Between 165,000 and 200,000 Estonians are estimated to live outside the country right now, making around 15-20 percent of the total number of Estonians. With many communities being found worldwide, both in English-speaking countries and beyond, ERR News, in conjunction with the Integration Foundation (Integratsiooni Sihtasutus), has launched a weekly Global Estonian Report, which will give a weekly window into Estonian communities and culture from around the globe.
Mother Tongue Day (Emakeelepäev), first recognized as a national holiday in 1999, will be celebrated on March 14. It marks the birthday of Kristjan Jaak Peterson, one of the founding fathers of Estonian poetic tradition. And with COVID-related lockdowns happening in Estonia and abroad, here are some Estonian language opportunities, events, and competitions to keep you occupied…
The Global Estonian School provides Estonian children living outside Estonia with the opportunity to take e-courses. You can register throughout the academic year! The Global Estonian School is supported by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research.
Youngsters with Estonian roots who live abroad are invited once again to attend language and culture camps in Estonia. Designed for young people aged 13-18, the camps are an opportunity for them to study Estonian, get to know local kids their own age and learn more about the country's culture. Organized by the Integration Foundation. Register by March 15!
HomeComing (Lõimeleer) is a summer camp that connects young Estonians living abroad and their families as well as multicultural families living in Estonia with Estonian life and culture. Organized by MTÜ Lõimeleer. Register now!
The Integration Foundation (Integratsiooni Sihtasutus) is offering Estonian language learners the opportunity to practice communication by chatting with volunteer Estonian language mentors. The initiative falls in the foundation's Keelesõber (Language Friends) program and takes place via e-channels.
The Museum of Estonians Abroad (VEMU) in Toronto together with the Estonian Writer's Union and Estonian Literature Center is having a competition to find new translators of fiction from Estonian into English. Participation is open to people of all ages provided they have not previously made public any translated book. The competition deadline date is March 31
For more Estonian language learning opportunities, go to the 'Learn Estonian' section of the Global Estonian portal.
Upcoming Online Events
Estonian language meme contest (March 15 deadline, online)
With Mother Tongue Day around the corner, Vikerraadio is organizing an Estonian language meme competition for the first time. Until March 15th create an Estonian language meme and send it to Vikerraadio's Facebook or Instragram page!
EKSÜ Mother Tongue Day online (March 13, online)
The Association of Estonian Cultural Societies abroad (EKSÜ) is organizing an evening of song and wordplay for Mother Tongue Day entitled "Keel mängu või meel kängu".
March 14 is Mother Tongue Day for which the Museum of Estonians Abroad (VEMU) will be screening the documentary film "Betti Alver. Ilmauks on irvakil" (2020, in Estonian.) The film follows director Enn Lillemets as he shares his memories of his close friend and spiritual guide, Betti Alver, one of Estonia's brightest poets.
Virtual literary and poetry evening with Leila Holts and Triinu Laan (March 14, online)
For Mother Tongue Day the Berlin Estonian Cultural Society (KAMA) is organizing a literary and poetry evening.
Language Roulette: virtual conversations (March 23, online)
Practise Estonian online! Language Roulette is a series of virtual meetings co-organized by teachers and mentors of the Estonian language houses of the Integration Foundation, which brings together people who want to practice Estonian in a new format of short conversations in the Zoom environment.
What is Global Estonian?
Global Estonian is an online portal, in Estonian and English, and network for Estonians and friends of Estonians around the world.
Managed by the Integration Foundation, Global Estonian brings together news, events, culture, organizations, support programs, learning opportunities, and a wealth of other information from Estonian communities abroad, all in one central gateway.
Editor: Helen Wright