There was a Kalevipoeg Sculpture Park in Tallinn.
There was a Kalevipoeg Museum near Kaapa, which became a full Theme Park in 2007.
There was a chain of Kalev Chocolate Shops.
Teenagers were filming adaptions of his adventures for school projects.
|Kalevipoeg Imprisoned, Enn Poldroos|
|Kalevipoeg at the Gates of Hell, Kristjan Raud|
Bookstores were teeming with books that praise Kalevipoeg as "James Bond and Chuck Norris put together."
So who is this guy?
He's the son of the god Kalev in The Kalevipoeg, the Estonian national epic, culled from ancient myths by Friedrich Kreutzwald and published in 1853.
The youngest of Kalev's children, but the biggest, strongest, and most resourceful, Kalevipoeg has many adventures. He:
1. Swims to Finland to rescue his mother from an evil wizard
2. Gets a cursed sword from the Finish god Ilmarin.
3. Wins the throne of Estonia in a stone-throwing contest.
|Kalevipoeg, Amandus Adamson|
4. Fights a water demon and a sorcerer.
5. Travels to Porgu (Hell) twice.
6. Seeks out the edge of the world.
7. Fights an apocalyptic battle with the demon Sarvik and his army.
When Alevipoeg is killed, Kalevipoeg is so grief-stricken that he gives up his kingdom and becomes a hermit. When he dies, he goes to Heaven, but is deemed so valuable that he is tied to the gates of Porgu to keep the world safe.
Kreutzwald was inspired by the Finnish Kalevala, also compiled from ancient myths, and set to verse by Elias Lönnrot in 1849.
But there's a big difference: the Kalevala is all about the quest after the Eternal Feminine, the gods Ilmarin, Väinämöinen, and Lemminkäinen searching for wives.
|Kalevipoeg, Drisil Woan|
But except for one short maiden-seduction early on (which, admittedly, gets a lot of attention), Kalevipoeg is oblivious to women. When he rescues three maidens from Porgu, he busily tries to find them husbands, never attempting to seduce them himself.
He is all about masculine buddy-bonding, first with his brothers, and then with Alevipoeg.
A gay epic hero?
|Kalevipoeg Mural, Tallinn|
See also: Kristjan Raud: Mesmerized by Male Beauty and Yuri and I Cruise in Estonia.