DNA test - genetic ancestry of Estonians
Monday, 16 October 2017
The fascinating field of genetic research had led to the discovery that all ethnic Estonians can now trace their ancestry back to one of five men. These men came to settle in Estonia during different periods in time and their descendants are all among us today. If you wish to unlock the secret of your DNA then participating in the Family Tree DNA - 'The Estonia Project' may be the thing for you!
The Estonia project is a dual Y-DNA (paternal) / mtDNA (maternal) project, which is mainly created for ethnic Estonians, descended from paternal and/or maternal line from families that have their earliest-known origins in what is now Estonia. Over past centuries, territory of Estonia or parts of it belonged politically at various times to: German crusaders' and their descendants' states, Kingdom of Denmark, various Christian bishops, Kingdom of Poland, Kingdom of Sweden and Russian Empire. Populations moved to and from the neighbouring states of Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Poland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Finland. DNA of families of Estonian origin could exhibit Finno-Ugric, Baltic, Western European, Eastern European or other characteristics. This group will allow those who have a family ethnic and geographic origin in Estonia to compare their DNA with that of their geographic neighbours and, possibly, find family matches.
The below video is about the male lineages of Estonians and is aimed at Estonians living abroad to participate in the genetic research.
I took the DNA test and it revealed some interesting results. When I told my sister she was quite disappointed to discover that we are only 3% British. As our mother's family are originally from England we naturally assumed the result would be closer to 50%. We were mistaken. It appears we may be descended from Norwegian vikings on my mother's side, which, I think is quite a good thing. I've always considered myself to have the heart of a warrior - I don't like to give up on things I believe in and I am very protective towards those I love. Makes sense to me! Unfortunately I have yet to discover which of the original five men I am descended from. This can only be determined from the Y chromosome in the male line so looks like I need to get my father tested! The test costs $99 US.
Once you take the DNA test you can see all the genetic matches and contact those people if you wish. I discovered that my closest relative in an man called Per in Sweden. We have since corresponded.
To find out more and to participate in the Estonia Project, please click here:
DNA test - genetic ancestry of Estonians
DNA test - genetic ancestry of Estonians
Tuesday, 10 October 2017
As part of the Republic of Estonia's 100th birthday celebrations, six retro trams will soon be in service in Tallinn. All the trams will bear the name of important Estonians of the first Republic of Estonia. This beautiful blue tram is dedicated to Estonia's first President, Mr Konstantin Päts.
The trams will operate on tramline 3.
They will take you to the green area of Kadriorg.
President Päts served five times as Estonia's head of state.
More information about Mr.Päts can be found here: Konstantin Päts
Saturday, 7 October 2017
A. Le Coq Beer Museum in Tartu gives the most comprehensive overview of Estonian beer history and its culture
Tartu was the birthplace of the Estonian beer industry and it has been a beer city for almost a thousand years. The Beer Museum opened on 1st July 2003 in order to preserve the history of industrial beer brewing. It is located in the malt tower on the original A. Le Coq site built in 1898. The museum features the story of beer brewing around the world from the beer culture of ancient Egypt to the present day. On display are more than 2000 items including equipment used for making beer at home as well as old industrial brewing equipment. Also featured among the museum’s collection are many bottle caps, bottles, mugs and barrels used throughout the ages.
Entry to the Beer Museum is 10€ for adults and guided tours are available in Estonian, English and Russian. To learn more about the production of beer, you can view the historic timeline here.
A. Le Coq is the oldest and biggest drinks manufacturer in Estonia. For more information about the A.Le Coq Beer Museum, please refer to their official website: Beer Museum
Friday, 6 October 2017
Today 32 European countries agreed upon common goals for e-government development over the next five years. The European ministers responsible for e-government unanimously approved and signed a joint declaration in Tallinn, now known as the Tallinn Declaration.
The overall vision is to strive to be open, efficient and inclusive, providing borderless, interoperable, personalised, user-friendly, end-to-end digital public services to all citizens and businesses – at all levels of public administration.
