Estonia is at the same latitude in Europe as central Sweden and the northern tip of Scotland.
The most part of surface is relatively flat — almost two thirds of the territory lies less than 50 m above sea level. The highest point is the mountain Munamägi (Mountain - Egg, the name corrispondes with the form) 317 m above sea level, in the southeast of the country.
There are more than 1500 lakes (about 1/10 part of the territory) and more than 1000 islands (about 1/20 part of the territory) in Estonia. The biggest in size island is Saaremaa island (2900 sq. km), the second is Hiiumaa island, follow Muhu and Vormsi.
The islands and coastal areas of Estonia are on the migratory route for waterfowl. In spring and autumn incalculable quantity of birds stop in Estonia.
The largest of lakes is the lake Peipsi (name in Estonian) – Chudzkoe (name in Russian), which is the fourth largest freshwater lake in Europe, it is situated on the border with Russia.
The biggest city is Tallinn - Estonia's capital, it’s well-preserved medieval city. There are about 400.000 inhabitants in Tallinn. Other important towns are Tartu (about 101 140 inhabitants), Pärnu (about 45 040 inhabitants) , Narva (68 117) and Kohtla – Järve (45 500) . The country is divided into 15 counties and there are 47 towns.
Estonian language belongs to the Finno-Ugric language family, it’s radiccaly different from Russian and from other Baltic languages (Latvian and Lituanian). Estonian is written in the Roman alphabet and not in Cyrillic one, there are some more letters than in English: ä, ö, õ, ü. Estonian and Finnish resembles one another. Ungarian is very unlike. There are two dialects – the southern and the northern.
The Estonian coat of arms was officially accepted in 1925 – the three blue lions on a gold shield circled by two gold oak’s branches. In heraldy the lion is the symbol of courage and authority, of power and nobility. For the first time the image of lions was used in 1219 (during the Danish dominion) as part of the coat of arms of the city of Tallinn.
The Estonian flag is composed with three strips: black, blue and white – these are the national and folk colors of Estonia. Just in the ancient times sacred trees were decorated with ribbons in these colors. In 1881 the Estonian Students' Union adopted blue, black and white as the colours of their movement for independece and at the end of that century the colours became the symbol of the nation. In 1920 these colors became the offical national flag.
The blue color means the sky and loyalty to one's homeland, the black color means the soil and laboriousness, tbe white one – purity, simplicity and light future.
Estonia and Finland are united with the anthemn - the tune for the both national anthems is identical and was written by Finnish composer Frederick Pacius. The words were written by Johan Voldemar Jannsen – the father of famous Estonian poetess Lidia Koidula.
The Estonian national flower is the cornflower (blue color), the national bird is the swallow (black and white colors) and the national stone is the limestone.
During the Soviet times, from 1940 to 1991, the Estonian national symbols were prohibited, the specially created Soviet Estonians symbols were used – that’s why many Estonians hate the Soviet symbols in every its form.
Estonia is the border between east and west, the crossing of different cultures – eastern and western. The most of Estonians are spiritually tied with Scandinavia, because the Estonian and other Scaninavian nations have the same origin, because their culture and national traditions resembles each other and have many common elements; in the past Finland and Norway were under dominion of the Svedish Kingdom – like Estonia was too.
The history of Estonia is the history of wars, of slavory and of fight for freedom and independence. From beginning Estonia was under dominion of other peoples, which were bigger and stronger, for example Estonia was under Danish, Sveden, Poland, Germany and Russia.
The Estonian national epos “Kalevipoeg” (“The son of Kalev”), gathered and published by Friedrich Reihhold Kreutzvald (Vindri Roin Ristmets) in 1853-1867, tells about these eternal fight (literal translation):
"See! In the deep forest under the cover of trees,
Under the cover of trees, in the shadow of shrubs,
Under the mouring edges of alder,
Under protection of sad birch,
Stay 7 hills of death,
Seven moss-covered beds…
The first is the bed of anxiety of harm,
The second one is in the chains of slavery,
The third one is in the exhaustion of war,
The forth one is in the torture of hunger,
The firth one is in the days of extreme poverty,
The seventh one is under the plage-death.
The eighth one in the epidemic of murders.
This is the existance of Estonia from antique times,
Before loving protection
Under the wing of Russian Goverment".
("Kalevipoeg", "Sissejuhatuseks" )
Some critics says that “Kalevipoeg” is too militar but it reflects the real history of Estonia and of the Estonians.
The name of Finnish epos “Kalevala” resembles the name of Estonian epos “Kalevipoeg”, but the meaning and contents are different (“Kalevala” means “The land of Kalevs”). The “Kalevala” reflects the history and life of Finnish people.
From 1721 to 1918 Estonia was under dominion of Russia, but the privileged language was German.
The Estonian writer Oscar Luts has described this situation with many humor and spirits in his books “Spring” (Kevade) and “Summer” (Suvi), showing the life of Estonians, their discrimination and oppression, hatred of Estonian children to privileged German children, cultural values of the Estonians.
The Estonians have organized two socialist revolutions – in 1905 and 1917, like in Russia. In the past Estonia was a very poor country and the Estonians had some hope to improve their life using the communist/socialist ideas. In 1920 Estonia became the independent country for the first time in own history and for the first time were defined its borders and territory.
