Saturday, July 30, 2011

Viljandi Pärimusmuusika Festival: 30. juuli

Täna esinevad Tuule Kann ja Jaak Sooäär Aida suur saalis.  This footage from the Estonian Embassy in Paris concert in 2009. Tuule Kann performs on the Estonian baltic zither. Here is an introduction to Estonian and Baltic folk music in English.

Jaak Sooäär: "võib pidada Eesti üheks parimaks jazzkitarristiks"
Tuule Kann:  "on tuntud kandlemängu pedagoog, levitaja ja esitaja; 2009. aastal pälvis Tuule Kann pärimuskultuuri auhinna väljapaistva tegevuse eest kandlemuusika traditsioonide hoidmisel ja arendamisel." Siin ta mängib kromaatilist kannelt. Read more here about them and the Viljandi Folk Festival : LINK 

From Wikipedia:

A kantele in Finnish or kannel in Estonian is a traditional plucked string instrument of the zither family native to Finland, Estonia, and Karelia. It is related to the Russiangusli, the Latvian kokle and the Lithuanian kanklės. Together these instruments make up the family known as Baltic psalteries. The instrument is also known as the kusle among the Volga-Finnic Mari people.

The oldest forms of kantele have 5 or 6 horsehair strings and a wooden body carved from one piece; more modern instruments have metal strings and often a body made from several pieces. 
Alfred Aasma's  zither in the Canadian Museum of Civilization
Modern concert kanteles can have up to 40 strings, Modern instruments with 15 or fewer strings are generally more closely modelled on traditional shapes than the concert kantele, and form a separate category of instrument known as small kantele. The playing positions of concert kantele and small kantele are reversed; i.e., to the player of a small kantele the wide'est low pitched strings are farthest away from his body, whilst to a concert kantele this side of the instrument is nearest, and the short high pitched strings farthest away. The instruments have different though related repertoires.

From the Tuule Kann performs in the Chromatic or Concert Zither.

 Estonian chromatic zither produced by the Tallinn Piano
Factory in 1988.  Photo: Adeline
From the Estonian Wikipedia:
Kromaatiline kannel (täpsemalt kromaatiline kontsertkannel) on keelpill.

See on klassikaliste muusikainstrumentide kõrval uustulnukas. Oma praeguse kuju sai eesti kromaatiline kannel 1952. aastal kandlemeister Väino Maala käe all.

Kromaatilisus võimaldab mängida piiranguteta kõigis helistikes ja annab suuri võimalusi erinevate ajastute muusika ettekandmiseks. Kromaatilise kandle keeled on ristuvad, see tähendab, et diatoonilised keeled suunduvad kõlalaua kohal paremalt ülalt vasakule alla ja altereeritud keeled vasakult ülalt paremale alla. Seda võib võrrelda klahvide paigutusega klaveri klaviatuuril (mustad ja valged klahvid).

Kromaatilisi kandleid valmistas Tallinna Klaverivabrik alates 1950ndatest kuni 1990ndate aastateni. Need kandled on 46 keelega. Praegu on võimalik tellida kromaatilisi kandleid Soomest või eesti kandlemeistritelt. Uuematel Soomest pärit kanneldel võib olla kuni 50 keelt.

When was the first chromatic zither manufactured? In Finland, by Elias Lönnrot between 1835 and 1840; one of these early models is stored in the museum of Finland. 

The Kalevala and the kannel-zither:

Rainy Tallinn - vihamane Põhja-Eesti

ERR uudistes: 

Kundas sadas ööpäevaga 80 mm vihma 

      but Southern Estonia is dry!

Siin on kaart: (ERR)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Estonian Word of the Week: Pantvang (Hostage)

Valgamaalane, July 14, 2011
Pantvangid pääsesid vabadusse
Neljapäeva varahommikul vabastati Eesti, Liibanoni ja teiste partnerite koostöö tulemusel Liibanonis röövitud seitse Eesti kodanikku. (Some of the cyclists are from the province of Valgamaa, read the story here.)

The Baltic Times, July 15, 2011
Estonian Hostages Freed
TALLINN -- "The seven Estonian men who were kidnapped while cycling through Lebanon in March have been set free and are back on home soil."  (English roundup of Baltic news, here).

