Animals and Plants
What is growing in Estonia?
As a country starting with E listed on Countryaah, Estonia is the country in the European Union with the third most forest growing (after Sweden and Finland). 61 percent of the country is covered with forest. Birch trees are particularly common, while pines predominate on the Baltic Sea and on sandy soils. Spruce, fir and larch are other conifers. There are also lakes and moors in which the typical plants grow here. Five national parks have been set up to protect nature.
Which animals live in Estonia?
Because so much forest grows in Estonia, many forest animals live here. There are deer, red deer, foxes, martens and also mountain hares. There are also large mammals such as elk and brown bears as well as lynxes and wolves. Beavers can be found in the rivers.
Birds also fly through Estonia, of course. Seagulls are omnipresent on the Baltic Sea, but other seabirds cavort here too. You can also watch the now rare black ducks, pygmy geese, corncocks and godwit. The greater spotted eagle belongs to the birds of prey.
The economy in Estonia
Estonia’s economy has fluctuated greatly since independence in 1991. First, the entire economy was turned inside out and converted from a planned to a market economy. New trading partners were sought and companies were privatized.
The economy grew slowly and eventually grew rapidly. Together with Latvia and Lithuania, Estonia was therefore referred to as the Baltic Tiger. The global economic crisis also caused a slump in Estonia. The economy has been recovering since 2011.
Furniture, vehicle parts, electronic devices, food and textiles are manufactured in Estonia. The industry contributes 29 per cent to almost one third of the total economic output. The products that are exported are widely diversified. Financial services, tourism, trade and the construction industry are also important for the economy.
Agriculture, on the other hand, only generates just under 3 percent. Grains, potatoes and vegetables are grown.
A large part of the energy is produced with the oil shale quarried in the country. Estonia prides itself on being particularly well connected electronically. You can even vote here by SMS. Incidentally, the Internet telephone service Skype was invented in Estonia.
Children and School
How is school in Estonia?
In Estonia, children start school at the age of seven. Before that, they must go through a preschool program at the age of five and six. They then go to school together for nine years, which is divided into a four-year elementary level and a five-year advanced level. At the end there is a test. With the diploma you can then continue to school, either to a grammar school or to a vocational school.
In Estonia grades are from 5 to 1, with 5 being the best and 1 being the worst! Classes are in Estonian. The school year always starts on September 1st. According to a long tradition, the students bring flowers to their teachers. The school year ends in June and the students look forward to three months of summer vacation!
In Estonia, every teacher has his or her classroom and students change classrooms during breaks. There are no school uniforms. At lunchtime, all students up to ninth grade receive a free meal. Schools are often very well equipped with computers.
Child in Estonia
How about growing up in Estonia? Can you imagine that? You would start school at the age of seven and study with your classmates for nine years. You would speak Estonian. It would be different if your parents were Russians, after all, every fourth inhabitant of Estonia is Russian. Then Russian would be your mother tongue.
For breakfast you would like to eat kama, a porridge made from flour and milk. You would probably get used to taking a sauna early on, one of the Estonians’ favorite pastimes.
Perhaps your last name would be Tamm, as this is the most common last name in Estonia. By the way, that means oak. Your first name could be Sofia, Sandra, Laura, Mirtel, or Alisa if you are a girl. As a boy you might be called Oliver, Rasmus, Markus, Martin or Sander.