Ivan Orav

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Ivan Orav played by Andrus Vaarik.

Ivan Orav[1] (September 1, 1908 – June 19, 2009[2]) is a fictional character created by Estonian writer Andrus Kivirähk, who published a book "Memoirs of Ivan Orav or the Past as Azure Mountains" (Ivan Orava mälestused, ehk, Minevik kui helesinised mäed[3]) in 1995.[4] The book mocks popular stereotypes about the interbellum period of Estonian independence.[5]

Over time, the character was fleshed out (through publications in Eesti Päevaleht newspaper), anticipated[6] and celebrated[7] his 100th anniversary. His biography was finalised in his obituary next year.[2]

During 1994 and 1995 a TV series Vabariigi valvur was aired with Andrus Vaarik as Ivan Orav.

In the summertime of 2004 the Estonian State Archives joined the joke by uncovering and publishing a birth register of the Tõhela-Murru Orthodox Church which said that Ivan Orav and his wife Jelisaveta had daughter Lyudmila. Also, before coming of Soviet tiblas he changed his name to Jaan in 1939.[8]

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