The most captivating Estonian news headlines this week must be the happy end to the 113 day hostage crisis. Yesterday the Lebanon NOW headline read "Estonians freed, but mystery remains"; it went so far as to state: 
"The truth of what happened to the men, and who was behind their abduction, therefore may not come out for weeks or months, if it ever does."  
We hope the opposite is true and that truth will out. (From Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice")

What are the origins of the words "hostage" and "pantvang"?

Both the Finnish "panttivanki" and Estonian "pantvang" are similar in origin and are divided into two words, pant and vang. Pant, pantti originate from the Latin pīgnus, pīgnoris (pīgneris) n.  a pledge, gage, pawn, security, guaranty; they were loan words from the Germanic base Pfand, a pledge, pawn, security.

Vang, vanki (prisoner) derive from the Germanic root Gefangene and are similar to the Swedish fånge and the Icelandic fangi and can also be traced back to the English word fang. 

Photo: Frank van Mierlo

Vang is also a nautical term:
boom vang (US) or kicking strap (UK) is a line or piston system on a sailboat used to exert downward force on the boom and thus control the shape of the sail. An older term is "martingale".The vang typically runs from the base of the mast to a point about a third of the way out the boom.

Here are the Estonian definitions from "Eesti keele seletav sõnaraamat"
1. vara, millega tagatakse laenu vm. kohustuse täitmine. Maad, talu panti panema. Andis raha eest kella, sõrmuse pandiks. Tal on kogu varandus panti viidud. Raamatuid laenutati pandi vastu. Pandiks võeti kaks sõjavangi. Ls. kinnis|pant, vallaspant. (mortgage, security, collateral).
2. tagatis millegi saavutamiseks. Õnne pant. See ennastsalgav tegu sai meie sõpruse pandiks. Teaduse arengu pandiks oli ta seos praktikaga. Annan pandiks oma mehesõna. Lapsed on rahva tuleviku pant. Töö on edu pant. (pledge of security, future happiness).
3. pandimängus ese, mille mängujuht võtab mängijalt ja mis tuleb mingi ülesande täitmisega välja lunastada. Kes mängureeglite vastu eksib, annab pandi. Mängisime pantide lunastamist. Mida peab see tegema, kelle pant minu käes on? 
1. vanglas karistust kandev v. eelvangistuses viibiv isik. Paljaks pöetud peaga vang. Sunnitööle mõistetud vangid.
2. vaenlase poolt kinni võetud isik (näit. sõjavang, pantvang). Sõjas võetud vangid. 
3. PILTL a. keegi, kes on kuskil kinni, ei saa liikuda v. lahkuda. Et võtit polnud, oldi vangid omas kodus. Teedelagunemise aegu oleme oma koduküla vangid. b. (inimese kohta, kes on millegi kütkes, lummuses). Ta on oma kujutluste, iseenda, armastuse, töö vang. 

And last, but not least: vàng in Vietnamese means gold. Coincidence or not?
Adamson-Eric: Gold Brooch and Bracelet, 1968, Estonian Museum of Art

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tour de France - Rein Taaramäe is moving up!

Taaramae moves closer to top 10
Jul 14, 2011
Jared Grellet
PARIS, France – "Estonia’s Rein Taaramae has moved up to 16th overall in the Tour de France despite losing time on race leader Thomas Voeckler of France.   After 12 stages Taaramae is sitting seven minutes, 27 seconds behind Voeckler and just under three minutes outside of the race top 10". He is currently in 16th place - 2nd best best young rider overall!

Rein is 24, born in Tartu, Estonia, rider number 151 for Cofidis. His code name is vader, short for reinuvader (fox).

The hardest segments of the Tour de France for an Estonian loom ahead: the mountains. Rein has faithfully been writing his blog - read it and keep your fingers crossed (hoia põialt!) that he makes it to the finish line. A top 10 finish is a lofty goal but not impossible! Next Stage: Touri mägedeetapp!

Rein Taaramäe's blog: :
Tour de France link:

Bastille Day - Prisoners Released!

