Global Estonian Report: March 31 – April 7

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Rendering of planned International Estonian Centre (KESKUS) in Toronto. Source: KESKUS

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.

New name and groundbreaking date announced for International Estonian Center

As groundbreaking is imminent to begin building the new International Estonian Centre in downtown Toronto, the Centre's new name and brand identity was announced. The International Estonian Centre will be known as KESKUS.

KESKUS aims to attract local community, events, businesses and organizations and be a foundation for Estonians and their friends not only locally but from around the globe. The KESKUS ceremonial ground breaking will take place on April 7th. The opening of the Centre is slated for the back half of 2022.

Watch a 3D video tour of KESKUS here.

Estonian World Council (ÜEKN) meets to approve new action plan

The World Estonian Central Council (ÜEKN) met virtually recently to discuss and approve its new action plan. Representatives of central organizations from twelve countries were greeted by Estonian Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets via video.

Minister Liimets sees the World Estonian Central as a partner with whom, looking to the future, global Estonianness can be systematically developed and planned. "I believe that in the partnership we will be able to implement even the most ambitious plans," Minister confirmed to the Central Council.

Estonian Easter Traditions - Old Meets New

According to some polls, Estonia may be one of the least religious countries in the world, but Estonians often mix old folk traditions with religious holidays. Learn how Estonians celebrate Easter and combine it with the traditional coming of the Spring Holiday.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is organising a virtual forum for global Estonians

On 13 April, the very first virtual forum for Estonians around the world will be held, where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will present its activities and plans concerning the Estonians living abroad, will also speak at the forum, talking about how global Estonians could participate in Estonia's development.

The virtual forum for global Estonians is a continuation of the survey conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs among the diaspora last year and is the next step in strengthening co-operation between Estonia and Estonians living abroad.

 World's oldest Estonian dies in the US at age 108

Illa Toompuu, the confirmed oldest Estonian worldwide, has died at the age of 108, the Tartu Postimees reported. Illa Toompuu went to live in the United States in 1949, settling in Lakewood, New Jersey, from the mid-1970s. Lakewood is home to a significant Estonian community and hosts an Estonian House, school and other facilities. 

Upcoming Online Events

Language Roulette: virtual conversations (April 6, 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.

Returnee support meeting (April 6, online)

Anyone returning to Estonia is welcome to attend our support meetings!

The Integration Foundation is organising a series of meetings for those who have returned to Estonia from living abroad in order to help them better readjust to life in the country and make contact with others going through the same experience.

Webinar: Coping with Cultural Shock (April 7, online)

Have you recently moved to Estonia and experienced a bigger cultural shock than you expected?

The International House of Estonia is presenting a webinar (Coping with Cultural Shock) on the ups and downs and do's and don'ts of settling in. The International House of Estonia provides a wide range of essential information, consultations and state services for international newcomers.

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.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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