What the papers say: Setos in UNESCO, another closure at Mall of Tallinn

Estonian newspapers (picture is illustrative).
Estonian newspapers (picture is illustrative). Source: Postimees/Scanpix

On Monday, Sept. 30, the papers in Estonia covered the tenth anniversary of the Seto minority's singing tradition being recognized by UNESCO, the latest in a string of closures at the year-old T1 Mall of Tallinn, training scholarships for teachers in Tartu, and one-cent coffees as consolation to shoppers putting up with ongoing construction at several Prisma locations.

Seto leelo's ten-year UNESCO anniversary 

On Sept. 30, 2009, it was announced that the the Seto leelo, the traditional polyphonic singing tradition of Estonia's Seto minority, had been included in UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, regional paper Postimees Setomaa writes (link in Estonian).

Õie Sarv, who was ülembsootska, or regent of the Setos' god-king Peko, at the time, said that the inclusion of the Seto leelo in UNESCO's list was a sign that today's globalization provides small but sharp and enterprising peoples and communities who believe in themselves the opportunity to be visible, heard and recognized more broadly as well.

Ten years later, it is still considered an honor to be included in the internationally recognized list; the Seto leelo tradition, the smoke sauna tradition of the neighboring Võromaa region and the cultural space of the tiny Baltic Sea island of Kihnu are three aspects of culture in Estonia that are included in UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage list.

Sarv has noticed a decade on that more and more Seto leelo singers are bringing their children with them to sing, which will hopefully see the tradition to continue to be passed on from generation to generation.

Another vendor closes doors at Mall of Tallinn

The latest in a string of closures, Väike Gruusia, a Georgian restaurant to operate at the T1 Mall of Tallinn since the shopping center opened last November, has closed its doors and is filing for bankruptcy, daily Postimees writes (link in Estonian).

According to owner Toivo Tahula, things went south because, despite its beneficial location adjacent to the Selver supermarket, there just  weren't enough clients.

Shopping center director Allan Remmelkoor disagreed, however, blaming the lack of success on long wait times at a first-floor location surrounded by faster, street food-concept food options, saying that by the time one had to wait more than ten minutes for their food, they preferred to simply eat at one of the quieter options on the mall's fourth floor instead.

"The competition is fierce, and considering we have over 30 different cafes and restaurants, it's clear that certain corrections will arise during the first year, and not all concepts will work," the mall director said.

City-funding training scholarship open to Tartu teachers

The City of Tartu is funding scholarships for teachers that can be applied toward continuing education courses, training, as well as participation in seminars and conferences, regional Tartu Postimees writes (link in Estonian).

A total of €10,000 in will be paid out to teachers, who can apply for up to €1,000 each.

Last year, the city received over 30 applications, and paid out scholarships to 20 teachers.

Scholarship funds went toward funding courses and participation in training, conventions and summer courses as close by as at the University of Tartu and as far away as Sweden, France, London and even California.

Prisma offering one-cent coffee for your troubles

Renovations are currently underway at Finnish-owned retail chain Prisma's Rocca al Mare and Lasnamäe locations, and the company has decided to offer shoppers hot drinks, including coffee, cocoa and broth for just one cent, writes online news portal Geenius.ee (link in Estonian).

According to Prisma spokesperson Piret Lankots, the special price is valid at the Lasnamäe store, where its parking lots are being renovated, and at the Rocca al Mare location, where the store is being rearranged in connection with its expansion.

"We're doing this to reimburse our clients for any possible inconvenience," Lankots said.

The offer is valid at the Lasnamäe store through the end of next week, and at the Rocca al Mare store through the end of November.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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