Not long ago, as I was visiting London, I spoke to a room full of teachers of Estonian language abroad. I told them that 50-90 percent of the world’s languages will probably become extinct during the 21st century. I followed with a question: if we’d line up all the languages in the world according to vitality, where would the Estonian language end up?
For about half of the listeners, the answer was: somewhere among the bottom 3,000. The online version of the Postimees newspaper conducted a similar gallup a few years ago with the results not being much better. As it turns out, a significant part of our fellow natives is peacefully going on with their lives, all the while thinking that the Estonian language is a lovely thing – but unfortunately too small and thus destined to become extinct.
“Based on the number of people speaking the language, Estonian is among the world’s largest 400, not the smallest 3,000.”
When one takes a look at the level of development of our language objectively, it takes a position among the few hundred most developed language cultures in the world. The Estonian language functions as the national language and one of the official languages of the European Union. Estonia has an Estonian language-based educational system on all levels that meets the international standard, as well as a rich native tongue-based culture (journalism, poetry, prose, TV and radio programs, film). Estonian language-related technology is steadily progressing — creating language interfaces to computer programs, speech synthesis and machine translation.
Etro’s Glam Fall—Hitting the streets at night, the fall-winter 2014 campaign from Etro taps Suvi Koponen and Karmen Pedaru for a high gloss shoot. The girls pose alongside male model Ton Heukels in the new advertisements. The Italian label’s colorful prints and loose-tailoring takes the spotlight for the autumn season.
EN Fashion - Karmen Pedaru wore a dirty suit on her wedding day, because the dress given to her was too revealing.
The 24-year-old model tied the knot with influential art director Riccardo Ruini in 2012 after they met the year before while shooting a Gucci campaign. His proposal was a humorous one, placing the ring box in the fridge during a vacation in Ibiza only for Karmen to completely miss it so he had to point it out - a moment which she recalls was "embarrassing".
However, things only got more comical on the big day. “I had asked Michael Kors at the last minute if I could get a dress. [The press office] sent one to me and it was beautiful, but it was see-through!” she recalled to The Edit.
“My ass was out! In the morning we were running around and I was like, ‘I can’t wear it! What am I going to wear?’ I went to my closet and saw the Yves Saint Laurent suit, but it was dirty from the last event I wore it to. I just rolled up the sleeves and went with it.”
Karmen was 15 when she was scouted in her home country of Estonia, where she had been offered the role of goalkeeper on Estonia’s women’s soccer team. Although she was passionate about the sport, the blonde beauty made the decision to get into the fashion world and is astonished by how it has changed her reputation.
“I chose modelling, but I just wanted to get out of Estonia. I would have got out if I’d joined the national team, but only to Baltic countries, not far away. And I wanted to get really far away from Estonia. I was just sick of it," Karmen sighed.
“My self-esteem was very low as a young girl. I wasn’t confident. Boys found me ugly. Then suddenly I was in fashion and people were looking at me, telling me how great I looked... It was really uncomfortable for me for a couple of years. But now I have a husband. Someone loves me!”
The event, which takes place from June 5 to 9, marks the Super Rally's 40th jubilee.
The black-leather clad bikers came in full motorcycle gear, celebrating the lifestyle which comes with being the owner of one of the world's best known motorbikes.
"I have a couple of Harley-Davidsons, but I'm a little bit older than the younger guys and, you know, I always said, you buy a Harley-Davidson - it's a lifestyle. It's, you know, not only the bike, it's the friendship, it's everything," said Rudy Wieme, president of the Belgium Harley-Davidson club.
"Everyone puts his own design onto the Harley. You buy a Harley but next day you start changing and building up the way you like," said another avid biker, Kaj Kirkegaard, from Denmark. The roar of a Harley-Davidson may not appeal to everyone, but for those attending the rally the noise which emerges from the bike's exhaust is one of its greatest assets.
"It's music to my ears. I just can't tell that other way, I just love it," said Finnish biker Anne Boujane. Harley-Davidson was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the first decade of the 20th century.
Bill Davidson, the great-grandson of Harley-Davidson's co-founder Arthur system.scripts.life, gave a speech on the opening day of the event.
