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picture News February, 27 2021
image: Starting Up the New Season Starting Up the New Season

For the second consecutive year, the Swedish and Finnish Chambers of Commerce in Estonia joined forces and started up the new business season together. This year at the Hopner’s House in the very heart of Tallinn’s medieval quarters in the Old Town.

In addition to networking and togetherness, the theme this evening was our Northern Snaps Cultures.

- During the 15th and 16th centuries, herbs and spices were added to distilled spirits for medical purposes and the resulting aquavit was sold by pharmacists, told SCCE’s Karolina Ullman.

- Aquavit was also a festive drink and during the medieval times the tradition of singing drinking songs was introduced by German Hanseatic merchants. It took up until the latter half of the 18th century when Carl Michael Bellman became the first well-known Swedish modern drinking singer/songwriter, said Karolina.

- During the 17th century, Finns started to copy the style of Swedish singing, a habit not appreciated by everybody. In 1646 bishop Isak Rothovius said that; “Twisting words of poems into something that is not originating from God must be prohibited“, told FECC’s Aki Kupiainen.

- Things developed anyhow. University students sang in Latin and the first known Finnish language snapsi-laulu is from 1720. Today, there is no Finnish snapsi tradition but there are indeed a number of different drinking cultures, styles, and languages all around the country, said Aki.

As Karolina and Aki gave the background to our Northern Snaps Cultures we also got the opportunity to taste some snapses being available today. Like the Swedish OP Andersson, Östgöta Sädes and Herrgårdsakvavit; the Finnish Salmiakkikossu, Koskenkorva and Finlandia, as well as Estlander’s specials; the Sea buckthorn snaps and the Black pepper snaps.

On behalf of the SCCE Council I would like to thank Karolina and Aki for their highly appreciated and spiritual presentations. My thanks also go to Olde Hansa Group’s equally spiritual team at Hopner’s House and the Finnish-Estonian Chamber of Commerce for a good cooperation in arranging our After Business Hours event. And, last but not least, I would also like to thank the Members of our two Chambers for creating a high-spirited and very cozy evening together.


Kristiina Sikk

SCCE Ombudsman

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