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103819.  Tue Oct 17, 2006 1:45 am Reply with quote

Estonians will never be great in number, but we can be great through our spirit.
JAKOB HURT (1839-1907) Estonian folklorist.

The Estonian unit of currency is the kroon, or EEK for short – as in 100 EEK, 500 EEK notes.

The capital of Estonia is Tallinn. It means “Danish Castle” in Estonian.

Famous living Estonians include Erki Nool, the Olympic World Champion Decathlonist; Lembit Opik, Liberal democrat MP for Montgomeryshire; Enn Reitel, perhaps the most successful voice-over man in British advertising; the serious composer Arvo Part, and the rock band Jaaaar.

Jaaaar really does have four ‘a’s in a row. As with Part, these should all have umlauts over them. Jaaaar means ‘Ice Edge’ in Estonian.

Famous deceased Estonians include the man who discovered that people come from eggs. Karl Ernst von Baer (1792-1876),the father of modern embryology, was born on the family estate at Piep, Estonia. He was the first to discover the mammalian ovum, and thus show that all mammals, including humans, develop from eggs. His work provided the basic argument for Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, though Baer himself was against the idea that all animal life had a common ancestor. Today, his picture graces the 2EEK note.

Since 2000, Estonia has won more Olympic medals per head of population than any other country in the world. Erki Nool, the Decathlon Gold medallist in Sydney, 2000, for example, as well as the Estonian ski team that took a gold, silver and bronze in Salt Lake City, 2001, beating the Swedes.

Almost half of Estonia is covered by forests. These contain wolves,wild boars, elk, bears, mink, coypu, raccoons, beavers, flying squirrels and lynxes.

There are more than 1,450 lakes and 1,500 islands in Estonia.

The largest lake in Estonia, Lake Peipsi, is the fifth largest lake in Europe.
It is 1,370 sqm (3,550 sqkm) in extent. On April 5th, 1242, The Battle of the Ice took place on the frozen waters of Lake Peipsi at which Alexander Nevsky defeated the German Teutonic Knights.

The fourth largest island in Estonia is Vormsi. The main village is called Hullo.

Until the 1920’s, the inhabitants of Vormsi peeled potatoes with their fingernails. They were too poor to buy tools. The only means of transport was bulls, but these were all eaten during World War I. They slept four families to a barn, and tried to make a living by exporting wood to the mainland, but most of it was stolen en route. The locals drowned their sorrows in the extensive choice of bars –thirteen of them between 2,000 inhabitants. By 1943, after 700 years of penury, and further hacked off by the behaviour of the Red Army followed by the Nazis, the Vormians had had enough and everyone left but for 20 people. By 2001, only two of them remained alive.

Modern Estonia has the highest standard of living of any of the former Soviet republics.

Estonia has been independent for barely more than 30 years of the last 800. Between the wars from 1920-1938, and since the collapse of the USSR in 1991.

Historically, Estonia has been shamefully treated by the Danes, Swedes, Germans, Russians, and acts of God. Since 1200 AD, most Estonians have been someone else’s slave.

In 1343, a tenth of the population of Estonia was killed by the Germans, reducing the number of inhabitants to 130,000 - approximtely a tenth of the size of the population today.

By 1582, more than 240 years later, further depredations by Danes, Swedes, Germans and Russians had reduced the population to only 100,000.

In 1695-7, famine swept the country, killing 20% of the population.

In the 18th century, one traveller reported “Estonian men go cheaper than niggers in the American colonies, a manservant can be bought for 30 roubles, a maidservant for ten roubles, and a child for four roubles”.

In the 1700’s the Russians rolled into Estonia, burning everything in their path, and sparing only Tallinn, which Peter the Great happened to like. The General in charge of the invasion was proudly able to report to his Tsar: “There is nothing left to destroy; not a cock crows from Lake Peipsi to the Gulf of Riga”.

In 1710, the plague struck Tallinn, killing 70% of the inhabitants.

In World War II, Estonia lost a further 20% of its population thanks to the Germans. Much of it was deported to Siberia.

The birth rate in modern Estonia is so low that primary schools are having to close.

In 2001, Estonia won the Eurovision Song Contest. The joint-winner, Dave Benton(50) is not Estonian. He is Dutch. And black. After his win, he said: "I would have sung ‘La Cucaracha’ if they wanted me to". Dave comes from Aruba in the Dutch Antilles, but he qualified because he is married to an Estonian. His singing partner was a young 100% Estonian, Tanel Padar (20). They have since split, citing irreconcilable artistic differences.

The 2002 Eurovision Song Contest took place in Tallinn. It was hosted by two Estonians, one of whom is the mezzo-soprano Anneli Peebo; the venue was Saku Suurhall, the largest concert hall in the Baltic States; the interval music was composed by Tiit Kakes, a member of a fiddle band called Dago. Hoever, Estonia's actual competition entry was sung by Sahlene, a Swede. She came third.

s: BES
s: IoS 5.5.02/JHW
s: EBR
s: UPB
s: John Preston TST 26.5.02
s: IoS 5.5.02
s: EIA

Last edited by JumpingJack on Tue Oct 17, 2006 4:08 pm; edited 1 time in total

103837.  Tue Oct 17, 2006 4:17 am Reply with quote

Estonia has had 12 governments in the last 15 years.

Estonia was the first former soviet republic to introduce its own currency and was the first country in Europe to adopt a flat tax system - it is currently 23%, and the official plan is to keep lowering it by 1% per year for at least 5 years. More than 80% of the country pay their tax online.

