Global Estonian Report: April 7-14

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Children, teachers and parents at kindergarten (lastead) in Toronto. Source: Peeter Põldre

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.

Attend the first virtual forum for global Estonians on April 13th

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 diaspora. Hille Hanso and Ellen Valter, 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.

"I am sincerely pleased with the feedback from the survey of Estonians living abroad, which confirms the desire to maintain a strong connection with their homeland and contribute to the progress of Estonia. The survey also revealed the concerns of Estonians living abroad, which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can take into account when planning activities related to the diaspora," said Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets.

Keit Spiegel: Estonians abroad should feel they matter to Estonia

Every Estonian should feel they matter to Estonia and are a part of their country – regardless of their location in the world, Keit Spiegel, an adviser on diaspora affairs at the Estonian foreign ministry, writes.

Youth Song and Dance Festival postponed to 2023

Estonia's youth song and dance festival, planned for 2022, will be postponed for one year and take place in June 2023 due to the pandemic. The youth festival, like the main Estonian Song Festival (Üldlaulupidu), attracts thousands of Estonians from around the globe both as visitors and performers.

For more on the cultural significance of singing in Estonia listen to the new podcast with historian and ERR journalist Maarja Merivoo-Parro, Estonia Explained: 'Is this a singing nation?'

International Estonian Centre groundbreaking ceremony postponed

The International Estonian Centre (KESKUS) is postponing the ceremonial groundbreaking event that had been scheduled for April 7 due to new pandemic restrictions in Ontario. While site preparation continues as part of the construction schedule, the timing of the groundbreaking ceremony will be held at a future date. KESKUS in downtown Toronto will be a dynamic hub showcasing our rich heritage and promoting Estonian innovation.

Canadian-Estonian swimmer breaks Estonian record

21-year old Canadian-Estonian swimmer Aleksa Gold broke the Estonian national record in the 200 individual medley (IM) over the weekend at the Estonian-Latvian Spring Meet. Aleksa Gold Gold, who grew up in Toronto, Canada and swims collegiately at the University of Toronto also won three other events at the meet.

Practise Estonian online with native speakers in the Language Friends Program

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

Chasing Unicorns - film screening and discussion with director Rain Rannu (April 11, online)

Latitude 44 and VEMU (Museum of Estonians Abroad) present a screening of the film "Chasing Unicorns" (2019, in Estonian with English subtitles). This Estonian comedy/drama follows a young startup entrepreneur Õie and a serial failure Tõnu on their crazy ride from small town Estonia to Silicon Valley - and back.

Following the screening will be a discussion with the film's director Rain Rannu, in English.

Virtual Forum for Global Estonians (April 13, online)

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.

Memories of Home: Roman Smirnov - classical and flamenco guitarist (April 15, online)

The Memories of Home Online Concert Series, presented by Estonian Music Week and VEMU, embraces the duality of having roots in one country while starting afresh in another. Classical and Flamenco guitarist and composer Roman Smirnov has led an extraordinary life that took him from Estonia to Israel, Germany, Spain and finally to Canada. Along the way Smirnov added musical influences and partnerships. Smirnov now travels back to his hometown of Tallinn for a special concert and interview.

Webinar: Opening a Startup in Estonia - Why & How? (April 15, online)

Have you been thinking about opening your startup in Estonia? Want to understand how the Estonian Startup Visa works? Want to know more about the Estonian Startup Community and how to be a part of it? Join Startup Estonia and the International House of Estonia for this webinar to get answers to all of these questions and much more.

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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