Justice Ministry Public Law Service Adviser Sander Pollumae explained on national television that the law no longer contains the general and absolute ban on consuming alcohol anywhere.
"In the law, it is rather related to the overall ban on disturbances - no person can with their behavior endanger or disturb someone else. The use of alcohol is also looked at in this context," he said. Therefore, everyone must sense himself whether his actions disturb others or not. Also, it gives law enforcement representatives the chance of using more flexible methods, said Pollumae.
Critics believe such flexibility is not good, however, and the change is premature. "The police will be deprived of a lever with which to prevent public order violations," says Healthy Estonia CEO Hannes Lents. "The majority of public order offenses start just from people relaxing somewhere at a lawn and consuming alcohol."
Sander Pollumae says critics are talking about mostly these violations, which go under the general prohibition of disturbance. "When a person is drunk, disturbs someone, reeks of the odor of vodka, it is clear that such behavior is not acceptable," he explained.
Alcohol consumption in public places has still some restrictions. For example, alcohol cannot be drunk in public transport or in a public transport stop, near childcare institutions, youth camps or hospitals. Local governments can prohibit the consumption of alcohol.
If this is your first time reading the name Arvo Pärt, I promise you, it will not be your last.
Arvo Pärt(see?) is one of the most interesting and accomplished musicians alive today. There are many reasons for his success, including hard work and being at the right place at the right time. But Pärt appeals immediately to the veteran musicologist and to the first time listener in the same powerful way. In the introduction to her wonderful 1997 video interview with the composer, Björk (in typical Björk fashion) says, “Arvo Pärt is a so-called serious composer who, in a very sensitive way, has got the whole battle of this century inside him.”
Two the men were arrested in late May. All four worked for the Information Board, one of the agencies that safeguards state secrets. They are charged with embezzlement and, according to an earlier report, two are accused of publishing state secrets.
Investigators confiscated “vehicles, cash, bank accounts and gold” from the men, who “had access to funds used to pay foreign agents and were responsible for state procurements for the protection of embassies, which were classified and far harder [for] authorities to detect corruption” according to ERR.
“[T]he four have probably pocketed hundreds of thousands of euros that may have been earmarked for secret procurements or, more likely, funds aimed at paying to foreign spies,” the Baltic Business Times wrote in late May, citing domestic media.
While a member of the Internal Security Service in 1997, one of the men, a lawyer, illegally sat a law exam for a colleague, reported ERR, again citing Estonian media. Both men left the service after being caught, it said.
According to the data of the Estonian Institute of Economic Research, the share of illegal vodka formed 20-23% of the Estonian market last year, due to which the state was deprived of 13.4 million euros in uncollected tax money, Riigikogu Finance Committee roundtable meeting "Excise goods and illegal market" stated on Thursday, LETA/Postimees Online reports.
Head of the Estonian Institute of Economic Research Marje Josing said that buying illegal vodka is clearly related to people's income level – for example, in 2007, during the economic boom, the market share of illegal vodka was only 10%.
"If you have money, you go to the store and purchase a bottle of legal vodka," said Josing. The Institute's statistics indicated it is increasingly possible to buy illegal vodka directly from other people and less from bars and pubs.
While in 1998, one fifth of buyers purchased illegal alcohol in bars or pubs, today this share has decreased almost to zero, while the person-to-person sale on streets has increased from 5% to 42%.
Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Urve Palo briefed the cabinet on the sale of the state stake in AS Levira on Thursday.
The government has decided to pursue the sale of the shares of AS Levira, but the government was of the view that the access of the public to the TV Tower has to be guarantee in the future too.
AS Levira is an electronic communications service provider, in which the Estonian state owns 51% and 49% of it belongs to Telediffusion de France SAS le (TDF).
The economy ministry announced in February that the state's 51% stake will be sold together with TDF's 49% of shares. Thus the aim of the sales offer is to sell 100% of Levira's shares together. AS Levira administers also the landmark Tallinn TV tower.
Eesti Päevaleht wrote in May that Palo has decided to cancel the sale, first, because of security reasons and second, the symbolic meaning of the TV tower. The 314 metres-high TV tower is the symbol of Estonia regaining independence, which the Soviet army tried to conquer in August 1991. The building was re-opened to public in 2012, after thorough renovations and became a major tourist attraction at once. It had to be open for public for the next five years. If sold, the new owner could close it in 2017, the newspaper claimed.
