This week in our Monday morning gathering, we sang two of our February songs and then Monique read to us this week’s ‘Calendar of the Soul’ verse and then everybody shared their weekend. After that Gundula and Raymond spoke about last week’s weather. John spoke to us about the stars and then Monique introduced us to Florian who is our new coworker, originally from the Netherlands.
In our Thursday morning College, Elliott and Liisi taught us about the traditions and culture of Estonia. The oak tree is Estonia’s national tree. Liisi told us that the flag has three colors: blue for loyalty and the beautiful country sky, black is for past oppression and fertile soil, and white is for virginal snow. After that, we learned about Estonia’s Coat of Arms. The coat of arms is made up of three lions which represent courage. After that Elliott told us about the different traditional foods such as Kama which is a finely milled flour mixture made of barley, rye, oats and pea flour. It is the oldest dish in the Estonian kitchen. Other popular foods are potatoes and herring, blood sausage, and jellied meats called aspic. They ate these foods because this was all that they had to eat during the war years. We learned that the national flower of Estonia is called the Blue cornflower and the national bird is the bond swallow and the national animal is the gray wolf and lynx. Then Liisi and Elliott spoke about their traditional clothing. We learned that different regions are recognized by the different colors of clothing. The clothing also has symbols like triangles and circles. It is believed that the circles protect people from the evil spirits. Last but not least, the Estonians have many festivals such as the sing song festival where people from different countries come and sing their own songs. Also they have a festival called ‘Live the Jaanipavev’ Alica, St. John, and the mid summer festival.