Order of the Polar Star granted to a faculty member of the University of Tartu

On Gustavus Adolphus Day and the anniversary of founding the university, the ambassador of Sweden to Estonia, following the decision of His Majesty Carl XVI Gustav, gave the 1st class Order of the Polar Star to Tiina Mullamaa, teacher of Swedish of the University of Tartu.

Yesterday the University of Tartu with its Department of Scandinavian Studies and the embassy of Sweden celebrated Gustavus Adolphus Day and the anniversary of the founding of the university of Tartu. On that festive day, the ambassador of Sweden to Estonia Anders Ljunggren conferred the high honours of Sweden – the 1st class Order of the Polar Star – on UT faculty member Tiina Mullamaa.

The Order of the Polar Star is also known by its motto “It knows no decline”, which refers to the awardees’ sincere and continuous dedication and the durability of the kingdom of Sweden. Professor Daniel Sävborg of the University of Tartu and the embassy of Sweden in Tallinn, who made the proposal to bestow this award on Tiina Mullamaa, underline Mullamaa’s long-term dedicated work in developing relations between Estonia and Sweden. Her role as a teacher of Swedish, interpreter, translator, and more widely, as a cross-cultural mediator both professionally and as a volunteer, has made a significant contribution to creating, developing and keeping both political and various professional and personal relationships between Estonia and Sweden, as well as spreading information about Sweden, the Swedish language and culture in Estonia. She worked actively introducing Sweden to Estonia already during the Soviet period regardless of the difficulties of that time and the lack of hope of ever being able to visit Sweden, and continued as actively after the reinstatement of independence in Estonia.

Tiina and Ilmar Mullamaa started teaching Swedish in Tartu in the 1960s. This means that Tiina Mullamaa has taught Swedish at the University of Tartu for more than 45 years, to many generations of students. Tiina Mullamaa has published the revised version of the Swedish textbook (1991) and a new modern textbook of Swedish (2006; 2013). She was one of the compilers-editors of the Swedish–Estonian Dictionary (1979; 1981) and the new Swedish–Estonian Dictionary (2004).

At the beginning of the 1990s Tiina Mullamaa worked as an interpreter, mediating also the contacts of the city government of Tartu with its sister cities, especially Uppsala. For this work she was awarded the medal of honour of the city of Uppsala in 2009. Tiina Mullamaa was the interpreter for the Swedish royal couple during their visit to Estonia in 1992.

In recent years Tiina Mullamaa has acted as a literary translator. Her translations into Estonian include the autobiography of Carl Larsson, novels by Lena Andersson and Liza Marklund etc. In addition to literary translations, she has also translated books on psychology, for example the textbook on psychoanalytic development by Karin Mangs and Barbro Martell.

View the video recording of the celebration of the anniversary of Academia Gustaviana on UTTV and photo gallery at foto.ut.ee.


Additional information:
Liina Kümnik, Secretary of Press, Information and Culture for the Embassy of Sweden, 50 63 743, liina.kumnik@gov.se
Kristina Mullamaa, Head of UT Department of Scandinavian Studies, kristina.mullamaa@ut.ee

Kadri Kunnus Senior Specialist for PR Phone: +372 737 5509
Mobile: +372 50 70 963 E-mail: kadri.kunnus@ut.ee