Global Estonian Report: May 24-31

Promotional photo for the XIII Youth Song and Dance Festival happening this summer in Tallinn from June 30- July 2.
Promotional photo for the XIII Youth Song and Dance Festival happening this summer in Tallinn from June 30- July 2. Source: Eesti Laulu- ja Tantsupeo Sihtasutus

A roundup of Estonian news and events taking place around the world from May 24 to May 31, 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.

25,000 musicians gather under arch for Youth Song Festival rehearsals

Regional preliminary rehearsals for the XIII Youth Song Festival have concluded, and the artistic committee has selected the choirs and orchestras that will perform beneath the arch on the Song Festival Grounds on July 2. Approximately 25,000 musicians and singers will participate in the summer festival.

In addition to musicians and singers from Estonia, there will be about 300 performers from abroad. This includes choirs and orchestras from Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Luxembourg, and Sweden.

New Estonian sauna minister recently sworn in

Journalist and sauna culture promoter Rein Sikk was sworn in as Estonia's unofficial sauna minister as part of the Year of the Sauna celebrations in the eastern city of Jõhvi last Saturday.

Sauna is an ancient tradition that still plays an important role in Estonian culture. In 2014, UNESCO also included the Southern Estonian smoke sauna tradition in its Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

The Language Friends Program brought together another 1,216 language friends

For the fourth year in a row, the Integration Foundation has offered Estonian language learners the opportunity to practice communicating in Estonian for three months by conversing with volunteers who speak Estonian as their first language. This year, 1,216 language friends – 618 learners and 598 mentors – participated in the Language Friends Program (Keelesõber).

The Integration Foundation started the Language Friends Program in 2020 to offer language learners the opportunity to continue practicing Estonian online instead of participating in communicative language practice events, which were cancelled due to the lockdown.

Upcoming Events

Summer Camps 2023

Global Estonian has compiled a list of this year's summer camps for children and young people across the world, where you can practice Estonian and meet your compatriots.

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

Small Country. Big Ideas. Estonian Music Week (EMW) turns five 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: Michael Cole

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