To read more about the Tallinn Declaration, please click here: Tallinn Declaration on eGovernment
Estonia has been called the most advanced digital society in the world. It has led the way with ID cards, online voting and electronic government services, but with all this comes greater exposure to cyber attacks. This Aljazeera report explores Estonia's digital society.
Sunday, 1 October 2017
If you are going to be in Sydney this week then get ready to party for the Estonian Society of Sydney is set to celebrate its 90th anniversary! There is no doubt that that is will be a highlight of festivities at Estonian House this year!
Save the date! Saturday 7th October 2017 from 5:30 pm.
Dinner will include a sumptuous three course meal - classic Estonian-style canapés, dinner buffet and a celebratory birthday cake.
Entertainment will come directly from Estonia including Meelis Punder and Antti Kammiste.
The theme for the night is ‘Black and White’ but anyone who chooses to wear blue will certainly be most welcome!
General admission: $65
Members of the Estonian Society of Sydney Inc: $55
Children 12-17 years: $55
Children 11 years and under: Free
Venue: Eesti Maja, 141 Campbell Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2011
Contact Details: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: / 0408 698 986 Tiina Alvre
Monday, 25 September 2017
It is passport renewal time for me once again yet it doesn't seem that long ago that I was in the Estonian Embassy in Berlin submitting my paperwork. Time certaintly flies by when you're busy! If you are a second or third generation Estonian like me who is not fluent in the Estonian language and sometimes needs assistance understanding certain words on forms, then this may help. Below I have provided a translation of everything you need to write on an Estonian passport renewal form. Use it as a guide to complete the form then attach a photo and sign within the signature box. For first time applicants, you will also need to provide additional information.
It is only possible to apply for a new passport via mail if less than 5 years have passed since applying for the previous passport and taking of fingerprints. It is always possible to apply for a new ID-card via mail.
The form must be written in Estonian using block letters and black ink.
Estonian passport application form explained -
On the left corner attach your passport photo, the right corner is the signature box.
Isikutunnistus - ID card
Eesti kodaniku pass - passport
kehtivusaja lõppemine - expired
Taotleja isikuandmed - applicants details
Eesti isikukood - Estonian ID number
Eesnimed - first names
Perekonnanimi - last name
Sünnikoht - birth country
Sünniaeg - birthday (DD/MM/YYYY)
Sugu - gender - mees (male) naine (female))
Kodakondusus - citizenship
Taotleja kontaktandmed - applicants contact details
Tänav, maja, korter, linn või küla, vald - street, house, unit, city or town, county
postiindeks - postal code, maakond - state, Riik - country, telefon - phone number, e-post - e-mail address
Taotleja vanemad - Only to be filled in by first time applicants
Dokumendi väljastamine - document issuing
Isikutunnistus (ID card) – location where you would like to pick up your ID card
Pass (passport) – locarion where you would like to pick up your passport
Taotleja seadusjärgne esindaja - only applicable when applicant is younger than 15 years old
Kõik taotlusesse esitatud andmed ja taotlusele lisatud dokumendid on õiged. Olen, teadlik, et valeandmete ja võltsitud dokumendite esitamine on karistatav (basically means that you state that all information in this form is correct). Päev/kuu/aasta (DD/MM/YYYY) taotleja või taotleja seadusjärgse esindaja allkiri (your signature)
Täidab ametnik (this you will leave empty, it’s for the official person)
More information about Estonian passports can be found here: Politsei.ja Piirvalveamet
Sunday, 24 September 2017
I was browsing on-line this morning for EV100 merchandise and it appears the official webstore is not open yet (or I couldn't find it) however I did come across these attractive socks. The socks are produced by Sokisahtel and are a practical means of celebrating Estonia's 100th birthday. Everyone needs socks!
Elagu Eesti - Long live Estonia!
