Laupäev, 15 Detsember 2012 11:55
Riina Kindlam - Estonian Life No. 50 2012
Päri/päeva ("daywards"), i.e. clockwise from the top are: MO$HI's "liiga ilus" lip balm (huule/palsam), a wooden tree ornament, a tin with JOIK huule/läige (lip gloss), a Soviet-era glass ornament in the shape of a walnut (kreeka/pähkel), incense (viiruk), a reflector pin (helkur), a candle holder for the tree (Danger! Danger!) and necklace made of felted wool, hugging another antique glass ornament. Photo: Riina Kindlam
These items are almost all locally made and picked up in Tallinn's vanalinn; the old town. Details: the lip balm stick is by a Pärnu-based keha/hooldus/toodete (body care product) company called MO$HI, which has given all its products various funny, teasing Estonian names. This huule/palsam is called "liiga ilus" – too beautiful. It cost 3,90 euros at Nu Nordik on Vabaduse väljak. (moshi.ee). 100% looduslik (natural).
The small lip ointment in the metal case is by local brand JOIK, which started its road to success making scented candles and has now branched out to include soaps and body care products. It describes its "Magusad huuled" (Sweet Lips) lip balm with honey "toitev ja niisutav huule/võie magusa meega" – nourishing and moisturising lip butter with sweet honey. NB: või is butter, võie is either a cream / salve or spreadable edible product. The all-natural huule/võie was 4 euros at Oma Asi, Saiakang 4. (Great little store, all Estonian goods, omaasi.com) (joik.eu)
Some people call huule/palsam
("lip balsam") hügieeniline huule/pulk
or hygienic lipstick. How unromantic! I much prefer HUULE/LÄIGE
– lip "shine" or gloss for all of the above. Ok, gloss may officially be more liquid, but they all make your lips (at least slightly) shiny and happy. A tremendously important product, as all women know... My friend jokingly calls hers moka/määre
"lip-smear". Another "palsam" you should know: (post-shampoo) conditioner = juustepalsam
I was immediately enamoured by the radiating growth rings and "heart" of this kuusk
/ spruce tree figure ornament. Insanely simple, but since I knew I wasn't going to be taking down a tree myself anytime soon, I paid 3 euros for it at Deko, Voorimehe 4 (kodu/sisustus ja kingitused
, home design and gifts.) Check out their Facebook page.
Blown-glass Christmas ornaments go back a long way, but most of the ones you'll find in antique stores in Estonia today are from the Soviet era. They're so endearing, it's a shame no one has (yet) started to produce them again. Needless to say, they are extremely delicate. We lost a hilarious, robust pickle ornament last year and our little pink "kosmonaut" is now headless. Thankfully the toadstool and funny little kreeka/pähkel
"Greek nut", i.e. walnut are still in one piece (although the man who sold me the latter insisted it was a yellow prune...). It's hard not to collect more of these soon-to-be rarities when you find them. They were by and large apolitical, but we did inherit a small medallion-shaped ornament bearing a hammer and sickle. They sell for around 10 euros and up.
"Saare lõhn" (Scent of the Island) little incense cones (viirukid
) come in 3 scents: mänd & kadakas
(pine & juniper), kask & kadakas
(birch & juniper) and salvei
& kadakas (sage and juniper). I'm not sure where in Estonia they're made, but the manufacturer Sile OÜ insists on the package that "Smokey juniper has aromatic qualities, antistress and calming qualities, frees you from apathy and helps with insomnia." (!) Some packages include a väike savist alus
(little clay burner) for the cone. 4 euros for a package of 10 + base at Misu käsi/töö/pood
(handicraft store), Kaarli pst 7.
Reflectors are ideally meant to be worn hanging on a string on your side at car headlight level, so that they swing and twirl for maximum reflection. But you can never have too many helkurid
(from the word helkima
– to shine, shimmer), like this pin with a red mulgi (Viljandimaa) pattern on silver reflective material. 4 euros at Deko.
Real candles on the tree?! Oh yeah. This metal küünla/hoidja
(candle holder) that clips onto the Christmas tree branch is a throwback to pre-electric strings of lights and has never quite disappeared from Eesti. A package of 10 cost 3,29 euros at the Rimi supermarket chain. These are mass-produced unfortunately: made in China, imported via Holland and Latvia.
My in-laws have never had electric lights on their tree, only little candle holders. The older, funkier ones can be hooked onto branches or straddle the branch like an inverted V with weights on the ends. Needless to say, the idea is that the küünlad
are lit on the tree while keeping watch nearby, reciting poetry to Jõuluvana
, singing in unison or opening presents. An ornament not to be forgotten...
(homespun) necklace was also made very close to home. It was purchased at the Kopli lasteaia jõulu/kohvik
aka our kindergarten's Christmas café. Whether it was hand-made by a talented teacher, emme
(mommy) or päkapikk
(elf) will remain a mystery, but it's now on its merry way to a talented Canadian Mum in Lakefield, Ont.
Riina Kindlam, Tallinn