Writer Justinas Žilinskas challenged his Facebook followers today by saying that, as we commemorate anniversaries of the Baltic Chain, the longest human chain recorded, we still hardly know anything that is happening in other Baltic countries. We hardly ever listen to Baltic music or know the names of other countries′ leaders. Some of his followers commented how they actually have a grasp of all things Baltic. A part of my job is to follow what happens around the Baltics, so I′ll use the opportunity to share some links (without much research, just some things that come to mind). Continue reading
Estonia is often presented as Lithuania’s archetypical competitor, and, judging from many media reports, it seems that the main goal for Lithuania is to be ahead of Estonia one day. Personally, I grew up with my dad’s stories from Tallinn, after he did an internship there in the 1970s, about how Estonia was more western in many ways. Access to Finnish radio was important in forming this impression. Also, Estonia was the second foreign country I ever visited – at the time there were still passport controls at the border, but Finnish tourists were already flocking there to drink. I remember Scandinavian-style dormitories in Tartu, the casual style of Estonians even in rather formal events, and their straightforward talk, in sharp contrast to mainstream Lithuanian habits. I visited Estonia again in 2007 and 2009, and each trip was full of surprises. In 2007, my friend and I discovered a shop offering very interesting, even provocative, jewellery designs. In 2009 I tasted hot chocolate with sea salt, and a cocktail consisting of a shot of vodka, lots of lemon, brown sugar and hot water. This year I was curious to see what surprises this trip will bring.
Ready – aim – shoot!Continue reading
It’s a bit more than an hour since I returned from a lovely trip to Estonia, and I want to start from the freshest impressions. Those come from Tartu, the second largest city in Estonia. Tartu is known as a student city with a laid-back character. Everything is more or less within a walking distance, so Tartu people consider everything far if it can only be accessed with public transport. Tartu is biking-friendly, with many comfortable open spaces.