An Estonian writer has opened the "world's first" reserve for introverts in Viljandi County for people who want to enjoy their own company in peace. There is only one rule - events can only have one participant.
Valdur Mikita's retreat is located by the river Õhne in Suislepa, his childhood home. Even today, he still sits and thinks about life beneath the willow trees growing along the river's banks.
He told Tuesday's "Aktuaalne kaamera" that in recent years many previously quiet places have become noisy.
"And that's why we need a peaceful place where introverts can also enjoy thinking, walking around, thinking about the bigger things in life. And that's why, in my opinion, Suislepa is the right place to create the world's first introvert reserve," he said.
Mikita has installed a green sign saying "Introverts' Reserve" ("Introvertide kaitseala") next to the river. The project is not permanent and Mikita said if too many people start visiting the location he will move the sign elsewhere.
There are many beautiful places in Estonia, but they are often ignored, the author said. These locations can be considered dear to the Estonian heart and soul.
"They simply have to be rethought, to find a little function for them. And, in my opinion, starting with an introvert experiment could be the starting point for how our peripheries can become something else," he said.
The first event held at the reserve was a presentation of Mikita's new book "Mõtterändur" which discusses everything important to Estonians.
"Have you kept your own mushroom foraging spot secret or suspected someone you know of hiding one? Or have you argued with people about how to store wood? Have you stepped into a cow pat or, for example, dodged responsibilities to pick red currents? Or do you know a person named Luule or Elmar? Or do you know someone who doesn't talk at all? If so, you are probably Estonian," he said.
Editor: Helen Wright