CULTURE

Due to its rich and diverse history, Estonia has always been a melting point of different cultures. The emphasis on maintaining its cultural identity has helped the country also in difficult times.

Estonians have always had close connections with the Nordic countries, with the deep cultural and religious influences gained over centuries during Scandinavian colonization and settlement.

Estonia places great emphasis upon education and valorises highly its cultural heritage and traditions with the diverse and distinct folklore.  In 1944 when the elite of Estonian culture fled to exile where it continued to prosper, in Estonia the greatest part of cultural people performed silent opposition. Therefore the Russian culture has not had an important influence on Estonians as one might think. With Finland, however, Estonia has the same tune of its national anthem and the national epics have similar characters. 

CULTURE

ESTONIAN CHARACTER

Estonians are spiritual people who do care gently and deeply about their land and therefore are able to offer guests the unique gift of harmonious and pure nature. Due to the Nordic life that is tightly related with the changing seasons, Estonians are more introvert in cold and snowy winters and very energetic and communicative during warm and light summers.

Estonians are very cultured people and value highly their poetry, folk songs and literature, but also pay homage to technology and science. They do like scientifically confirmed arguments, but are open to technological innovations and progress being always in the battle between a sense of adventure and conservatism.

Estonians are also characterised by their sense of humour, irony and self-irony, sometimes even mockery. One of the most famous Estonian poetesses Viivi Luik says that Estonian humour is blacker than that of the English and is mostly gallows humour. Behind the brave facade of Estonian irony lurks eternal nostalgia and a tender heart. For generation upon generation, Estonians have learnt to be fighting fit, even in the most hopeless circumstances.

 

LANGUAGE

La lingua estone deriva dal ceppo ugro-finnico, di cui fanno parte anche l’ungherese e il finlandese. Si può dire che il finlandese e l’estone sono simili come lo spagnolo e l’italiano. Lettone e lituano fanno parte del ceppo linguistico indoeuropeo e sono simili tra loro, ma del tutto diversi dall’estone.

È una credenza errata quella che l’estone sia simile al russo. Il russo è una lingua slava e utilizza caratteri cirillici. Chiunque abbia più di 30 anni ha studiato il russo come materia obbligatoria, quindi si tratta di una seconda lingua per la generazione più adulta, anche se gli estoni lo parlano con riluttanza. I più giovani studiano, come seconda lingua, l’inglese.

L’identità estone è strettamente legata alla sua lingua. Gli estoni sono orgogliosi di parlare una splendida lingua che è lingua madre di appena 1.1 milione di persone in tutto il mondo.

 

Ciao

Tere / Tsau (informale)

Arrivederci

Head aega / Nägemist

Per favore 

Palun
Grazie

Tänan / Aitäh (informale)

Scusa

Vabandust

Si

Jah

No

Ei

Buon appetito!

Head isu!

Salute!

Terviseks!

 

LANGUAGE

MUSIC

The role of music and singing has throughout the centuries been of the greatest importance for the preservation of the Estonian nation, culture and identity.

The most famous cultural ambassador of Estonia is undoubtedly Arvo Pärt – one of the most prominent sacred music composer in the world.

Other internationally known and recognized musicians are Erki-Sven Tüür, Neeme Järvi, Tõnu Kaljuste, Lepo Sumera, Veljo Tormis, Rudolf Tobias and many others.  Estonia can boast with a list of world-class classical music singers and conductors.

LITERATURE

Estonia's greatest writers are Anton Hansen Tammsaare, Eduard Vilde, Marie Under, Betti Alver, Friedebert Tuglas and Karl Ristikivi.

The best-known and most translated Estonian author is Jaan Kross, who has several times been nominated for the Nobel Price on Literature. His historical novels paint a realistic picture of the fate of the Estonian people and their relations with the Baltic Germans and Russians.

The most popular contemporary authors are Jaan Kaplinski, Andrus Kivirähk and Tõnu Õnnepalu.

LITERATURE
LITERATURE
LITERATURE

ARTS

One of the best known Estonian artists is Jüri Arrak whose distinguished and recognizable style and use of mythological themes has brought him international fame with his works exhibited throughout the world.

Venice Biennial has played an important role in introducing Estonian modern art to the wider audience where Estonia has been represented by the most internationally well-known Estonian avant-guard artists Jaan Toomik and Ene-Liis Semper, as well as by Marco Laimre, Kaido Ole, and Marko Mäetamm.

DESIGN

Il design estone è un mix appassionante di tecnologia e tradizione. La bravura dei designers estoni nel collegare la conoscenza e le antiche tradizioni degli antenati nordici con una visione moderna, ricca di innovazione e tecnologia high –tech, lo rende unico nel suo genere. Lo caratterizzano l’efficienza nordica e la semplicità ascetica unita alla giocosità dell’Occidente, ed una serie di soluzioni scelte per giungere alla perfezione.

FASHION

Estonia is especially fortunate with many young talented fashion designers and pomp fashion shows.

Tiina Talumees, one of the most renown Estonian fashion designers, mixes tailor-made and haute-couture pieces: women’s suits, cocktail and evening dresses, overcoats, wedding gowns.

Riina Põldroos with Aldo Järvsoo and Ketlin Bachman have created the Embassy of Fashion label and have always been forerunners of Estonian fashion.

Liisi Eesmaa and Karolin Kuusik present Tallinn Dolls creative fashion team concentrated more to wearable fashion clothes. 

Reet Aus is a fashion, theatre and film designer who has committed to living a “chemical-free lifestyle” and “recycling every material possible” by injecting new life to discarded garments, production leftovers and other materials cast aside by the industry. Even Hollywood actress Lucy Liu has been spotted buying her design. 

Tanel Veenre is a brightly shining star in the international fashion world with his genuine art of jewellery. Often in his way from San Francisco to Istanbul to inaugurate his next exhibition, stopping in Munich to take some artist prize, he passes Tallinn to give lectures to young art students or to write in the most important cultural publications.

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