Global Estonian Report: May 17-24

Participants of the 'Back to Our Roots!' youth exchange in Estonia
Participants of the 'Back to Our Roots!' youth exchange in Estonia Source: Seiklejate Vennaskond

A roundup of Estonian news and events taking place around the world from May 17 to May 24, inclusive.

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.

More Estonians from abroad continue to return to Estonia than to emigrate

In a trend that has continued for many years, Statistics Estonia reported that in 2022 6,981 Estonian citizens arrived in the country and 5,352 left, with arrivals outnumbering departures by 1,629.

This included 2,374 Estonian citizens arriving back from Finland, which by far has the largest community of Estonians living abroad with numbers estimated to be between 50,000 and 70,000.

Overall, Estonia saw the lowest birth rate in over a century in 2022 and an all time high migration. In all, Estonia's population rose by 34,088 persons in 2022, despite the record low birth rate.

Back to Our Roots! Join a youth exchange in Estonia

The youth organization Seiklejate Vennaskond (Brotherhood of Adventurers) is once again organizing the "Back to Our Roots!" youth exchange in Estonia this August.

The youth exchange brings together 30 young people aged 18-30 of Estonian origin; 20 living abroad and 10 from Estonia. The main aim of the youth exchange is to introduce the Estonian culture and language to participants.

Multilingualism is enriching: an example of one family from Sweden

As part of the recent virtual forum for Estonians across the world held on May 4th, the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs visited a family in Sweden that communicates in four different languages: Estonian, Romanian, Swedish, and English.

Watch how the Juks family in Sweden is preserving the Estonian language abroad in a multilingual environment. The video has English subtitles.

Upcoming Events

Estonian Language Cafe (May 17, Tallinn)

Come to the The International House of Estonia to speak and practise Estonian- or just listen! The events are free and happen every Thursday.

Estonian Music Week Festival 2023 (May 24-28, Toronto & Hamilton)

Small Country. Big Ideas. Estonian Music Week turns 5 this year with a festival of epic proportions. Now on a bi-annual rotation, EMW returns to a full festival format with programming spread over several days (May 24-28) and two cities (Toronto and Hamilton) in Canada.

13th Youth Song and Dance Celebration (June 30-July 2, Tallinn)

The youth festival takes place every four years and involves tens of thousands of singers and dancers. The tradition has been included in the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list and emphasizes Estonians' love for their country, language, culture, and customs.

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: Andrew Whyte

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