If you know nothing about Estonia
Olya Kostova

Oh Estonia, dear Estonia.

I was privileged to visit Estonia in 1993, a very short time after it had earned its independence and freedom from a long period of occupation of two oppressors: most recently the Soviet Union and a generation earlier the Nazis. It was a special moment in history while Estonians first breathed deeply that fresh air and shook off the yolk of occupation.

Now it must seem like ancient history. It is Europe, and a wonderful and charming corner of the Baltics. Tallinn has only 400,000 people, but that’s more than a third of the country!

With the fall of the Berlin Wall, and all of Eastern Europe working on their freedom, the Estonians and the Czechs were by far the most charmed.

Czechoslovakia had it’s Velvet Revolution, led by Vaclav Havel. And Estonia had its Singing Revolution led by every citizen it seems. There’s a fantastic documentary about it that I highly recommend, and here is the trailer:

[I’m not trying to hurt their sales, but fyi someone has made a copy and broken it into 7 parts on Youtube, if you insist]

At the core of that story is the Lalupidu, a singing festival held every 5 years in Tallinn. 30,000 singers perform [and attracts almost the entire population of the country for the event].

My daughter was lucky enough to be in a San Francisco Bay Area choir in Piedmont that is at the center of another documentary done by the same film makers, “To Breathe As One.” They participated at the most recent Lalupidu in the summer of 2014:

Maybe it’s time to revisit and get caught up on life in Estonia. And become an e-resident while I’m there: if Trump wins the election, I’ll need a new place to live.

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