EV 100 ELAGU EESTI socks for men , EV 100 ELAGU EESTI naiste sokid
Tuesday, 19 September 2017
The Estonia 100 logo symbolises one hundred years of being independent, and we can all contribute to the celebrations. Simply choose your favourite picture and use it to design your own personal Estonia 100 logo. It's easy!
You can design your own personalised logo here: EV 100 logo design
Above is my design featuring the fabric from Nõo parish (where my family are from).
The Republic of Estonia will celebrate its 100th anniversary on the 24th February 2018. To mark the occasion Kalev chocolates have released a collection of sweet treats bearing the EV100 logo. Kalev is Estonia's oldest and most famous chocolate maker. No Estonian party is complete without a bit of Kalev!
For more information, please click here: Kalev EV100 chocolates
Saturday, 16 September 2017
Wednesday, 13 September 2017
For my summer holiday this year I decided to travel to beautiful Polska! My brother has been living in Krakow for the past two years and has found himself a nice Polish girlfriend and a good circle of international friends and so I thought it was time to go and see them. After a brief trip in the former capital last year, I wanted to stay a bit longer in Poland this time so we decided to rent a lovely holiday cottage in picturesque Murzasichle. Murzasichle is a two hour drive from Krakow and only 15 minutes away from beautiful Zakopane. What a great week I had!
My brother has found a new home for himself in Poland. What began as a holiday travelling across Europe has turned into a permanent base. Earlier this year he started a hospitality business that has gone from strength to strength. I am very proud of him. I especially love how he has incorporated the colours of the Estonian flag into his logo!
I have visited Poland several times but one place I have been eager to explore is Zalipie. It's a charming village in South-Eastern Poland that is renown for its folk art buildings. It's not a place you come to by chance however, you have to be quite deliberate about getting there as its deep in the Polish countryside. I really enjoyed the one and a half hour drive from to Zalipie from Krakow. I passed by so many beautiful houses along the way with immaculately kept gardens. I was impressed!
The Zalipie folk art tradition started over a century ago, when every single female resident in the village begun to paint her home with floral motives, as a means to cover up particular faults. Cute!
Beautiful folk art!
Even the simpliest of things are made to look beautiful.
As a predominantly Catholic country, Poland has many beautiful churches.
Several of them in the Murzasichle area are made from wood.
Prior to arriving in Murzasichle I had no idea there was a seperate ethnic group living in Poland called the Goral people. They are known to be very good at woodwork and have a distinct folk costume. The Gorals operate the horse and carriage rides in Zakopane and one of their specialities is the production of 'oscypki', a smoked cheese that can be found practically everywhere. It's absolutely delicious!
My Polish home for a week.
This house design is typical for the area and is known as a 'domek'.
There are few cultural similarities between Estonia and Poland. Apart from the bus stops having the same blue signs, occasionally I would come across a house that vaguely resembled an Estonian one in terms of paint colour or window design. Both countries share a love for wooden houses, but unfortunately they don't all withstand the elements. During my trips into Zakopane I saw many houses with fire damage.
A popular tourist spot that is great to visit in both summer and winter.
All the goodies I brought home with me.
Beautiful folk art is one of favourite things!
So what's next on the agenda? My brother and I are both going home to Australia for Christmas. It's been a while since the family has all been together and I can't wait ti see all my nieces and nephews again. After that, it be time to head back to Eesti for EV100 - can't wait!
Wednesday, 6 September 2017
Thursday, 31 August 2017
With celebrations already underway for the 100th birthday of the Estonian Republic, I thought I should get myself organised and book my flight to Tallinn for the big day on February 24! I know it's only August but I have to be realistic, flights will only become more expensive as time goes by and good accommodation will most definitely become scarce. Now I can relax knowing everything has been taken care of.
I arrive on February 22nd which is an important date for me, it's my grandmother's birthday amongst other things. One thing I am particularly looking forward to during my next trip to Estonia is exploring the new Estonian National Museum in Tartu. Judging by the photographs I have seen online the exhibitions look absolutely fantastic and I can't wait to see them for myself!