In 1940 after the special request of Parliament of Estonia, Estonia entered into the Soviet Union and the Estonians had suffered all communist repression. It’s necessary to specify that the crimes against people were compiled by local Estonian communists and by local Estonian Soviet Government – Estonian and Russian communists joined in compiling their crimes. Unfortunately, nobody of Estonian communist-criminals was punished/condamned. Now Estonia ask from Russia to condamn the Russian communists, omitting to condman first the Estonian ones – what could be a nice example.
The fact of union with the Soviet Union is used today for political speculation and manipulation owing aim to creat the racial hatred and intollerance between the inhabitants and to discriminate the Russian-speaking part of the population. The Estonian Government has proclaim that the entry into the Soviet Union was an occupation, fogotting the all-European condition of the times before the Second World War (Hitler had defined the Estonians as a parasite race that must be exterminated), the collaboration of dictator Konstantin Päts with the USSR from 1930 and the request of Estonia to join with the USSR based on political and financial interests.
It’s very difficult to qualify exactly the entry of Estonia in the USSR – there are the free expression of the Estonians and the pressures of the USSR, the Estonians had organized three socialist revolutions and have fought a lot with the aim to form the communism. It’s possible to hear the following definitions of the presumed occupation: “the paceful occupation based on free expression and will of the Estonian nation, in basis of the right of people to self-determination”. Sometimes this entry is called as annextion.
Seeing all facts of the European and world history, if we want to use the term “occupation” it’s necessary to ricognize and diclare uficcially an occupation of Afganistan, Irak and Kosovo by Nato, the arriving occupation of Czech and Poland by USA (building of the militar bases) – otherwise we have inadequate and ambiguous treatment of the facts. Seen that there are the American and Nato military bases in Italy and in other countries, it’s necessary to ricognize the occupation of Italia and other countries by USA/Nato.
During the Second World War the Estonians had suffered the repression of German Army. A part of the Estonians entered voluntarily, willingly and following the “call of the heart”, into the German Army’s Waffen SS brigades. Estonia became the first Jewish-free country in the world and the Estonian Nazis declared this as great success. This fact is the shamefullest event in the history of Estonia. Unfortunately, the Estonian Nazis weren’t judged or condamned by international court after the War – that’s why some Nazi and Fascist’s ideas flourish in Estonia today. Some politicians declare that Estonia had taken part in the War as a Hitler’s allied… The today’s government of Estonia have forgotten that the Estonians were only “week and parasite rice” for Hitler and glorify the crimes of members of the Waffen SS brigades, Estonian Nazis criminals were proclaimed “fighters for liberty of Estonia” (fogotting that the Estonian Nazis of Waffen SS compiled their crimes in Ucraina and Belorussia and that the Hitler didn’t absolutely foresee the liberty and freedom for Estonia, the real programm was: all Estonians exterminated and the “unnecessary” Germans transfered into Estonian territory). In the post-soviet time some pro-Nazi monuments were built in Estonia and the only anti-Nazi and anti-Fascist monument (the Bronz Soldier) was trasferred to some cimitery in 2007 – without referendum and in few days before 8-9 of May – the European days of anti-Fascist memory and the Victory day. The citizens had tried to protest peacefully against such a violation of the democracy's values (omission of referendum) and of all-European anti-Nazi ans anti-Fascist values. The Government used the force and brutality to repress the peaceful manifestation, so the peaseful manifestation became the famous disorder. There is only one anti-Nazi monument in Estonia and now it is situated in a cemetery – that shows explicitly the opinion of Estonian government about all-European values: the place of anti-Nazi values is in a cemetery and not in some public place!
The today’s Estonian Government uses some elements of Hitler’s ideology to persecute Russian-speaking inhabitants of Estonia, for example the idea of superiority of Estonian language above Russian and other languages, the idea of superiority of Estonian ethnic group above Russian ethnic group, the limitation of access to work and political activity for Russian-speaking citizens, the persecution of Russian-speaking citizen who make mistakes speaking Estonian at the working place (Russian teachers in the Russian schools who teach in Russian to Russian-speaking children are more persecuted)…
The Estonian Government have declared uficcially that in the 8 and 9 of May puts the flowers to “all fallen in the Second World War” – including Fascists and Nazis of Waffen SS brigades, glorifying the Nazis ideology.
There are two basic antique peoples in Estonia: the Estonians and the Russians. The Russians have been living in the northeast part of Estonia from the ancient times, there are some towns with Russian majority. Russian is the mother-tongue for about 30% of the population of Estonia. On the site of the Ministry of Population the part of indigenous Russians is indicated as “starovertsi” (translated from Russian it means “of old faith”).
From 1721 to 1918 Estonia was under the Russian dominion and the Russian community grew. The pact with Russia of 1920 defined the borders of Estonia for the first time in the history, Estonia receved some Russian territory too. Some of these territories was given back to Russia later, but some remains.
