I live on Kihnu island together with my four children and a seafarer husband. Our roots are here, as well as our strong identity. I have learnt all that is important in Kihnu culture both consciously and unconsciously: language, wearing of traditional clothes, farming and fieldwork, handicraft skills, preparation of traditional foods, folklore, church life, also singing, dancing in weddings and village parties. I know a lot about sea, fishing, seal hunting and living with nature.
At the same time my knowledge is not limited to that. I work in Kihnu school as history teacher and I have ran the work of Kihnu Cultural Space foundation for over ten years now. I have led very different projects to sustain Kihnu culture and support the island life.
I am rather conservative in my views. I believe that we have to preserve old knowledge and know-how, God knows when we might need it. It is important to have strong roots and a sense of home and community, which create identity and give strength. I think it is extremely important to preserve all kinds of skills – a person should be able to keep himself alive. In our time it means the ability to grow our own food, make our own clothes or even build a house. Living in the same rhythm with nature, observing signs and celebrating traditional holidays is also a skill. It is an important skill to survive when one day there should be no more electricity, Internet or say the oil resources should come to an end. I wish that me, my children, our community and the whole Estonian population would be smart enough to preserve the skills to survive and not give up on our home, identity and the will to raise children here on our land. I wish we would have the skill to rejoice at the colourful beauty of our traditional clothes or at the familiar heart-warming folk music even in the darkest time of winter. Yes, in my opinion, it is important to preserve skills.
According to European vocational standards, Mare is a traditional culture specialist of higher category.
The excursions take place in Kihnu dialect, Estonian and English. Number of vocational competence certificate: 087597.
Mare is the teacher of history and social studies in Kihnu school.
Mare has run the work of Kihnu Cultural Space foundation since 2004 (www.kultuuriruum.ee), which was founded to fill the plan of action presented to UNESCO (http://www.rahvakultuur.ee/sisu/248_899Taotluse_tekst_inglise_keeles_pdf.pdf).