Every day should be Women's Day. To celebrate the strength, creativity, wisdom and just the sheer power of being a woman, check out these inspiring women who are creating their world and helping to shape wider communities with it. Here is to powerful women – may we seek them out, share their stories and support them every day of the year!
Kihnu women and the island community. On the matriarchal island of Kihnu, it is the women who are preserving the island's rich cultural heritage and keeping the ancient customs alive. In 2008, the Kihnu cultural traditions were inscribed on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
On Kihnu, women usually cultivate the fields and raise children while men are at sea. Throughout the ages, the men used to write long narrative songs describing their sea voyages. These songs are still sung today, but also mostly by the local women. One of the most famous women in Estonia is a 93-year-old lady called Kihnu Virve who has created around 400 songs about Kihnu island's lifestyle, the sea and everything related. Apart from being one of the top-selling Estonian folk singers, she even has a ferry named after her: the Kihnu Virve ferry, travelling between the island the mainland. [Using Google Translate, you can read about Kihnu Virve here]
Eda Veeroja's practical and spiritual smoke saunas. Eda Veeroja is a much-loved sauna woman in Mooska, South Estonia. Eda has become one of the spokeswomen for saunas in Estonia and abroad, and is welcoming guests from near and far to take part in the ancestral traditions for cleansing one's body and soul.
From fairytale fashion to radically sustainable glamour. Estonia has a flourishing fashion and design scene attracting wide international attention. From sustainably handcrafted functional and long-lasting leather bags and accessories, to radically transparent fashion lines using only upcycled material, it is the women who are shaping the face of Estonian fashion.
Head Chef Angelica Udeküll – the flavour alchemist. Currently a Head Chef at the renown LaSpa restaurant Wicca, Angelica is Estonia's best-known female chef. She has written cookbooks, has her own TV show introducing versatile Estonian flavours, and she is taking her restaurant visitors on spellbinding journeys with help from vegetables and herbs across the country. [Using Google Translate, you can read about Angelica here]
Mariell Jüssi – the roamer in the wilderness. The hiker, forager and all-around wilderness woman of Karukose, Mariell Jüssi, is based in Soomaa National Park. From Karukose, the wilderness base camp in south-western Estonia, she follows her passion by organizing wilderness trips and canoe experiences in the unique national park.