Saturday, March 19, 2011



...I can tell by the blank stare on your face that you've probably never heard of it.

And that's ok, because now I can tell you about it!

So a quick history and geography lesson, then....

Estonia is located on the Baltic Sea. It is one of the three Baltic States, alongside Latvia and Lithuania. All three were once part of the U.S.S.R. Today, though, Estonia and its Baltic brethren are members of the European Union, but just Estonia uses the Euro (since January of this year). Estonia has only about 1.3 million people living within its borders and the official language is (You guessed it!) Estonian. Estonian is in the Finno-Ugric language group--meaning it is similar to Finnish and distantly related to Hungarian. Apparently, it is one of the most difficult languages to learn (14 grammatical cases).

It shares its terrestrial borders with Russia and Latvia, and its maritime border with Finland. It is a relatively flat country about the size of New Hampshire and Vermont combined, with numerous marshes, islands, and forests. In fact, more than 50% of Estonia is forested. It's got a large amount of wildlife due to its intact environments and it, along with Finland, is one of the most wildlife-populated places in Europe.

After regaining its independence in the early 1990s through the famous Singing Revolution, its stunted economy grew quite rapidly. So rapidly that, until recently, Estonia was known as the "Baltic Tiger" because of its fierce economic growth.

So that's Estonia, basically.