neljapäev, september 21, 2006

An Estonian Statue of Liberty

Just in case anyone forgot that the hero of the Estonian national epic was the son of Kalev, or Kalevipoeg, Jüri Ratas and the rest of the gang in Tallinn want to make sure that very tourist is reminded each time they enter and exit Tallinn harbor, from the Baltic Times, subscription only.

TALLINN - Tallinn will hold an international competition to design a giant statute of the mythical hero Kalevipoeg in the city’s bay. The statue will be a striking landmark, located 100 meters from the coastline with a height of 21 meters. The Tallinn City Council, which has commissioned the statue, hopes it will join a list of internationally famous landmarks, such as Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer and New York’s Statue of Liberty.


I have never read Kalevipoeg and have some doubts about his heroism because typical hardass Estonians have told me it's all fake and stolen from Karelian mythology. Through my contact with Estonians I am aware of the existence of other old Gods like Taara and Uku, as well as real folk heroes like Lembitu, but Kalevipoeg didn't come up too often. Plus he cut his legs off with his own sword in the end. I hope that's not a metaphor for the Estonian nation.

4 kommentaari:

Inga ütles ...

Something funny for you...
http://www.zone.ee/ryytlipolka/

Luarvik ütles ...

Hmmmm, well, I'm not sure one should dismiss Kalevipoeg so readily. It is after all a major source of national folklore and a lot of stuff in the Estonian psyche derives from it. Erecting a huge statue in the gulf, whilst there are so many other places money is tight, is another thing completely:)

Notsu ütles ...

Yes, Kreutzwald's "Kalevipoeg" wasn't all there was about Kalevipoeg... there are genuine myths about him. BTW, recently Hasso Krull published a very interesting essay about - among other themes - Kalevipoeg and Vanapagan as trickster figure(s) in our mythology.

Trial and Error ütles ...

There is much to be said about Kalevipoeg and erecting the monument. Check this out:
www.trialerror.org/Monument/index.html