When Canadians Kimberly Bagayawa and Mike Dell decided to rent a room in their apartment, it turned into a cultural exchange thanks to Kati from Estonia.

Kim and Mike’s short film ‘Kati and Me‘ is about what they learnt about Estonia and Kati. It’s fun, quirky and features some lovely Estonian scenery and people, as well as plenty you didn’t know you wanted to know about this small but spirited Baltic country.

Kati and Me is quickly becoming an online sensation since hitting the Estonian news a few days ago.

I asked Kimberly about the story behind the film:

Kati came to Toronto to do research for her Masters thesis. During the 4 months that she stayed with us, she studied second-generation Estonian youth and how they relate back to their parents’ homeland. That research turned into an exhibition. We attended Kati’s exhibit and that’s where we learned about the EstDocs Film Festival – basically, someone handed us a flyer and suggested we make a film to enter into the festival (!). The only condition was that the theme had to be about ‘Estonian spirit’.

We hadn’t actually taken any video footage during her stay in Toronto, but we just knew that we needed to make a short film about Kati for this – we really just wanted to have fun with it… We went to Estonia for 5 days in August, and Mike and I wrote the story on the plane ride home. I guess in retrospect, it was our little way of saying Thank you to Kati and her family for such an amazing time

What a great way to celebrate a cultural exchange!


On People of the World we’re always looking out for stories and videos which help us get to know people from around the world and their cultures. If you have a story please write to us.

Read more:
Love accross the Estonian language divide
What’s your dream? Short film about Turkish people and their dreams
A Taiwanese student in the USA

About the author

Lucy is English and first ventured out of the UK she was 19. Since then she has lived in 4 different countries and tried to see as much of the world as possible. She loves learning languages, learning about different cultures and hearing different points of view.