Estonia's most famous product is probably Skype which was bought by eBay last year for $2.6 billion. This is more than the entire annual GDP of the country 15 years ago.

Estonian parents can have their childrens grades, absences and even homework timetables sent to their mobile phones.

s: Time Europe, 09/10/2006

103839.  Tue Oct 17, 2006 4:25 am Reply with quote

JumpingJack wrote:
The Estonian unit of currency is the kroon, or EEK for short – as in 100 EEK, 500 EEK notes.

How much does a mouse cost?

103895.  Tue Oct 17, 2006 8:37 am Reply with quote

Almost half of Estonia is covered in trees. These contain wolves,wild boars, elk, bears, mink, coypu, raccoons, beavers, flying squirrels and lynxes.

Do they stick them all in a blender and use the paste to create a sort of papier-mâché tree then?

Perhaps you meant forests?

103933.  Tue Oct 17, 2006 10:13 am Reply with quote

JumpingJack wrote:
Famous living Estonians include ... Lembit Opik, Liberal Democrat MP for Peterborough

Montgomeryshire, but hey. Lembit was born in Northern Ireland of Estonian roots - his grandfather Ernst Öpik fled Estonia during the Second World War and settled in Northern Ireland. He was an astronomer, and worked at the Armagh Observatory at the same time as Patrick Moore.

It was actually Ernst Öpik who first postulated the existence of the Oort Cloud, but the naming rights had been sold over his head. He is also believed to be the inspiration for a fictitious eccentric astronomer cited in some of Moore's books, one Dr Egon Spunraas.

JumpingJack wrote:
Jäääär means ‘Ice Edge’ in Estonian.

If this were better known, it could be a General Ignorance question.

Much as this word does exist in Estonian, it isn't actually used much by real live Estonians. This was discussed at post 79430

I'm a bit confused about Skype. The two guys who invented it (and also invented Kazaa) are a Dane and a Swede, and why they ran their company from Estonia I'm not entirely sure. All the same, the Baltic Republics in general are very big on anything to do with alternative means of telephony, in large part because the Soviet landline network they inherited was so rubbish.

Now then, why was there Only One Team In Tallinn ...

104025.  Tue Oct 17, 2006 4:06 pm Reply with quote

Oops, thanks suze.

Can't imagine why I put Lembit Opik down as MP for Peterborough. I knew perfectly he's an MP for a Welsh constituency.

It's an old entry from the QIDb. I did it in a bit of a hurry this morning, just to keep the Countries forum going. The source is given as IoS 5.5.02 but whether it was a mistake in the paper or an absent-minded me, we shall never know.

Anyway, I've changed it.

And thanks, grizzly, for your amusing comment about trees. I've changed that too.

104026.  Tue Oct 17, 2006 4:06 pm Reply with quote

Thanks again.

104047.  Tue Oct 17, 2006 4:32 pm Reply with quote

And then, of course, there's the old proverb about how hard many people find it to leave the country:

"You can't bloody get out of Estonia".

I think that was Barry Cryer or Willie Rushton, but I can't recall which.

121069.  Sun Nov 26, 2006 4:16 pm Reply with quote

Here is an interesting fact about Estonia.

It is the most accident prone country in the world. About one hundred deaths in every hundred thousand is an accident.

121126.  Sun Nov 26, 2006 7:24 pm Reply with quote

Maybe the same is true of the births?

123988.  Tue Dec 05, 2006 6:44 pm Reply with quote

robertkelly50 wrote:
Here is an interesting fact about Estonia.

It is the most accident prone country in the world. About one hundred deaths in every hundred thousand is an accident.

They have an extremely high 'deliberate' death-rate, then.


123991.  Tue Dec 05, 2006 6:49 pm Reply with quote
The 2006 State of World Liberty Index was created by combining the rankings of four other indexes of world liberty into one: the “2005 Economic Freedom of the World” Index (Fraser Institute/Cato Institute), the “2006 Index of Economic Freedom” (The Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal), the “2005 Freedom in the World” index (Freedom House), and the “2005 Press Freedom Index” (Reporters Without Borders). These reports are used to score countries in three categories: individual freedom, economic freedom, and government size and taxation. These three scores are then averaged to give a country's overall score.[2]

In the 2006 index, Estonia was ranked most free overall, with a score of 85.25; North Korea was last with a score of 6.80.

I would have only quoted the bottom if you knew what I was talking about.

Last edited by CaptTimmy on Tue Dec 05, 2006 6:53 pm; edited 1 time in total

123993.  Tue Dec 05, 2006 6:51 pm Reply with quote

robertkelly50 wrote:
Here is an interesting fact about Estonia.

It is the most accident prone country in the world. About one hundred deaths in every hundred thousand is an accident.

I believe it used to be South Africa. So many accident prone prisoners who fell downstairs, or accidentally brutally stabbed themselves in the stomach...

213805.  Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:45 am Reply with quote

The highest point in Estonia is Suur Munamägi - Great Egg Hill

534716.  Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:10 pm Reply with quote

How about a real life Estonian to settle the almost-argument about "jäääär" from 3 years ago? Well, here I am! Isn't this exciting!

It's quite much used and a popular word. Mostly because it's funny but we still use it quite a bit. People pick it up in around the 4th grade or something in a "hey-did-you-know-there's-a-word-with-four-of-the-same-letters-in-a-row?"-"NO-WAY" way. At least that's how I heard of it.

There's also a popular band called jäääär and, of course, when someone sees a "edge of ice" we call it that and giggle.


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