September 29th, 2017
You may be wondering why we chose Estonia for this blog. We don’t receive too many academic documents from Estonia for evaluation and have not had the opportunity to visit this country, at least not yet! But when we asked one of our staff to pick a country, he chose Estonia. So, here are some non-evaluation related facts you may enjoy about this country in northeastern Europe. We’re reposting our post on Estonia from 2012 with a few updates. Enjoy!
Let’s get started with “tere” which means Hello in Estonian!
1. 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”.
2. Estonia was the first country in the world to use online political voting.
3. 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.”
4. Estonian is the official language. Russian is also widely spoken.
5. The Estonian currency was the Kroon, but they have joined the Euro-zone and Euro is their official currency now.
6. Even though Estonia is considered to be a part of the Baltic countries; Latvia and Lithuania, there is no real political alliance.
7. Estonia is named after the “Ests” who inhabited the region in the first Century AD.
8. Estonia is the least religious country in the world with only 14% of the population claiming any religious beliefs.
9. Almost 50% of Estonia is covered by forest.
10. Estonia has a population of 1.3 million and one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe.
11. Estonia has the highest number of meteorite craters per land area in the world.
12. Estonia is the homeland of Skype, Hotmail and KaZaA.
13. All Estonian schools are connected to the Internet.
Teachers at Konguta Kool use online programs for students to practice basic arithmetic. Estonian students are among the highest performers in Europe on international math, reading and science assessments. (Photo: Sarah Butrymowicz)
14. 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).
15. Out of the nearly 200 countries in the world, Estonia ranks in the second place with a literacy rate of 99.8%.
16. In 1994, Estonia became the first country to institute the flat income tax.
17. They have the biggest collection of folk songs in the world with written records of 133,000 folk songs.
18. The Estonians invented Kiiking, which is considered a sport. It involves fastening yourself to an enormous standing steal 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.
Estonian have also won for 11 consecutive years, the wife carrying competition. The only way to describe this non-Olympic sport is to share this photo:
19. Estonia produces quality vodka and boasts Viru Valge and Saaremaa as its most popular brands.
20. Estonia is the only Baltic country with far-reaching and deep-rooted island culture. Estonian islands tend t be rural, most uninhabited, with traces of local Viking and medieval culture.
Hope you enjoyed this. Head aega! (That’s “goodbye” in Estonian.)
Sources for more fun facts on Estonia:
The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.