Lenna Kuurmaa, who has lived in Setomaa for quite some time now, was recently a guest on the Estonian TV show „Hommik Anuga” and stated that it did not seem logical for her at the moment to move back to the city.
Kuurmaa, who was raised in Mustamäe but now lives more than 250 km from Tallinn, admitted that now she feels out of place whenever she is in the city.
I try to enjoy this environment and see the positives, but in fact, I feel that my centre and my place, where I am at peace and happy, is in the countryside. I do not feel that way in the city anymore.
Kuurmaa described her experiences in a handbook directed to those who, just like her, would like to move from the city to the countryside
I wish to spread the idea that the countryside is enjoyable and encourage those people. There are more and more people who say that it is so nice and fun but how to leave everything behind and go through with this change.
Rural life has given her many new skills. For example farming, planting, breeding chickens, now also keeping ponies, etc.
Kuurmaa stated that it feels like they had finally been fully accepted in Setomaa. Setomaa fascinates her with its colourful and unique culture, which is definitely worth keeping.
A lot of young people do not speak seto anymore. Neither do I. My child goes to school and learns the seto language every week, but I still have a long way to go.
When talking about seto leelo, Kuurmaa says that in her opinion it is very meditative, and even though she does not understand the texts, has to ask her choirmates questions and it is difficult for her, she still likes it very much.
Regarding work and livelihood, she said that there was not a lot of work there.
I make my living from music and to some extent, corona-times opened the influencer profession to me. I have actually been involved in the influencer work for the past two years, which at times helped to bring bread to the table.
Kuurmaa says that she is taking Seto living very seriously.
Comeback [to the city] – I do not see it making any sense at the moment. I never know and I say I am very open. I get used to things quickly and I do not see a tragedy if there comes a situation for us all when something suddenly changes, as we cannot be sure that everything stays the way it is now. But in an ideal world, I do not see myself coming back to the city.
Kuurmaa was later joined on the show by her bandmates from Vanilla Ninja – Piret Järvis and Kerli Kivilaan, who replaced her sister, Triinu Kivilaan, in the band.
Kerli admitted it had been a real bomb when her sister Triinu had joined Vanilla Ninja at the time. She had also been a big fan of the band herself. Vanilla Ninja was exactly the right band for me to be a fan of. I remember it was simply such great news.
Vanilla Ninja turns 20 years old this summer. Speaking of what holds them together, Kuurmaa said that they had simply had a great time together.
We continue to have a great time together. Of course, we are just starting to have a good time together with Kerli but what led us to the comeback was the idea that it would have been absolutely amazing to do it all once again with the girls.
Järvis noted that at the time their collaboration with David Brandes had been put on hold mostly because they had wanted more control over their music and that was an important condition for them to have when starting over.
At the very beginning, when we were just starting, he was a total egoist. He did not allow opinions or contradictory thoughts. It has been 20 years and we spoke openly and can move forward with new energy.
Vanilla Ninja comes back to the stage after a long time on September 2nd in Telliskivi Kvartal.
The full interview is available for watching HERE.