No trip to Estonia is ever complete without bringing home at least half a dozen loaves of delicious rye bread. It's sacred to all Estonians! Let's see how many loaves I manage to fit into my suitcase this time! I'm striving for 10+!
Wednesday, 23 August 2017
The Estonian Stress Buster is on a mission to help stressed-out people across Europe with the awesome power of pure nature. Using facial recognition technology he identifies stressed out individuals and employs the sounds of nature and a pop-up forest to bust their stress. For the permanent cure, the Estonian Stress Buster sends people on a trip to Estonia!
Great ideas keep coming out of Estonia! I love it!
Tuesday, 22 August 2017
The proposal to issue crypto tokens would make the Republic of Estonia the first country with an Initial Coin Offering (ICO).
‘Estcoins’ could be managed by the Republic of Estonia, but accessed by anyone in the world through its e-Residency programme and launched through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). The tokens can not be counterfeited and the government oversight means they can not be used for illegal activities.
As an investment opportunity, estcoins could benefit Estonia and be attractive to investors from the day it is launched. In time, estcoins could also be accepted as payment for both public and private services and eventually function as a viable currency used globally. If there is support for this proposal, then the next stage before the ICO would be to provide a white paper that outlines the value of estcoins and how the investment will be used to develop our digital nation. It is likely to begin as a pilot project that can be scaled up based on demand.
This is an interesting concept with much appeal. More information about estcoin can be found here: Estonia could offer ‘estcoins’ to e-residents
Monday, 21 August 2017
If you are Estonian and love motor sports then you'll be thrilled to know that Ott Tänak won the ADAC 'Rally in Germany yesterday. The win couldn't have come on a better day - Estonia's Day of Restoration of Independence. It was a great win and he has made Estonia proud. Congratulations'!
More information on the ADAC Rally can be found here: Tänak gewinnt ADAC Rallye Deutschland 2017 & Ott Tänak wins second WRC in Germany
Sunday, 20 August 2017
Today Estonians across the globe commemorate the restoration of their country's independence. On this day I think of the brave men who fought for Estonia's indenpendence, those who suffered during the occupation and those who had a vision for Estonia's future and worked tirelessly to make it happen. I thank you.
On this day, the beautiful blue, black and white Estonian flag will proudly be display in my home and the words of the national anthem will never be far from my mind. Elagu Eesti!
National Anthem: Estonia - Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm
Saturday, 19 August 2017
In 2018, the Republic of Estonia will celebrate its 100th anniversary. The centenary programme began in April 2017 and continues through to February 2020 to mark all of the most important milestones in the emergence of Estonia’s statehood. All Estonians living abroad are invited to visit Estonia during the celebrations. It will be a great time to reconnect with family, see how our beloved homeland has developed and fill our hearts with national pride. I will definitely be back in Estonia next February. There is no place I would rather be!
Estonians worldwide are invited to come celebrate Estonia's centenary!
Wednesday, 16 August 2017
Tallinn changes and develops constantly, and even in a few short years, some places can change beyond recognition. In order to show how much has changed in the capital, this test features a collection of images from Tallinn's recent and more distant past. They are set in a comparative test with modern photographs. Put your memory and logic to the test!
To take the test, please click here: Kas tunned need Tallinna paigad aastakümnete tagustelt fotodelt ära?
Monday, 14 August 2017
If you love Anton Hansen Tammsaare's epic work Truth & Justice then you'll be pleased to know that a new film version is currently being filmed in Mõniste Municipality, south-eastern Estonia. The film is based on volume one of the five book series that was originally published in 1926.
The cast of the film adaptation includes Priit Loog as Andres, Priit Võigemast as Pearu, Maiken Schmidt as Krõõt, Ester Kuntu as Mari and Simeoni Sundja as Juss.
"Truth and Justice" is scheduled to premiere in February 2019.
More information (in Estonian) can be found here: Tõe ja õiguse - filmimine on raske nagu eestlase elu
Tuesday, 8 August 2017
Great to see Muhu Island feature on the list! It's a truly beautiful place.
