Estonians Abroad Gather in Old Country ({{commentsTotal}})

The Estonian diaspora is meeting on the island of Saaremaa in one of the bigger and best-organized reunions of Estonians abroad.

The World Estonian days, known by its acronym ESTOP, is organised by Olavi Antons, who moved to Tenerife, Spain, years ago and says he became a more fervent patriot in the process.

"The name ESTOP comes from two words, 'Eesti' (Estonia) and 'stop.' It's in the sense of a pause to take time out and see how to go on," Antons told ETV.

ESTOP also has a spiritual link to ESTO, its predecessor, which convened every four years in a different center of the community abroad starting from 1972 - Toronto, Melbourne, Stockholm, and finally Tallinn.

"We want people to make the association, but we don't consider ourselves as continuing ESTO."

He said he wants ESTOP to become the kind of place where you invite your friends to be in the same place for a few days and talk about how you are doing, not drive from one end of the country to the next showing yourself. That can be a hassle."

Workshops, concerts and brainstorming sessions are also taking place. The event has drawn both emigrants from the re-independence era as well as emigre Estonians.