Global Estonian Report: February 15-22

Estonian Embassy in London.
Estonian Embassy in London. Source: Mari Kask

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

Between 165,000 and 200,000 Estonians are currently estimated to live outside the country, 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.

Voting for the 2023 Riigikogu elections begins this week

Parliamentary (Riigikogu) elections are being held in Estonia on March 5, 2023.

For Estonians outside the country, it is possible to vote in Estonia's foreign representations on at least two days between February 18 and 23, 2023.

Internet voting also begins on February 17 and runs until March 4.

The right to vote abroad applies to Estonian citizens living abroad permanently as well as to those outside the country temporarily. Have a say in Estonia's democratic process by voting -  every vote counts!

Click here for continuing election coverage on ERR News.

Foreign Minister Reinsalu: the Estonian community is global

On February 14, Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu gave the annual speech on Estonia's foreign policy at the Riigikogu, outlining the main foreign policy accomplishments over the past year, as well as aims for the next twelve months. In his speech, Reinsalu focused on the need for Estonia to continue providing comprehensive assistance to Ukraine and to isolate Russia.

The foreign minister also stated in his speech that the Estonian community has become increasingly global:

"Just as business is increasingly global, so are Estonian communities. Estonians living abroad are not separate or distant from all matters Estonian. Overall, we function as a supportive community spanning the entire globe. Estonia's foreign policy is increasingly prioritizing global Estonians."

Invitation to ESTO 2025 brainstorming sessions

It's time to start planning the XIII Global Estonian Cultural Festival!

All Estonian communities around the world can make proposals and take the initiative in implementing ideas.

The first brainstorming sessions "ESTO 2025 - When? Where? Led by whom?" will take place online on March 10.

Upcoming Events

Estonian Independence Day events (worldwide)

A growing list of celebrations marking the 105th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia. Have a look to see where you can join in with the celebrations!

Language Roulette: virtual conversations (February 21, online)

Language Roulette (Keelerulett) invites you to practice Estonian online! We meet virtually on Zoom for a series of short conversations. We chat in Estonian for a limited time in random groups. Positive and open atmosphere guaranteed.

Language Roulette is organized and hosted by the Integration Foundation.

Shrove Tuesday (February 21, worldwide)

In the Estonian folk calendar, this day (called Vastlapäev in Estonia) was connected to magical flax growth and it marked the end of winter chores. Let's maintain this folk tradition in Estonia and abroad!

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: Michael Cole

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