Our Erasmus students had an adventurous Saturday full of activities and the Estonian Independence Day celebrations. Their day started at 6:50 in the morning. First, they met at the Freedom Square where they witnessed the amazing flag ceremony.
After that they went to EBS and played all kinds of Estonian games!
At 11:00 they returned to the good old Freedom Square to check out the military parade.
It was full of people dancing and singing. The vibe was really positive and unifying, even if you weren’t an Estonian yourself.
Later on, they visited the Open-Air Museum where they had a wide program of Estonia-related activities either about its history, traditions or other interesting stuff! There was a round of traditional Estonian dances as well!
At 6 o’clock in the evening they went to Kuldse Notsu Kõrts and had a delicious Estonian dinner.
I asked two Erasmuses about their impressions of the day and what they liked the most.
Argyro is from Greece and Julius is form Germany.
What kind of emotions overwhelmed you during that day?
Argyro: It was a beautiful celebration and despite the cold everyone showed up. From little kids to older people and families. I heard a lot of English so I understood that many Erasmuses or people from different countries where celebrating as well. The atmosphere was very warm and everybody was singing. It was a happy moment.
Julius:It was too cold to enjoy positive emotions.
Compare Estonia’s and your home country’s Independence Day traditions.
Argyro: In my country, Greece, we have more independence holidays. The celebrations last all day and we have huge parades – one for students and one with soldiers – which is great. The parades usually last longer – for 2-3 hours – but we also have sun and warmer weather than in Estonia. To be honest, I like our parades more. We’ve been a part of NATO for many years now because of our border with Turkey and due to that we have more soldiers, airplanes and artilleries who make the parades greater.
Julius: I have never celebrated an Independence Day before.
What was your highlight of the day?
Argyro: I really like that we were given song lyrics and mini flags. Such a nice move!
Julius: Honestly, the hot shower once I reached home.
What kind of Estonian foods were you served and how did you like them?
Argyro: We tried pork with potatoes, creamy cabbage and a very spicy mustard. It was nice – especially the sauce with the pork and the potatoes. And for dessert it was Kama – a mousse with fruits. Really refreshing!
Julius: in the evening, we had a traditional and tasty Estonian dinner. Obviously, I like the food because it’s similar to the food in Germany (potatoes, sauerkraut etc.). I like the taste of Kama as well.
What would be the one Estonian tradition/habit that you would like to see used in your home country?
Argyro: That’s easy – I like singing a lot and you as a nation sing all the time. It seems to me that you are very close to each other and maybe it’s because you sing so much!!
Do you agree that the Estonian flag is one of the most beautiful flags in the world?
Argyro: It’s very beautiful because of the meaning behind the flag is magnificent but I actually like the Greek flag more for its message.
Julius: It’s just a flag.
Editor: Kärt Mättikas
Translator: Triin Tikk
Pictures: Argyro and Julius