I have been an inept, indolent idiot, about the A To Z Challenge, for the letter I. I have not had an iota of inspiration, so I have decided to insert a travelogue.
20 Fun Facts About Estonia
Careful! You may end up unintentionally learning something.
You may be wondering why I chose Estonia for this blog. Since rheumatoid-arthritis prematurely retired Cookie Monster, our Estonian-heritage, ex-chiropractor, he and I and my son have got together about every six months, to sample the various road-house restaurants in the area. We enjoy deep, socially-significant conversation, lack of female supervision, and delicious, but questionable, menu choices.
Mr. COVID19 has put a kink in our calendar. We are almost a meeting behind. I publish this so that he will have something to read in self-isolation. If it influences him to offer to buy me an extra beer when we are paroled and next visit Montana’s, that’s purely coincidental. 😉 So, here are some non-evaluation related facts you may enjoy about this country in northeastern Europe.
Let’s get started with “tere” which means Hello in Estonian!
While the official capital of Estonia is Tallinn, the country is unique because it has more than one recognized capital. In fact, it has several capitals that change throughout the year. Tartu is established as the “cultural capital of Estonia”, while Parnu is known as the “summer capital”.
Estonia was the first country in the world to use online political voting.
Estonia has two Independence Days. It first achieved independence from the Soviet Union on February 24, 1918 and again on August 20, 1991 after 51 years of occupation. The second date is known as the “Restoration of Independence Day.”
Estonian is the official language. Russian is also widely spoken.
The Estonian currency was the Kroon, but they have joined the Euro-zone and Euro is their official currency now.
Even though Estonia is considered to be a part of the Baltic countries; along with Latvia and Lithuania, there is no real political alliance.
Estonia is named after the “Ests” who inhabited the region in the 1st Century AD.
Estonia is the least religious country in the world with only 14% of the population claiming any religious beliefs.
Almost 50% of Estonia is covered by forest.
Estonia has a population of 1.3 million and one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe.
Estonia has the highest number of meteorite craters per land area in the world.
Estonia is the homeland of Skype, Hotmail and KaZaA.
All Estonian schools are connected to the Internet.
Chess Grandmaster Paul Keres was born in Estonia. When he died in 1975, over 100,000 people attended his funeral (10% of the country’s entire population).
Out of the nearly 200 countries in the world, Estonia ranks in the second place with a literacy rate of 99.8%.
In 1994, Estonia became the first country to institute the flat income tax.
They have the biggest collection of folk songs in the world with written records of 133,000 folk songs.
The Estonians invented Kiiking, which is considered a sport. It involves fastening yourself to an enormous standing steel swing (kiik means swing in Estonian) which has a full 360 degrees of rotation to it. To swing a kiiker, the contestant must pump by squatting and standing up on the swing. The swing gains momentum taking the person in full circle by his skillful pumping.
Estonia produces quality vodka and boasts Viru Valge and Saaremaa as its most popular brands.
And, in case you are thinking of relocating, Estonia doesn’t accept dual citizenship.
Hope you enjoyed this. Head aega! (That’s “goodbye” in Estonian.)