Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Of Estonia: Slightly Out-of-Focus Hats

The concert we saw at the Latvian Song Festival involved 12,000 singers who all clambered on a giant stage together, sang their hearts out for a couple hours, and then were joined for several more hours of singing by the assembled audience. The Estonian Song Festival featured similar numbers of singers -- at first. But after just a few songs, they started filing out and subsets of the choir sang. Maybe we were at the wrong concert (though local guidance says we were not), or maybe they really are different nations with different traditions.

Further supporting this theory: The Estonians have it all over the Latvians in the traditional hat department. The Latvians have some great traditional hats, but none are quite as outlandish as several varieties of Estonian hat, such as the giant decorated tube; the tiny sequined stewardess cap; or the red-and-gold headband, which is no more unusual than the Latvian hats, but does apparently come with a large silver funnel that you wear as a necklace. Each is pictured here with subjects and backgrounds in varying degrees of sharpness.

Just to be fair, we'll add a blurry picture of the big tube hats, too:

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