Muhu Island, Estonia
Just 45 minutes from Saaremaa, the country’s bigger island known for its spruce trees and beer, Muhu feels like a fairytale with its old trestle windmills and squat wooden houses. The centuries-old Pädaste Manor, the only five-star hotel outside Tallinn, offers gourmet cuisine, a wood-burning sauna and private horse rides around the island, says Tepper.
Here's the top eight locations from the Travel and Leisure website:
The Cotswolds, England
Muhu Island, Estonia
Beara Penninsula, Ireland
Lofoten Islands, Norway
Scottish Highlands, Scotland
Pueblo Garzón, Uruguay
To read the full article, please click here:
8 Places in the World Where You Can Get Some Peace and Quiet
Monday, 7 August 2017
Feel inspired to visit Estonia by watching this breathtaking video by Norwegian filmmaker Erik Thomas Kirkman. The filmmaker visits Estonia several times each year to spend time with his wife's family who live near Haapsalu. Estonia has become his second home.
It's hard not to fall in love with Estonia's natural, unspoilt beauty. The more you visit, the more you will want to go back.
Wednesday, 2 August 2017
Introduced as part of the Estonian presidency of the Council of the EU, Easymile driverless buses began operating a limited route in Central Tallinn just after noon on Saturday. The buses are free to use and available between the Mere puiestee (Mere Avenue) stop and Tallinn Creative Hub. Operating hours are from 8:30 a.m - 5:30 p.m, Monday to Saturday. The trial shuttles are scheduled to remain in service through to the end of August and then will be returned to France. During the first three days of operation, the buses had a few close calls but nothing that required an emergency response.
Source: ERR News
More information can be found here: No major incidents with driverless buses in first three days
Sunday, 30 July 2017
Did you know that the first synthetic rubber that had commerical success was synthesised in Estonia?
Ivan Lavrentyevich Kondakov (1857–1931) took a post as pharmaceutics professor at the University of Tartu in 1895. In 1900, he became the first in the world to synthesise a product that had similar properties to natural rubber. He published his discovery in 1901 and wrote the first monograph on synthetic rubber in Tartu in 1912. The method he used, resulting in methyl rubber, is known today as the Kondakov process.
The Kondakov’s invention quickly took on commercial significance, as demand for scarce and costly natural rubber outstripped supply in the early 20th century, especially due to the booming automotive industry. The Kondakov’s invention was the first synthetic rubber that entered production on an industrial scale.
Today there are more than 200 types of synthetic rubber available. The most common products made from these materials include bicycle and automobile tyres
Source: Estonian Research on Facebook
Wednesday, 26 July 2017
The Estonian language is beautiful but can be quite tricky to pronounce. To help you during your next trip to Tallinn, Visit Tallinn has put together this very useful list of Estonian phrases. They're sure to come in handy!
Short summer vocabulary
Hi - Tere
How are you? - Kuidas läheb?
Good - Hästi
I’m on a holiday - Olen puhkusel.
I like summer. - Mulle meeldib suvi.
I like it here - Mulle meeldib siin.
Lovely weather - Ilus ilm
Sun is shining - Päike paistab.
It’s cloudy today - Täna on pilvine.
It is raining - Sajab.
I like thunder and rain - Mulle meeldib äike ja vihm.
Stormy sea is awesome! - Tormine meri on äge!
Winter is coming - Talv tuleb.
Two scoops of ice-cream please - Kaks palli jäätist palun.
Chocolate - Šokolaad
Vanilla - Vanilje
Two more please - Kaks veel palun
Strawberry - Maasikas
Blueberry - Mustikas
Let's have a BBQ - Grillime
Shashlik - Šašlõkk
Burger - Burger
Beer - Õlu
Party - Pidu
I want to ride my bicycle - Tahan rattaga sõita.
Let’s rent bikes and ride by the seaside - Laenutame rattad ja sõidame mere ääres.
