For the eighth time, Estonia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday marked Citizen's Day by awarding certificates of honor to so-called people's diplomats as well as civic associations who have contributed to introducing the Estonian people, language and culture worldwide.
"Estonia has been very lucky to have so many great friends all over the world who represent it," said Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (SDE) according to a ministry press release. "These good people help Estonia stand out by introducing our people, traditions and history as well as promoting our language and culture. I thank and recognize everyone who has contributed and wish them continued zeal. Together we can always hold the Estonian flag high."
Certificates of honor are awarded to individuals or civic associations who have voluntarily made longtime, outstanding contributions to preserving and promoting the Estonian language and culture as well as establishing Estonia's positive reputation in their country of residence.
Citizen's Day is celebrated in Estonia on Nov. 26, the day in 1918 when the Estonian Provincial Assembly issued a regulation regarding Estonian citizenship. Citizen's Day is dedicated to Estonian citizens, their rights and responsibilities, and promoting pride in Estonian citizenship.
The recipients of this year's Citizen's Day honors are:
- Jaanus Johanson, for preserving and promoting Estonian culture in Latvia
- Estonian School of Oslo, for preserving and promoting the Estonian language and culture in Norway
- Eha Võõras-Aydın ja Ceyhun Aydın, for introducing Estonian literature in Turkey
- Reet Mae and Tom Mae, for their dedication to filming Canadian-Estonians' cultural heritage
- Ülle Veltmann, for promoting Estonian food culture in Toronto
- Maimu Möldre, for promoting Estonian cultural memory and academics in Canada
- Tõnu Onu, for active and trustworthy cooperation in promoting Estonia in Canada
- Dmitri Bertman, for promoting Estonian-Russian cultural relations
- Stockholm Estonian Hobby School, for preserving and promoting the Estonian language and culture in Sweden
- Virve Raag and Raimo Raag, for years of continuous organization of the teaching of the Estonian language in Sweden
- Tiit Pädam, for the preservation and promotion of the Estonian language, culture and traditions in Sweden
- Hideko Arai, for the longtime and fruitful promotion of Estonian culture in Japan
- Ave Abram, for the preservation and promotion of the Estonian language and culture in France
- Paris Estonian School, for the preservation and promotion of the Estonian langauge and culture in France
- Moonika Õis, for the preservation and promotion of the Estonian language and culture in France
- Maaja Kronberg, for the preservation and promotion of the Estonian language and culture in France
- Strasbourgi Eesti Kool, for the preservation and promotion of the Estonian language and culture in France
- Organizing team of the West Coast Estonian Days for the successful organization and carrying out of the 2017 West Coast Estonian Days
- Mare Litnevska, for her dedication to preserving the Estonian language and culture and society in Ukraine
- Maris Ann Reinson, for her longtime and comprehensive introduction of and contribution to preserving the Estonian culture in Finland
- Anne Ala-Honkola, for her longtime and comprehensive introduction of Estonian culture in Finland
- Dagmar Õunap, for the preservation of Estonian musical culture and the organization of concerts in Finland
- Kati Simpson and Erik Simpson, for their dedicated and continuing importing of Estonian theater to Belgium
- Heli Jakobson, for her longtime dedication to introducing Estonian musical culture in Antwerp
- Estonian School of Belgium, for preserving and promoting the Estonian language and culture in Belgium
Editor: Aili Vahtla