YA Tallinn 2012

Aequis Libertas: Or what young Europeans think about democracy

One of the results of the seminar about populism and challenges to democracy was the seminar magazine: Aequis Libertas Other results will soon follow!  

No complaints!

25 young Europeans from 13 different countries met; and 1 weeks in 2 different cities, 1 fable, 2 songs, 3 videos, uncountable group work sessions, simulations, discussions, potatoe dinners later: an inseparable group of friends (I can’t remember when I have seen so many tears for good bye). Friends who managed to discuss hot issues respectfully, who looked after each other, and: never complained! Not about the workload, the hot-cold showers, the potatoe-pork-repetition, not when being sick or tired. So thank you, guys! It was a pleasure working with you… Hope to see you soon! Tina

There and back again, An Eustorian’s Tale by Ola Borre

Yes. So today we went to the supposedly most beautiful school in Estonia. Again. For the fourth school in a row. The only difference was perhaps that this day I can impartially and partially say that it actually was true. This one even served rice! While being in a completely euphoric state due to the warmly welcomed potato shortage, I was still able to maintain focus on the topic related conversation. Democracy during crisis, voting age and the value of young voices in politics were debated and different levels of participation were discussed. Fun, informative and emotional. It is with a sad face that I forcedly say goodbye to Tartu. Of course Peter the giant hostel spider will always keep his spot in my heart. I pick Tartu over Tallinn every day of the week. Back in the capital, we went ...[Read More]

“Can ALL Estonians sing and dance?”

On the very sleepy Wednesday morning we were walking to the Tallinn’s train station to drive to Tartu.  Most of people were using this time to get some sleep but some of us worked on our project or went to get a coffee.  In mean time we had an opportunity to enjoy Estonian’s magnificent nature and small colorful houses. After two hours we were finally there. Mari-Anne, our good friend from academy, greeted us to Tartu which was very welcoming. We put hurriedly our bags to hostel and went to Miina Härma Gymnasium.  There we had nice greeting from headmaster and students. It was interesting to find out that this school contains people from all over the world like in our academy. For the warm up we discussed what we learned from yesterday.  It was followed with silent discussion. Questions we...[Read More]

“Why build a mosque when we have a synagogue already?”

It did not take us very long to reach several conclusions on the city of Tallinn; that it’s beautiful, that its inhabitants are warm-hearted and that they are crazy about potatoes with pork on the side (no, not the other way around). Yet, after having enjoyed our second visit to an Estonian gymnasium today, the perhaps most obvious conclusion to reach was this: that Estonians are serious about their education. School newspapers with a circulation of almost 1000, student councils resembling the governmental system, and the option to choose subjects ranging from economy to physics to Estonian culture and even national defense. Although we might have visited schools whose students seem to be somewhat exemplary, I am left with the impression that education in Estonia is not a matter to be take...[Read More]

Strictly unpolitical politics

Presenting the school and students. Welcome to Tallinna Reaalkool! Although the way to the school was rainy and glum, our expectations were much more bright. We got what we wanted – interesting people (some of whom we had met on the first and second day already) and a warm welcome. After the presentation of the school council we formed groups of 4-5 people to discuss challenges to the modern democracies and thought of some other points to consider about the topic of our academy. Lunch. Tallinn Secondary Science School. After the tasty lunch at the Tallinn’s Reaalkool we went to visit the Stenbock Maja which is a historical edifice in which now the government resides . Visit to the Stenbock Maja. Democracy and E-Government. We ooh’ ed and ahh’ed about the remarkable building and laughed lou...[Read More]

Up, up and up the winding stairs…

…was the German Institute we worked in today. Dear readers, be prepared for a long post. So many people, so many countries, so many expectations, so many flights but we all had the same goal: arriving in this beautiful city called Tallinn. After a freezing night in our hostel, it was time to get to know each other better. The name-games really helped us remember the names, even if we had to ask some people more than 5 times what their name was. Afterwards we were so good at getting to know people that we also wanted to get to know the locals. This was the perfect time for a trading game! Each group chose one little figure to start with. The task was to exchange this figure into something more valuable and luckily everyone came back with different stories and items: mission completed!

Welcome to Estonia!

Writing this post as there’s just one more participant to arrive, one could say that the Tallinn 2012 academy is already a success  – it’s day one and people are dancing after dinner. Well how could you resist if there’s live music (Estonian version of Country from a Lady with a very sparkly outfit) in the wonderful restaurant you’re having dinner at. It’s been a long day of arrivals, everybody’s here safe and sound, settled at the hostel. For me personally, it meant five trips to the airport and countless minutes of hearing the rattle of suitcase wheels on the cobblestones of the Old Town behind me. We are staying at the very heart of Medieval Tallinn and rest assured, all the young Eustoryans will get a wonderful experience of this old Hanseatic ...[Read More]