I’m going to the Pirita beach - Ma lähen Pirita randa.
I want to swim with the locals - Tahan kohalikega koos ujuda.
Let’s climb the towers of Old Town! - Ronime vanalinna tornides!
I’m afraid of heights - Ma kardan kõrgust.
Don’t be afraid - Ära karda.
I’ll hold your hand - Ma hoian sul käest kinni.
Let’s walk in Kadriorg park - Lähme jalutame Kadrioru pargis.
Will you come with me? - Kas sa tuled ka minuga?
We’re relaxing - Me tšillime.
We’re hanging out - Me hängime.
Source: Short summer vocabulary for your Tallinn trip
Monday, 24 July 2017
The Government Office is creating a web store for the Estonian centenary that will sell merchandise branded with the visual identity of the EV100 or Estonia 100 program.
The store will sell centenary merchandise and will have to guarantee the delivery of all the products as well as working logistics behind the scenes.
The Government Office has specified that the store needs to be available in Estonian as well as Russian and English, and that there needs to be a product search function. The web store also needs to work with all the “most common” browsers, and be adaptable for mobile display. An authentication feature for the customers is not required.
The public tender now open to bidders also includes customer service and correspondence in Estonian, Russian and English, and if needed a way to buy back goods.
What exactly they are planning to sell in the web store is not yet known. According to the tender, the list of products is open—though the state as the commissioning party retains the right to change the selection of the shop at any given time.
Source - ERR News: http://news.err.ee/609041/estonia-to-get-centenary-web-store
Wednesday, 19 July 2017
If you live in the Northern Hemisphere then no doubt you are enjoying the summer and busy planning your next getaway. Last year I spent my summer holiday in Hungary. It's a country I've always been curious about but only recently set time aside to visit. As Estonian belongs to the Finno-Ugric language group I wanted to see if I could detect any similarities but there are few. The only time I thought Hungariam resembled Estonian was when I heard it in the background on the TV and the melody of the language, the rising and falling of the pitch, reminded me of Estonian.
I must admit I knew very little about Hungary before my trip. In primary school I had a good friend, Suzanne, who was Hungarian and I remember she often ate desserts with lots of cinnamon. Once I arrived in Budapest I was very pleasantly surprised. It's a very popular city with tourists. I heard a lot of foreign languages spoken on the street and everyone seemed to speak English. Budapest is a very vibrant city full of intersting places to visit. Unfortunately in the three days I was there, I didn't have time to see them all. But there's always next time!
Budapest is divided into two section by the Danube River - 'Buda' and 'Pest'.
I stayed in Pest.
The impressive Parliament Buildings.
They contain the Hungarian Crown Jewels.
This underground station was the only thing I found that
vaguely resembled an Estonian word.
Budapest has many charming old train stations. Some lines of the underground still
use trains dating back to the 19th century. The wooden interiors and individual light
fittings really felt like I was stepping back in time.
The stone bridge with the lion bridgeheads was the first permanent
connection between Buda and Pest.
The Danube Promenade
60 pairs of steel sculpted shoes can be found here to commemorate
the Jews who were shot here during WWII.
Heroes' Square and the Millennium Monument
This is a nice part of town featuring many interesting buildings, sculptures and gardens.
St. Stephen’s Basilica
Impressive interior. Visitors can climb to the top of the tower
to gain an excellent view of the city.
Budapest has many lovely parks and gardens.
The Rubik Cube was invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor
of architecture Ernő Rubik.
Hungarian post box.
No trip to Budapest is complete without a cruise along the Danube river.
There are many different tours to choose from that depart regularly.
Budapest was an absolutely lovely city that surpassed my expectations.
I will defintely return one day!
This year I will spend my summer holiday in beautiful Poland. My brother has been living in Krakow for the past two years and we will hire a holiday cottage for a week. I am especially looking forward to visiting the salt mines, Zakopane and the enchanting Polish folk art village of Zalipie. Can't wait!