Global Estonian Report: June 15-22

"Wagon of Tears" installation in Tallinn's Freedom Square on June 14 2022, marking the 81st anniversary of the June deportations of Estonians by occupying Soviet authorities. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

A roundup of Estonian news and events taking place around the world from June 15-22.

Between 165,000 and 200,000 Estonians are estimated to live outside the country right now, accounting for some 15-20 percent of the total number of Estonians worldwide.

With many diaspora communities located throughout the world, 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 provide a weekly window into Estonian communities and culture from all over the globe.

Estonia commemorates June 1941 deportation with national day of mourning

June 14 was the the Day of Mourning and Commemoration in Estonia, marking the 81st anniversary of the Soviet mass deportation of June 1941.

Over 10,000 people, including children, were deported, primarily to Siberia. Only 4,331 persons returned to Estonia.

The fresh memory of the deportations and terror of the first Soviet occupation — which lasted from June 1940 to July 1941 — was the main reason 75,000-80,000 people fled from Estonia in the late summer and autumn of 1944, as the Red Army advanced into and occupied Estonia again.

In their adopted countries — ranging from Sweden to the United States, Canada, Australia and elsewhere — the war refugees formed various organizations of expatriate Estonians focused on preserving Estonian culture and fighting for independence, forging the global Estonian community that continues to exist and flourish to this day.

Estonian World Council meets in Stockholm

On June 3-4, members of the Estonian World Council (Ülemaailmse Eesti Kesknõukogu, ÜEKN) and the Global Estonian Youth Network (Ülemaailmne Eesti Noortevõrgustik, ÜENV) met at the Estonian House in Stockholm. For many, this was their first in-person meeting since ESTO 2019 in Helsinki, Tallinn and Tartu.

Almost all member countries were represented: Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, Lithuania, Latvia, Sweden, Germany, the Czech Republic, Ukraine and the United States. No representative from Russia took part. Finland and the ÜENV attended as observers.

Estonian Institute allocates €60,000 for teaching Estonian to children living outside Estonia

A total of €60,039 was allocated to 30 educational projects from 15 different countries aimed at teaching the Estonian language to children living outside of Estonia.

The Estonian Institute's Heido Eskor-Kiviloo writes about the results of the call for proposals. Take a look at the projects that received support, the number of participants and the estimated number of children currently learning Estonian via these projects.

Upcoming Events

Midsummer's Eve in Estonia (June 23)

Midsummer, or St. John's Day — jaanipäev in Estonian — is one of the oldest and most important celebrations in Estonia.

Many Estonians celebrate Midsummer while living abroad. If you do find yourself in Estonia during Midsummer, however, find out where to celebrate!

Summer camps and schools 2022 (summer 2022, worldwide)

Summer camps for Estonian children and youth born or living abroad have always been an important part of retaining and preserving Estonian culture, language, and heritage.

35th West Coast Estonian Days (July 25-27, Suquamish, Washington)

Taking place near Seattle on July 25-27, the 35th West Coast Estonian Days (Lääneranniku Eesti Päevad, or LEP) is a three-day festival of singing, dancing, reconnecting and making new friends.

Since 1953, LEP has been bringing together Estonians from the West Coast of North America and abroad, their friends and their supporters to strengthen and promote Estonian culture.

Traditionally, LEP has taken place every other year on a rotating basis between Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and Vancouver.

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: Aili Vahtla

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