Top 10 Most-Read Stories from 2019

Did you have enough time to read last year? Are you planning to read more this year? In any case, we have compiled our ten most popular stories from 2019 so you can easily find something valuable to explore.

1. 30 Maps of Estonia in 30 Days

In late 2019, Evelyn Uuemaa, a geographer and Senior Researcher in Geoinformatics at the University of Tartu, accepted the challenge to make 30 maps in a row – one each day. She posted the maps on Twitter as a part of the #30DayMapChallenge. Evelyn used open data and open-source software to make the maps. See the story to see them all.

Geographer Evelyn Uuemaa compiled 30 maps of Estonia in 30 days. Image credit: Evelyn Uuemaa

2. An American in Tartu: Subtle differences between living in the US and Estonia

Martin Hayford, a master’s student in the EU—Russia Studies Programme at the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies, compares living in the US and Estonia. He looks at transport, the friendliness of people, and shopping opportunities. “Overall, what has surprised me the most about Estonia is how similar it is to the US,” concludes Martin.

3. The Pen

This is a short story that won the fifth place in the international students’ contest. The story happened in Karlova, Tartu:

So, I was sitting in front of this building, smoking, in Karlova, and there was this old guy approaching me, presumably drunk, humming while he walked.

4. Twins Ege and Efe in the steps of Baer and Pirogov

Ege and Efe are twins who study medicine at the University of Tartu. They are perfect lookalikes. Sometimes people think they are one person. They see one of them downstairs, the other one upstairs, and cannot believe their eyes. Efe and Ege have lived together for 19 years, or a lifetime. The brothers have been separated for no more than two months so far (is that still true for 2020?).

Image credit: Efe and Ege Ergür

5. Researchers on controversial political ads by Eesti 200

2019 was a year of parliamentary elections in Estonia. Eesti 200 is a party that did not make it into the Parliament, or Riigikogu, but its controversial ads tackled a sore spot in Estonian society and initiated many heated debates. The ads portrayed the segregation of Estonian-speaking and Russian-speaking people, which is an issue in Estonia that is confirmed by research.

6. What is the true ancient Estonian food?

The first thing to come into most people’s minds as the Estonians’ “own” food would be black rye bread. However, rye has the shortest history of the cereals growing in Estonia. Ester Oras, Senior Research Fellow of Archaeology and Analytical Chemistry at the University of Tartu, explores the exciting field of Estonian food history.

7. The Intercellular Genetic Language Is Our First Language

In December 2018, Alireza Fazeli held his inaugural lecture as the new Professor of Clinical Genomics and Personalized Medicine at the University of Tartu. He presented his view on the burning issue of how cells communicate with each other and why we need to know about it.

8. Mariam from Georgia: I knew more about Tartu semiotics than about Estonia

“Studies are no struggle if you are motivated,” says Mariam Nozadze, a graduate of the Master’s Programme in Semiotics at the University of Tartu. The most amazing things that she experienced in Tartu were connected to studies: professors and their classes; the knowledge that she gained; and the academic environment where students can communicate with lecturers, discuss things, get feedback, and question everything.

Mariam Nozadze receives her master’s diploma from the rector of the University of Tartu. Image credit: Andres Tennus

9. Tatiana from Moldova: How my dream came true

This story is about dreams and how becoming a student of the University of Tartu Geoinformatics for Urbanised Society (MSc) programme showed Tatiana that all dreams come true if you have time and self-reliance.

10. To the first man who sacrificed himself for Hong Kong

Last year was marked by waves of protests against an Extradition Bill in Hong Kong. Iverson NG, a second-year master’s student of EU-Russia Studies at the University of Tartu, unveils the background of unrest in his home country.

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