Into the tradition and modernity of Kihnu

A year to discover traditional life on the island of Kihnu, Estonia

August 12th, 2019
Simona Losito, News from Berlin
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The German director Julia Finkernagel studied and observed for one year life and traditions of the Estonians on the island of Kihnu. From August 8th her documentary is available in all bookshops in Germany. On the island live 500 Estonian and their traditions are very fascinating. One of the most typical things are the colors of women’s skirts. You can understand if Women are happy or sad through the color of the skirts.

The traditions are transmitted from women to their children. Life in the island has been characterized for century by isolation and lack of husbands. Women have governed the island for their husbands, who historically have been away for months at a time, working as seamen and fishermen. We can say that it is a matriarchal society even if societal expectations and limitations for women are not extraneous to this small island.

Ever since they were child, women wear colored skirts in wool through which they express their mood and life situation. The Kihnu’s traditions with their language were declared intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. The population struggles to preserve its traditions. Julia Finkernagel observed this cultural struggle led by adults and children and their compatibility with modern societal developments. Now we can discover this interesting tradition through the documentary and immerse ourselves in their lifestyle.


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