What the papers say: Eesti Laul back in Tartu, Tõrva deputy mayor resigns

Estonian newspapers (photo is illustrative).
Estonian newspapers (photo is illustrative). Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

On Wednesday, Nov. 6, in addition to several other major topics, the papers in Estonia also wrote about the return of Eesti Laul's semifinals to Tartu, a census of St. Martin's and St. Catherine's Day runners, Tõrva's deputy municipal mayor resigning, a new parkour park in Võru, and a quiz in honor of Võru Language Week.

Eesti Laul semifinals in Tartu again

The two semifinals of Eesti Laul, the song competition to determine Estonia's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest 2020, will once again take place in Tartu next February, regional paper Tartu Postimees writes (link in Estonian).

Featuring a total of 24 songs, the two semifinals are scheduled to take place at University of Tartu Academic Sports Club (TÜSK) on Feb. 13 and 15, hosted by Karl-Eerik Taukar and Tõnis Niinemets, with the final to follow at Tallinn's Saku Suurhall on Feb. 29. The winner of Eesti Laul will then travel to Rotterdam in May to compete in Eurovision.

Census begins of St. Martin's and Catherine's Day runners 

The Estonian Folklore Council is teaming up with the Estonian Folk Culture Centre to conduct a nationwide census of people who still "run" from home to home on St. Martin's Day Eve and St. Catherine's Day Eve, local news portal Külauudis writes (link in Estonian).

Influenced by Western media, Halloween is gaining increasing popularity in Estonia, just as the popularity of the two traditional Estonian holidays continues to wane.

According to Kati Taal, who is in charge of the project, the goal is to get as many people participating in the two holidays as possible to register themselves, as the more people register, the more accurate a picture is painted of the state of the holidays in various parts of the country.

This year, the program will also include St. Martin's Day and Catherine's Day workshops in Tartu, Tallinn, Kohtla-Järve and Haapsalu, as well as concerts and celebrations.

The events will culminate with a St. Catherine's Day party on Nov. 25 at the Estonian Traditional Music Centre in Viljandi, which will unite Latvian, Russian, Izhorian and Estonian revelers.

Tõrva deputy municipal mayor resigning

Andres Agan, who was elected deputy municipal mayor of Tõrva, in Valga County, has announced his resignation, regional paper Lõuna-Eesti Postimees writes (link in Estonian).

Agan and his family live in Tartu, meaning that five days a week, he has a commute of 150 kilometers per day.

In addition to the physical and mental strain of the commute itself, Agan, who previously held a different position in the municipal government, said that this also meant that he just didn't have enough time for his family.

He also admitted that he may have been naive in thinking he could handle the demands of the new position, but had since realized that he could not fulfill his duties as well as he would like and as well as local residents deserve.

He will be starting a new job in the private sector on Jan. 1.

Parkour park being built in Võru

Later this month, a new parkour park and outdoor gym will be opened at a recreational area along Koreli Creek, regional paper Lõuna-Eesti Postimees writes (link in Estonian).

Construction only just began less than a month ago, but builders have already installed the first exercise machines and laid the recycled tire mulch being used as ground covering. According to Võru city government spokesperson Marianne Mett, professional traceur and trainer Märt Madison was involved in the planning of the parkour park.

The new recreational area will also feature a children's playground, a petanque pitch, outdoor classrooms, sled hills and a boat dock. Some of these features are being included upon the suggestion of city residents themselves.

Test your Võro language knowledge

It's Võro Language Week in Estonia, and weekly Maaleht (link in Estonian) is inviting readers to put their knowledge of Estonia's minority language to the test with a quiz published by the Võru institute.

The 17-question quiz wants to know, for example, whether the word "jumalaorjus" means the Lord's Prayer, a church service, a fundraiser, or an ad campaign, and whether a "pilparatsanik" is a timber truck driver, a lumberjack, a glazier or a skier.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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