fredag 19. august 2011

Benches and river of Tartu

The benches of Tartu, solidly parked in historical atmosphere, and - at least for the time being - rays of sunlight, are perfect for intellectual conversation. If you furthermore add the fact that Estonia is considered the world´s freest country according to some, you easily feel free to let your thoughts run wherever you want them too, or, if you - like me - sometimes like to focus them in meditation, you´re most welcome.

Tartu is a quite small city, by world standards, although perhaps not by Nordic ones, having a population of approximately 100.000 people (a little bit more). Being most of all a student city, the population is young, and it´s quite easy to get by using English. Even though you can also here find young "gangstas" which are high on themselves, there are less of them than in Oslo or Vilnius, at least if my eyes tell the truth, and this might perhaps be because of education.

When I was first in Estonia in 2007 I was struck by the landscapes. Not the landscapes I saw with my own eyes, but the one I saw on the cover of a history book I bought, for example. This means fields with lonely, big trees I cannot tell the names of. Of course, it is tempting to sit down meditating there. If you add the pleasant weather, the ponds, the river, the sound of the crickets, the birds´ singing and the open spaces, you´d understand what I mean. Luckily, these are the landscapes around Tartu.

The Emajõgi river is a midsized river running through town, and connecting the big lakes Peipsi and Vörtsjärv. When sitting peacefully on a bench by the lazy river you can see the fish jumping. This means that you also can see people fishing. On each side of the river, except from in the city center, there is an abundance of trees. I honestly can´t tell the names, but it looks very nice.

Even though Buddhism isn´t thriving in Estonia, the Dalai Lama just visited Tallinn, and was met by thousands of people. Here in Tartu I could see an exhibition in the public library, which, as I understood, was dedicated to Tibet, Dalai Lama and (Tibetan) Buddhism. I am very glad Estonian politician dare standing up to Chinese pressure. There wouldn´t be any politics if they didn´t have consequences, and good consequences usually follow good intentions. Suppressing freedom of thought out of shortsighted economical gains, will not give good results in the long run.

I´ve been happy these days.

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