Us Europeans

Archives for

Traditions and Events

My one-day stop in Viljandi, in the centre of Estonia, is a perfect one to report about Estonian folklore. Viljandi is home to Estonia`s only Cultural Academy: a place where people can study all sorts of Performing Arts, including dance, theatre and even handicraft. It is also in the building of this academy that one of Estonia`s main folklore festivals is organised. It`s the one here in Viljandi, the city of .

Posted by Bruno

Meeting the Estonians

Estonians are not known for being very talkative. I did not want to take that for a fact and tried to get them to reveal their favourite topics of conversations. And the subjects they want to avoid at all cost.

Posted by Bruno

E-Everything

I was told yesterday, by Latvians, that Estonians are slow people – however, the very same Latvians acknowledge that Estonia is 5 years ahead of Latvia in many areas. Following the example of neighbouring Finland, Estonia has heavily invested in informatics infrastructure. Wireless internet is available in the vicinity of over 1,000 registered public hotspots, located in cities, villages, bars restaurants, trains, buses and highways, you can get online wherever you want: Estonia has embraced the internet. As a logical result, papers, rubber stamps and bureaucracy have been replaced or rather, supplemented, by web-based services.

Posted by Bruno

A tale of two countries

I`m crossing the next border today, from Latvia to Estonia. I have been promised that these two countries are more different from each other than Latvia and Lithuania are. The village of Valka (Latvian) or Valga (Estonian) spreads out on both sides of the border. It `s a nice stopover on the way from Valmiera to Tartu and moreover, it seems like a perfect place to measure the Latvio-Estonian differences.

Posted by Bruno

Women and Politics

Last week, I was surprised hear at least a few Lithuanian women tell me that they found themselves, and/or women in general, unqualified to get involved in politics or in higher management. I have not come across such conventional opinions in Latvia. One of this reasons may be that Latvia`s previous president was a woman. Vaira Vike-Freiberga, that`s her name, stepped down as recently as last summer, because her second and final term came to an end. However, she is still a very popular public figure and remains renowned for her political achievements.

Posted by Bruno

Personal reflections (1/12)

Instead of interviewing people today, I thought it would be a nice idea to write about what I have seen so far. It`s the first of September, and I am planning to write similar reports again on the first of each other coming month.

Posted by Bruno