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.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs conducted a survey among Estonians living abroad to find out how prominent a place their land of origin holds in their everyday lives. Another aim was to get an overview of their expectations for the state, so that they would be more interested in helping achieve Estonia's objectives for the future.
A large share (76 percent) of respondents were interested in contributing to the development of Estonia and happy with their inclusion. The results of the survey confirmed that the diaspora would like to have a strong bond with the Estonian state, and would like to help raise our profile and support our foreign policy goals. When presenting Estonia, they would like to talk about us as an open, tolerant country eager to develop.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets (Center) said the goal of the survey was to get honest feedback and substantive proposals from Estonians living abroad for improved planning of actions aimed at the community.
"It is crucial to us that Estonians across the world feel that they matter to Estonia, are always welcome back, and that they are interested in contributing to the development and future of our country. We can achieve this through continued substantive communication and partnership with Estonians living abroad. This is why the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is taking steps to make sure that actions aimed at Estonians abroad are more considered and truly needed," she said.
In the world of myth, a unicorn is an animal, usually resembling a horse, with a single horn on its forehead. In the business and financial worlds, a unicorn refers to a startup company with a value of over $1 billion. Estonia is the world leader in unicorns per capita. Despite a population of 1.3 million people, the country has been the birthplace of six unicorns so far: Skype in 2005, Playtech in 2007, TransferWise in 2015, Bolt in 2018, Pipedrive in 2020 and Zego in 2021.
Minister of Culture Anneli Ott (Center) has confirmed the culture area thematic years for the next three years. 2022 is to be dedicated to libraries, 2023 to exercise and 2024 to cultural diversity.
"Next year is important because libraries are going through a period of change according to the needs of the readers. This is the origin of that theme. The role of libraries is more and more as being an advisor, a guide and an educator. Also, digital development causes libraries to face new challenges both in social and educational areas," Ott said.
Estonians across the world participated in Vikerradio's dictation test to mark Estonian Language Day. The radio channel asked people to send photos of themselves preparing for or undertaking the test. Pictures were sent from across Estonia as well as from further afield, such as Germany, France, Norway and South Korea. More than 10,000 people participated in the contest, which is a new record.
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.
Upcoming Online Events
Language Roulette: virtual conversations (March 23, online)
Practise Estonian online! Language Roulette is a series of virtual meetings coorganized 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.
Project updates from the International Estonian Center (March 24, online)
From wherever you are in the world, join the Estonian Center Project team for updates and progress on the International Estonian Center in Toronto- and to "hear the groundbreaking (pun intended) announcements".
Estonian Music Week: Memories of Home concert series (March 25, online)
Join Estonian Music Week and VEMU (the Museum of Estonians Abroad) for a celebration of shared folk songs between Estonia and Latvia with Linda Maruta Kronbergs, Helmi & Merike Hess and Roland Campbell. The Memories of Home live-stream concert series embraces the duality of having roots in one country while starting afresh in another.
VEMU Translation Competition (March 31, online)
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.
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