Sunday, April 17, 2011

Estonian Song Festival, national awakening and Tallinn

Postcard from Kirsti in Estonia, 2nd of four that came in one day this week...

Estonian Song Festival postcard, Postcrossing EE98144
Ever seen 18,000 people singing together? You can, at the Estonian Song Festival, a major open-air choral  concert held at the Song Festival Grounds every five years in Tallinn, the country's capital. The highlight is the performance of the joined choirs, with about 18,000 participants up on stage at the same time. There are usually up to 30,000 participants at each festival, which is a great showcase for Estonian music and culture.

The first song festival was held in 1869, coinciding with Estonian national awakening. The event was organised by Johann Voldemar Jannsen, a journalist and poet who played an important role in national awakening. In the 19th century, Estonia was a province of a Russian Empire with German upper class landlords ruling the locals, who were peasants. Estonia declared itself an independent republic on February 24, 1918.

Here's a video from the 2009 festival

Mu isamaa on minu arm (Estonian Song Celebration) 2009 from YouTube

Estonian stamp, Postcrossing EE98144
I'm not sure what these are, but they're cute, aren't they?

Incidentally, old and new coexist in the Estonian capital Tallinn. The old town is a World Heritage site and the city itself is is ranked as a global city, which means it is considered an important hub in the global economic system. Tallinn is also among the top 10 digital cities in the world (do you use Skype? It was born in Tallinn!) and is the European Capital of Culture for 2011, along with Turku, Finland.

Related links
Tallinn City Tourist Office website
Digital Tallinn (virtual guide to the city), very cool, you can download wallpapers and get take a virtual tour and get 360 degree views of various locations with its interactive map
Historic Centre, old town of Tallinn (Unesco World Heritage list)
Tallinn European Capital of Culture 2011 website
Turku Eurpean Capital of Culture 2011 website


Lynn said...

Love those stamps!

Anonymous said...

The mysterious creatures on the stamps are called Pokus. More information on Pokus:

liberal sprinkles said...

Kirsti, thanks for the information and the card!

Anonymous said...

thanks for the interesting information