Something about this fascinating country draws me in. The culture is deeply rooted in the past yet vibrant and thriving in the present. Tallinn itself shows the bringing together of old and new with skyscrapers standing tall behind the old medieval town.
I’m so thankful for my new friend Anu and the help she’s been in introducing me to more of the Estonian culture, the real culture, not just the stuff you read on Wikipedia. Yesterday she sent a link to the “Estonian Night Song Festival” Apparently this is a song known by all Estonians and they are a people who love to sing, so much so that they’ve been having song festivals since 1869! We listened to this passionate tribute this morning before our busy Tuesday began and I felt even more connected to these beautiful people. You can tell that this nation has been through a lot, as is evident in their history of being ruled by other nations, but perhaps that has brought the people together in a way that we in America can’t understand.
Other things about Estonia intrigue me as well, like the fact that it’s almost 50% forest and that in 2011 Tallinn will be the European Capital of Culture. There are also over 1,500 islands in Estonia. I just can’t wait to visit again some day! Hopefully before then I’ll be able to say a few things in Estonian, but it sounds like the language is quite difficult to learn.
One word I have learned, thanks to my friend, Anu, is Tervitades—wishing all the best. She signs it at the end of every email. I love it.