The Esto 2009 days in western Germany’s bicycle capital, Münster, a city of 280,000 have been blessed with warm clear weather. Close to 50,000 university students from 100 nations inhabit the town. Its forward-looking technology houses a Center for Nanotechnology, the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Biomedicine and the Leibniz Institute of Arteriosclerosis Research.
Münster’s beauty and vitality survived devastation suffered during the Second World War after heavy bombing by the British and Americans. The city was reconstructed and it urban vitality betrays it once suffered 90% ruination. The air is meadow-fragrant and its rose-bricked bicycle paths signal ecological wisdom. Most surprising has been a lack of sauerkraut availability in restaurants. A rudimentary informal survey reveals that the German young just don’t care for it, instead opting for menus much like our North American ones.
At the Classical Concert two musicians caught my attention, the first being the turbulent and brilliant playing of Ave Kruup on the piano who accompanied a noted mezzosoprano and secondly Neeme Ots, an extraordinary talent trumpeter. Incidentally, there are a slew of talented Ots musicians.
There was a well-attended Sunday church service held at the large Apostelkirche in the old town. Rev. Arho Tuhkru’s ‘armutiivad’ launched the service skyward. Thereafter began a long procession of a thousand Estonians parading through the streets of Münster carrying placards and Esto flags through the old town cobbled-stoned streets. Many sang as they walked while the mesmerizing (can’t keep your eyes off them) Tallinn folk-dancers "Koidupuna" did a winding chain dance.
The Rahvapidu held in the evening continued the momentum begun with the parade. Choir directors Prof. Kuno Areng, Jüri Rent and Tarmo Vaask conducted the combined choirs of Europe and the U.S., assisted by the competent youthful Esto musicians "Puhkpillisümfoonikud." Approximately. 200 singers were onstage. Attendees were delighted by the colourful, intricate and sure-footed folk-dancers led by Mari Tomp. Applause, applause!
Esto 2009 Münster (4)