The week in pictures, January 5-11

1/12/2015 2:44 PM
Category: Politics

Although the terror attacks in Paris and their aftermath took the center stage in last week's news, there were some brighter moments as well.

On Monday, Postimees daily announced that its annual Person of the Year for 2014 award was going to Hirvo Surva, the artistic director of the 26th Estonian Song Celebration. The title has been awarded to an outstanding individual since 1997 and is given to a nominee whose "deeds go down in history."

With the general elections less than two months away, the campaigns are getting more serious. As usual, these involve painstaking pinpointing of rivals’ misconduct, which for some cases are not that hard to find. It was revealed last week that the mayor of Tallinn, Edgar Savisaar, spent a total of 107,000 euros - allegedly taxpayer money - to produce and air a Christmas greeting, which involves him ice skating in a mock Superman costume.

On Wednesday, Obinitsa, a small Seto village in southeastern Estonia, celebrated becoming the 2015 Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture. The village, which only has about 135 inhabitants, will serve as a culture capital for 25 million people.

While the Seto people were making merry, two "crazy" Estonian men were tirelessly toiling on an indoor rowing machine, in a bid to top the 1,000 kilometer tandem rowing world record. It was on Thursday that Rait Merisaar,20, and Rainer Saad, 27, victoriously reached the long-awaited 1 million meter mark. The new world record is 3 days, 7 hours, 23 minutes and 1 second.

At the same time as millions rallied across France for unity in the face of terrorism and in remembrance of the victims of the Paris terror attacks, the local French community and its Estonian friends held a smaller gathering of their own in Tallinn’s Freedom Square.

Interior Minister Hanno Pevkur’s comments on the attack being prompted by the media behavior, created some serious backlash. Justice Minister Andres Anvelt and a number of journalists compared Pevkur’s reasoning for the causes of the attack with excusing rape with the fact that the victim wore a short skirt.

On Sunday night the producers and stars of the last year's Estonian Film of the Year "Tangerines", produced in cooperation with Georgia, attended the Golden Globes awards gala, where they were nominated for the best foreign film. Although this year’s award went to Russia, the nomination, the first ever for an Estonian film, was a victory in itself.

This year’s Neitsi Maali award for the best Estonian film, however, went to Martti Helde’s "In the Crosswind", which depicts the 1941 deportations in a series of unbroken images.

M. Oll

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