7000 people attend the Friendly Estonia concert in Tallinn

09.09.15

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Almost 7000 people attended the concert in Tallinn’s Freedom Square on Sunday in support of tolerant and open-minded Estonia.

The marathon concert, which span over seven hours, saw over 20 artists entertaining crowds and 19 ethnic cuisines, some of the best in the country, keeping people fed.

Members of Kose Nikolai Parish were knitting the longest scarf (sall in Estonian, which sounds like salliv or tolerant) in Estonia on the spot, expected to be ready by the time of the country’s 100th anniversary in 2018.

“Friendly Estonia” is a dream and a free movement, initiated by a group of global Estonians who are concerned about the unity of their country, and who want to keep their country tolerant and nice and kind.

“Our wish is to make open-minded Estonians visible. We want to jointly take a stand and counterbalance the intolerance and nastiness that, with its poisonous message, has suddenly received unfairly wide attention in the media, in light of the announcement that Estonia will accept up to 200 refugees over the next two years, as part of the pan-European refugee settlement deal. Estonia’s progress and persistence in this movement will not happen by itself. It is important that intolerance and ignorance have a visible, confident and positive alternative. The words and deeds of the “Friendly Estonia” movement are intended to make this alternative visible,” the organisers said.

It is hoped that “Friendly Estonia” will not just be a one-time initiative, but will set in motion a wider process of change in society.

Actress Luule Komissarov, who gave a speech at the concert, encouraged a calm and intelligent debate and expressed hope that people will talk more with each other, rather than getting into nasty arguments in the social media and chat rooms over migrant question.

Vahur Kersna, a TV-personality, conceded that while the unity achieved during the Estonian Singing Revolution is now a distant memory and unachievable due to many differences in the society, people still have hope. “As long as the machine guns are not sold on the streets, we will be just fine”.

Actress Evelin Võigemast encouraged to think about our own lives rather than always putting a blame of our failures on others.

Jaak Prints, also an actor, said that everyone in Estonia is responsible for what happens in the country. “Evil is always more aggressive. But if it wins, we are all to blame.”

The “Friendly Estonia” is a citizens’ initiative that will take place under the leadership and contributions of private citizens and private companies, such as TransferWise, GrabCADTeleportPipedrive, BLRT Group, Adcash, Telliskivi Creative CityTallinn Music Week festival, Aku Design Agency, and the Estonian World magazine – who all consider it essential to contribute to values that represent broad-minded and unprejudiced Estonia.