid nineteenth century (in Estonia and in Europe) it was not considered suitable for a lady to be a writer.

Estonia Sings for Freedom – Cosmos Tour

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

The Singing Revolution from 1987 to 1991 was  a series of mass demonstrations featuring spontaneous singing.

Estonia is a singing nation: every town has a choir, and their boys’ choirs are well known. Every 5 years there is a major singing event in all the parks where people dress in native costumes and sing their little hearts out.

On May 14, 1988, the first expression of national feeling occurred during the Tartu Pop Music Festival. Five patriotic songs were first performed here and people linked their hands together, and a tradition began. In June in Tallinn people at the Old Town Festival moved to the Song Festival Grounds and similarly started to spontaneously sing patriotic songs together.

On September 11, 1988, a massive song festival, “Song of Estonia”, was held at the Tallinn Song Festival Arena where 300,000 people came  (more than a quarter of all Estonians); even  political leaders were participating actively, and were for the first time insisting on the restoration of independence. On November 16, 1988, the legislative body of Estonia issued the Estonian Sovereignty Declaration.

The Singing Revolution lasted over four years, with various protests and acts of defiance. In 1991, as Soviet tanks attempted to stop the progress towards independence, the Estonian Supreme Soviet together with the Congress of Estonia proclaimed the restoration of the independent state of Estonia and repudiated Soviet legislation. People acted as human shields to protect radio and TV stations from the Soviet tanks. Amazingly, through these actions Estonia regained its independence without any bloodshed.

Finnish TV in Soviet Union – Cosmos Tour

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Since Finland is so close to Estonia, it was possible to catch some non-Soviet, free world TV on the northern shores. More truth was learned here than what was permitted on Soviet television.

Perhaps this window on the free world helped set off the “Singing Revolution” where 200,00 Estonians sang patriotic songs and it was broadcast. This eventually led to independence from the Soviet Union.

Prosperous Estonia – Cosmos Tour

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Estonia was the most prosperous part of the Soviet Union.

Mart Laar, Young Estonian Statesman – Cosmos Tour

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Mart Laar Estonian became Estonia’s Prime Minister at the tender age of 32 in Oct 1992 and held the office twice. He is credited with successful major economic reforms transforming Estonia from a Soviet way of life to a free economy.

He abolished subsidies and import duties, created a flat income tax of 26% and started social security. He made it easy to do business there. A new company could be up and running in 2 weeks. Ericsson, Nokia phones are produced here and Skype was invented in Tallinn.

His leadership helped rank Estonia as the least corrupt country in the post-communist region and the Heritage Foundation / Wall Street Journal index qualified Estonia as the most economically free in all of Europe.