Storming of the Bastille,  Jean-Pierre Houël (1735-1813)
July 14, 1789 - Storming of the Bastille Prison in Paris, France:  the beginning of the French Revolution and  the birthday of the modern French nation celebrated by fireworks and the oldest and largest regular military parade in Europe. 

"Besides holding a large cache of ammunition and gunpowder, the Bastille had been known for holding political prisoners whose writings had displeased the royal government". 
For instance, the Marquis de Sade. He then managed to write "The 120 Days of Sodom" IN the Bastille - but missed the storming, having been transferred to Charenton in early July 1789.

"As it happened, at the time of the siege in July 1789 there were only seven inmates, none of great political significance."  LINK  According to Antonia Fraser's book "Marie Antoinette - The Journey", the list included two madmen, four forgers and one nobly born criminal. (page 283).

Estonian Hostages Freed
On the same day over two hundred years later seven other prisoners (hostages), this time Estonians, were released with the help of the French government from the tiny Eastern Bekaa village of Arsal, an area known as the Wild West of the Middle East: 

The Estonian hostages on the balcony
of the French Embassy in Beirut. Photo: Jessica Sarhan

"The desert heat spills over the mountains from Syria, the streets are dusty, and elderly people sit silently by empty storefronts all day. But those aren’t the only resemblances. 

If you’re a farmer, you carry a gun, locals say. The lands of most people in Arsal lie at the hudud, the border with Syria, which has never been properly demarcated. And because no Lebanese authority guards the border, the Syrian farmers have been encroaching on and stealing Lebanese land, villagers contend".
Read the article from Lebanon Now HERE.

According to the BBC, "a previously unknown group called Haraket Al-Nahda Wal-Islah, or Movement for Renewal and Reform, claimed to have carried out the kidnap, and demanded a ransom". Estonia relied on France and other NATO allies for their release as it has very few diplomatic staff in the region.  Read the story from Sky News., here is the Estonian new source: linkIt is interesting that Estonia has an embassy and six consulates in France - the same as in the United States!

Question: Which country is home to the largest number of Estonian citizens living abroad?
  • Russia
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Finland
Finland (28,489), followed by Russia (12,686), Sweden (3155) and Canada (2693). 
The United States has 2514 Estonian citizens, the United Kingdom 2289, while France has 319. 
And the country listed with the fewest? Bulgaria - 22. Source:  Eesti Ekspress,  20. jaanuar 2011

Bastille Day Military Parade 2011 - View the amazing photo gallery here: LINK
This year's parade highlighted France's overseas territories, such as Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinique, Reunion, Mayotte, New Caledonia and Polynesia but was overshadowed by the worst French losses in Afghanistan since 2008. 

"Another French soldier was killed on Thursday, meaning that seven have died over the past week. On Wednesday five French soldiers and an Afghan civilian were killed, and four other troops injured, in a suicide bomb attack on a meeting of local village leaders in Joybar, in the Kapisa province north east of Kabul.

’We are now faced with more terrorist-type actions, not just military action’, Mr Sarkozy told reporters after meeting wounded soldiers in Afghanistan at the Percy military hospital. ’It is a new situation and to deal with this new situation requires new safety measures’ ” LINK. 

Bastille Day USA - Washington, DC
Do you happen to be in Washington and love to party? Then you are probably near (or in!)....
... the French Maid's race! Party starts at 4 pm and the race at 8 pm! Got a broom - gotta go!

Where: L'Enfant Cafe and Bar Block Party - 2000 18th Street NW
Foursquare link:
An amazing 1250 check-ins!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Come and Visit Saaremaa!

Raamatukogu Võlusaared on suve kogemuste rännakul! Otsime uusi ja toredaid suve hetki, siin on tore leiutis!

Last year, one of the winning films in the Estdocs competition posed the question: "Estonians, are they ever happy?" *If you missed it, here is the link:

We at the Magic Islands Library are asking a similar question: "Estonians, are they ever funny?"  Intentionally, that is. Watch this video for the true history of Saaremaa and its people. Are they funny?

The Estonian Island of Saaremaa from VisitSaaremaa on Vimeo.