What the papers say: Alcohol restrictions, exchange students, reed crowns
On Thursday, Nov. 7, in addition to several other major topics, the papers in Estonia also wrote about Tallinn city government's new plan to further restrict alcohol sales, a Japanese exchange student living on a farm in the Estonian countryside, a young Tartu dancer taking top prize in a Finnish dance contest, and a St. Martin's Day Fair plan to set a new world record.
Restricting Kõlvart's alcohol restrictions
Tallinn city government's new plan to ban the sale of alcoholic beverages at entertainment establishments from 2-6 a.m. on weeknights implies that it would be a good idea to start drinking at 6 a.m., daily Eesti Päevaleht writes in its editorial (link in Estonian).
If the goal is to keep schoolchildren on their way to school from walking by bars and their inebriated clients early in the morning, as Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart (Centre) mentioned, the restrictions as currently planned don't help fulfill that purpose. The implication that late-night hours are meant for sleeping also doesn't acknowledge the fact that many people do not work a traditional 9-to-5 schedule.
Meanwhile, some of the world's most popular destinations, like London and Amsterdam, already know that a more effective approach is taking various communities into account instead — such as by implementing functional late-night public transport.
Because Kõlvart's initial arguments regarding early-morning drinkers don't hold water anyway, perhaps the city should consider other such options first.
Japanese exchange student experiencing country living
The Lopp family, who runs an organic farm in the village of Uhti, just south of Tartu, is currently hosting Naho, an exchange student from Japan, via the Youth For Understanding (YFU) international exchange program, weekly Maaleht writes (link in Estonian).
Naho was one of 34 exchange students to arrive in Estonia via the program this August, and the fourth that the Lopp family has hosted in the span of five years — following Emma from Germany, Hinata from Japan and June from Thailand. All of the exchange students have been treated just like every other member of the family, and have helped plant crops, bake, clean, and do chores— and even, in Naho's case, drive a tractor.
Naho said that she chose Estonia as her destination because a classmate had previously come to Estonia and posted beautiful photos of local nature on Instagram. She said she is looking forward to winter and the chance to ski, and is excited to try taking sauna for the first time.
Tartu dancer earns first place in Finnish street dance contest
16-year-old Tartu native Hanna Mändmaa took first place in vogue at Finnish street style dance contest Hex Doll Halloween Ball last weekend, regional paper Tartu Postimees writes (link in Estonian).
For Mändmaa, who trains daily with JJ-Street Dance Company, this was her first experience competing abroad.
"A lot more people came to watch than I expected — the line for tickets even stretched out the door," she commented.
The dancer said she felt confident competing in Finland because she works hard every day, but also thanked her trainers for instilling her with the confidence to compete and reach for her goals.
St. Martin's Fair begins, eyeing Guinness world record
The four-day XXII St. Martin's Fair (or Martinmas Fair) began at Saku Suurhall in Tallinn on Thursday, featuring a handicraft fair, workshops and children's activities, weekly Maaleht writes (gallery, link in Estonian).
Despite it being a workday, fairgoers were lined up outside the building before doors even opened at around 1 p.m., including charter buses full of visitors from Finland.
Products for sale range from children's clothes from nationally recognized local brands to mittens of all kinds still hand-knitted by elderly masters of the craft.
In addition to the handicraft sale and other activities on site, organizers are aiming to build the world's largest himmeli, or reed crown, stealing the world record from southern neighbor Lithuania.
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Editor: Aili Vahtla