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meestehoid 2

Photo and text: Riina Kindlam, Tallinn


During the 30th annual, SEB pank sponsored mai/jooks (May Run) on 20. mai at the Tallinna laulu/väljak (Song Festival grounds), there was a designated meeste/hoid, as there has been for many years now during the event, which is a naiste/jooks (women's run).


Usually those that are hoitud (held or "sat") are children – lapse/hoidja is a babysitter, laste/hoid is child care, riiete/hoid is a coat check, paki/hoid is a luggage room and meeste/hoid (naljaga pooleks – tongue in cheek), is an area of supervision and activity for men as they wait for their wives, partners, girlfriends, daughters, etc to finish running, walking or Nordic walking the 7 km race. The latter is kepi/kõnd, with walking poles.


Activities with which meeste/rahvad could pass the time included disc golf, a ronimis/sein (climbing wall), and the opportunity to have a massaaž or get a haircut. But the main thing was for the mehed to cheer the naised (women) on and this was done with the help of 2 päeva/juhid (MCs). Upon closing, one of the meestehoiu hosts reiterated: "Mehed, hoidke oma naisi. Ja vastupidi." "Men, take care of your wives / the women in your lives. And vice versa." Hoidma is to hold, hold dear, take care of, cherish, keep, store, sustain, nurture. (Hoidised are preserves.)


There is a popular children's choir song by Kadri Hunt entitled "Üks/teist peab hoidma", ("We Must Hold  One Another Dear"), which was sung at the 10th Youth Song Celebration in 2007, (this summer's is the XII noorte laulupidu), and has grown to become a kind of anthem to caring and love. Its refrään: Üksteist peab hoidma / tuulte ja külma käes. / Armastus annab sooja / südamel, mis on jääs." "We must hold one another dear / in the winds and cold. / Love provides warmth / for a heart that is frozen." Look for it on YouTube.


* hani = goose


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