In the time of the Soviet Union a lot of citizens were trasferred from one part of the country to another one in according with order of the Soviet Estonian Government and the central Moscow Government. So, many Russian and Russian-speaking citizens came in Estonia to work and to live, and many Estonians were sent into the lager or to work in Russia or in other Soviet Republic.
The today’s Estonian Government doesn’t recognize the existance of the Russian part of the Estonian population and its antient roots. The Government declare the false that all Russians would only recently arrived strangers, like musulmans in Europe. The Russians and Russian-speakings are exposed under discrimination, segregation, marginalization and assimilation. The people arrived in the soviet time that worked all they life long in Estonia and paid the taxes to Estonia, their children and posterity are the real victims of the communist regime, but the today’s Russian and Estonian Governments doesn’t want to recognize these people as the victim of past regime. These people were deprived of right to citizenship and to participate in division of socialist property after the socialism crashing, there are some problem with rights to vote and participation in political and social life. All people, who had a chance to do it, had fled out from Estonia, today there are only realy local people having the long-time roots of living in Estonia remained there.
The situation in Estonia is very insane and injust – the victims of the socialism/communism are proclaimed guilty for the crimes of the socialist/communist Government, but the real criminals who compiled the crimes are impunished and take part in today’s government (!!!). There are many ex communists and ex members of the Communist Party in today’s Government in Estonia, the Government represses the citizens using the soviet time methods of repression. There are both the elements of Nazi and communist ideology in the methods of country ruling of Estonian Government– that’s why the situation is incredible and unbeleivable.
In 1991 after the USSR crashing the Soviet Estonian Government have decided to not ricognize the soviet period of Estonia and have proclaimed Estonia the heir of regime of dictatorship of 1939, denying all democratic and social values reached in the soviet time. This denial of progress and development has changed civilized and modern Estonia into a half-savage country. Particularly horrible changes are in the social and judical spheres, and in the sphere of violation of human rights. The reason of denial of socialist period may be the desire of the Estonian politics to elude the responsibility for the one’s crimes compiled in the soviet period.
The Russian-speaking part of the Estonian population is called the “Estonian Russians”. The Estonian Government promotes the politics of racial hatred and intollerance to Russian-speakings. The judical sistem is underdeveloped: the politicians who propagate the racial / linguistical hatred and insult other peoples are not never punished – what is rong here, the law is imperfect or the judges are omitting?
In 1869 in the Tartu city the first Song and Dance Holiday was organized (it may be called “Festival” too). This holiday became the cultural value for Estonian people. Some special large “Songs’ fileds” / “Fields for singing” / “Singing fields” (squares) were built for this holiday. Dozen of thousands singers, dancers and orchestras take parte in this holiday. Unfortunately the post-soviet Government doesn’t appreciate this antique and unique national holiday – the Government is more interested in sailing the beer in some beer festival than in defending the national and cultural traditions. You can never see the publicity of Song and Dance Holiday – but the pubblicity of “Õllesummer” (The summer of beer) You can see everywere! In any case for the Estonian people this holiday is of a great value and the people continue develope and protect this holiday.
In the recent time the Folclor Festival of Viljandi became famous too – this is a festival of traditional music of the different peoples. There are the Jazzkaar Festival – dedicated to jazz, the Hea Uus Heli (the Goog New Sounds) Festival – dedicated to alternative and sperimental music, and many other festivals in Estonia.
Estonia has a national sport – “kiiking” – the seesawing on the very high swing with aim to make a full circle. Higher the swing is – more difficult to do the circle.
After the crash of the USSR Estonia had a chance to become free and independent country, but the Estonian politicians had sold all industrial goods and structures to foreign adventurers, without thinking about the future. Now Estonia is in the economical slavery, the opression of Sweden, Finland, German and the USA is very heavy. The development of the country in the post-soviet time was oriented to prostitution, sex-tourism, alcohol, narcotics and other bad similar activities, which are prohibit in other countries. Almost all economy is destroied. The last rapport of ONU informs that 7% of population of Estonia suffer hunger and undernourushment.
The local Estonian businessmen havn’t any help from Estonian Government, because the Government is only interested to attract in Estonia some foreign investor-andventurer-speculators and to eliminate the local national production. The national business traditions was distroied.
It’s possible to buy only chemical, insane, long lasting bread in the plastic envelope – there are no more real bread in Estonia, Estonia became the country without real national bread. The same situation is with other food products and it is right to say that in Estonia is almost only junk food now. It’s not possible to find in Estonia some normal pure foods without chemical additives, surelly some pure foods is sold by few paesans but the prices are too high, that’s why the population, especially children, begin to have the serious problems with the health.
The Estonian-speaking Estonians and the Russian-speaking Estonians have been hoped than the entry into European Union could help to solv the grave situation of injustice and violation of human rights, but nothing changes yet. The Estonian Russians remain in the situation of segregation in Estonia and in the European Union too – Russian is not recognized as official language on either side. The Estonian Russian havn’t access to European and Estonian information and havn’t access to social life, to high-level study and to work. In the same situation are the Latvian Russian-speakings and we can say that Estonian and Lativan Russian-speakings are now discriminated and segregated peoples in the European Union.
The Estonian coat of arms:
The Estonian coat of arms of the soviet times: