Teens From Abroad Get in Touch with Estonian Roots
The Integration and Migration Foundation is sponsoring a number of summer camps aimed at promoting Estonian language and culture among youths with Estonian roots who live abroad.
Summer camps organized by Estonian emigre communities around the world have for decades served as centers of preservation of Estonian culture and language among younger generations who have grown up abroad.
The Estonian government also sponsors such camps; one is currently going on in a municipality in Viljandi County, where 30 youths from 13 countries are practicing their grammar, learning adages, and touring the Estonian countryside, reported Postimees. The 12-day program is free, but applicants are selected based on motivational essays. There were two other groups of 13- to 18-year-olds earlier this summer.
“We are talking about global Estonian patriotism here,” said Anne-Ly Reimaa, the Culture Ministry's deputy chancellor.
“We at least hope that they will some day come back here to study or work - they have an emotional understanding for what Estonia means […] A worldwide support network is very important for Estonia.”