Children connect Estonia mostly with family, home and the national flag

Press Release 22 February 2017

“What’s weird about Estonia is that it’s such a small country, but still so important.”

The first results of the survey conducted among children within the framework of the Children and Youth Year of Culture “Me too!” show that children mostly connect Estonia with their family, home and the national flag of Estonia, but also with the Estonian language, its nature, their friends and school – “Estonia has the purest air and water. It’s the best and prettiest republic”. There are a number of fun connections the children drew – “Estonia is small, I am small. Estonia is kind, I am kind. Estonia is hard-working, I am hard-working.”

Children find the Estonian language, home and family, the beauty of the country and its abundance of woods to be the most special things about Estonia. They find that nice, friendly, funny, different and special people live in Estonia, and bring out that there are four seasons and no natural disasters. Special people, in the children’s view, are Arvo Pärt and Kelly Sildaru. “Estonia is a unique country, because we grow our own food and built our houses.” and “There is night in Estonia when there’s day on the other side of the globe.” The children’s unrivalled favourite place in Estonia is their home “with my bed, three pillows and a thick blanket”.

Most children find there is nothing too weird in Estonia, but many name the climate, the small size and having a female president as weird. “It’s weird in Estonia that the country is so small, but still so important.” Children worry about people being busy, proverbs being odd, and about people leaving Estonia. They find there’s a lack of high mountains and giraffes in the zoo. “It’s weird that when Estonians have some kind of problem, then they don’t attend to it immediately, but leave it and only when the problem has been solved, everybody asks who was supposed to attend to it and why were they not asked to help.”

The children find an Estonian person to be nice, kind, friendly and wise, but also industrious, pretty and polite, a person who eats everything, also meat jelly, and who is used to the Estonian weather. “Estonians are modest, but not all of them. There are a lot of bold and active people, who speak up. Estonians are hard-working and many like to live in the countryside.” “When you praise them, then they get all shy… oh-please-there’s-no-need…”

Over 4000 children from Estonia to the Island of Tonga participated in the worldwide survey of 7-12-year-olds in the frame of the Children and Youth Year of Culture “Me too!”. Attention was paid to their thoughts on Estonia, their school life, free time and cultural preferences. The results help to create portraits of modern Estonian children and are an inspiration for compiling a new publication about Estonian children. The extracts taken from the survey results on the eve of Estonia’s Independence Day give a glimpse to what Estonian children find important and special about the country.

The goal of the Children and Youth Year of Culture 2017 is to value children and youngsters as the creators of and as an audience for culture. It is organised by the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre on the initiative of the Estonian Ministry of Culture. The publication inspired by the Year of Culture will be issued by the Estonian Institute.

For additional information please contact:

Marju Kask

Project Manager at Children and Youth Year of Culture 2017

marju.kask@elk.ee

Phone: +372 522 8659