TALLINN – Estonia’s Language Inspectorate will stop fining people for an inadequate knowledge of the Estonian language, Minister of Education and Research Jevgeni Ossinovski said in parliament.
The minister said that amendments to that effect had been sent to parliament. “From January 1, violations of the Law on Language will not be punishable in terms of the penitentiary legislation. We will not fine people for the violation of language requirements,” Ossinovski said.
In 2013, the Language Inspectorate imposed EUR 10,700 of fines for these violations. The biggest sum total of these fines was recorded in 2007 and amounted to over EUR 22,000.
The Language Inspectorate is a government agency at the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research. It is responsible for enforcing language requirements in government agencies and among the local elected authorities, as well as in services, retail and healthcare.
The Council of Europe’s Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities advised Estonia to stop imposing fines for the violation of language requirements and to consider abolishing the Language Inspectorate. In 2007, Amnesty International criticized the Estonian Language Inspectorate and termed it a “punitive agency.”
TALLINN - Around 20,000 new companies a year have been founded in Estonia over the past three years, and every third new entrepreneur is a woman, while every fifth founder of a new company has had experience with entrepreneurship before, reports Public Broadcasting citing a study on new companies compiled by SEB.
Forty-three percent of the founders of companies are in the 26-35-year age group and half of them have higher education, or they are acquiring it. The key elements for starting a company are personal belief, self-confidence to start and succeed as an entrepreneur.
“The fear of business failure and readiness to enter business at different ages is changing. The profile of people starting with business is becoming wider and the starters’ knowledge base is becoming more mature. It is not an unimportant fact that every third new company in Estonia today is founded by a woman, which is a very positive trend,” said SEB’s business innovation leader Mart Maasik.
A new direction, the study says, is for specialists moving to business, which creates new challenges for their existing employers since, due to the deficit of experienced professionals, the solution is often that an employee is replaced with the role of service provider. Thus employee relationships become more flexible, people’s skills more widely enforceable and operations more efficient.
As compared to Latvia and Lithuania, 4,000 and 7,000 companies more are created, respectively, in Estonia each year. The technical simplicity of starting a company, and state measures, definitely helps, but they are not the most important parts of an environment favoring business activity.
TALLINN - June in Estonia is famous for long days and short nights. It’s warm and sunny - the ideal time to be outdoors. Restaurants and cafes have already opened their summer terraces. Tallinn hosts an abundance of live music and theater performances in its parks, squares and outdoor venues. And be prepared because there’s magic in the air: it is time to celebrate Midsummer Day when your most secret wishes may come true.
Tallinn’s Midsummer festivities kick off on June 5 with Tallinn Treff Festival (June 5 - 8). The Treff Festival is an international visual theater festival with the goal of introducing and popularizing modern puppet arts and introducing audiences to new art forms. This year will feature top performers in puppet, visual, and object theater from Finland, Russia, France, Italy, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Spain, Estonia and Slovenia. The festival will offer separate programs for adults and children.
SuperRally 2014, which will be held on June 6 – 9, brings more than 10,000 Harley-Davidson fans to Estonia. The Estonian Harley-Davidson Club will organize the 40th SuperRally in Tallinn, which is the largest annual get-together for Harley-Davidson and motorcycle enthusiasts in Europe. The event takes place in the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds. By invitation of the city of Tallinn, the Harley-Davidson federation and the Estonian Harley-Davidson club, Bill Davidson, representative of the fourth generation of Harley-Davidson founders and vice president of Harley-Davidson Motor Inc. Museum, will visit Tallinn for the grand opening of the event on June 6.
“[I am] looking forward to attending the Super Rally in Estonia. I’m sure it’s going to be an awesome time. Just like past events I’ve attended, like the Presidents meeting in Feldkirch, Austria; the Super Rally in Paris and the Super Rally in Sweden. They were all a great time with experiences of the rides, unbelievable scenery, and meeting great people. What a fun time and I look forward to this in Estonia. Thanks for riding the best motorcycles in the world, Harley- Davidson! Can’t wait to see all of you in Estonia!,” Bill Davidson said, commenting on his upcoming visit.