Projects 9

We can all be mighty and merry

Culture has been known for its many forms – weather is the art or theatre, concerts or the cinemas, sub- or mass culture, etc. Whatever form it may carry, it’s almost as crucial as human rights. Different people define culture in different ways but in a way, culture teaches us the most acceptable norms in current society.

In Estonia we have a saying that „Eestlane olla on uhke ja hää.“ Rough translation to this would be that being an Estonian feels mighty and merry. This the one quote every Estonian knows by heart, it’s almost as our motto. It started with our singing revolution in the beginning of the 90s and it has stuck ever since. It has a direct connection to our nation, society and to our local culture as well.

Maintaining and developing all expressions of traditional culture is invaluable to the people. Let’s take, for example, the well-known action across Europe – night of the museums. It means once a year, all museums open themselves for a night, all free and attracting loads of people. Interpret this being a clear sign that citizens would like to have these kinds of acts run more frequently. But the night of the museums doesn’t have to be something that happens once a year. It would be a significant step forward in society if local culture, as we know it, would be something that surrounds us within every day, is accessible in every region and affordable to every citizen.

The development of every form of culture promotes people’s self-realization and the improvement of quality of life in the current society. The inclusion of people, with or without different backgrounds, we allow ourselves to build a better society and even better common future. When living in the same cultural area, we tend to act, think and behave similarly –in a way that is acceptable in our cultural room, in our society. The more people follow these unwritten, let’s even say obvious, society norms, the more harmony this community carries.

The vitalization and application of local culture promotes understanding. Therefore, with our ULG team, we’d like to come up with cultural carriers, as we know them today, that would help to decentralize and to be more accessible to our society members who today are lacking any kind of cultural form. Whatever the reason may be. We’ve gathered different types of people to our ULG with various cultural backgrounds and we’re eyeing a specific area in northern part of our capital city, called Kopli. Today, Kopli is a mainly Russian-speaking neighbourhood formerly known for drugs, violence and being run-down. The Kopli community team runs events with a small budget, aiming to support people who can’t attend culture otherwise. Events there are usually free of charge. Kopli have now run three editions of “Koplifest” – a cultural neighbourhood festival aiming to introduce Kopli as a good place to live. Kopli really has great potential as it’s currently being re-built and changing its historic image.

Our main aim is not to include this local community into consuming culture, that too, but what we’re really hoping is to use our ULGs experience and know-how and help the culture spread. To decentralize access to culture and to make cultural diversity an everyday thing. Let the distribute our local culture and see how the society benefits from it.

Understanding cultural diversity is crucial for us, as a community, to walk the same path, to be in the same room and share the same values. Different cultural activities help reflect and shape cooperation and a collective identity. So that our motto – being mighty and merry – lives on today, tomorrow and in the next generations. It may shift a little in time, but the most important thing is the core message that matters.  That’s why it’s critical for societies with different types of citizens to access different kinds of cultural forms. Developing diversity is worthwhile for cultural institutions, for the public, but most of all, it pays off for society.


Our merry core team on the mission!

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