In class we’re going to enjoy a tradition that’s at the core of Estonian culture…singing! Every five years, Estonians converge on Tallinn for the massive Estonian Song and Dance Celebration and they sing national Estonian songs. The tradition started in 1869 when about 1,000 members of mens’ choirs and brass bands performed. After World War II the Soviets forced the inclusion of children’s choirs, raising the number of participants substantially, and insisted that the repertoire include foreign songs. Today, over 100,000 Estonians gather for the event; up to 30,000 are in the choir, 80,000 are in the audience.
The 2007 documentary “The Singing Revolution” follows events leading up to Estonia’s 1991 declaration of independence from the Soviet Union. During that time the Estonian people gathered in the thousands to sing forbidden patriotic songs, asserting their cultural and political self-determination and achieving it non-violently.
In class, we’re going to sing the Estonian national song “Tujlak,” which is on our CD. We will try to do non-violently.
“Tuljak” being performed at the Estonian Song and Dance Celebration | The Estonian Song and Dance Celebration Website | The Estonian Choral Association | The Singing Revolution | And, not to be too outclassed, the 30,000 attendee strong Latvian
Song and Dance Festival