Estonian communities around the world celebrate Estonia’s centennial with music, dance and festivities

Estonians will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Estonia’s independence with dozens of events from Helsinki to Singapore, with more than thirty Estonian communities involved.

In Canada, around a thousand Estonians will gather for the festive flag raising at Nathan Phillips Square in downtown Toronto. In addition, the events in Canada dedicated to the anniversary of the Republic of Estonia will also be held in Vancouver, Hamilton and Montreal.

Estonians living in the United States have also prepared celebrations in grand style, with nearly 10 events taking place on both the East coast and the West coast. For example, the one-man performance, “Memories of Ivan Orav”, will be performed by Andrus Vaarik at the New York Estonian House.

In Europe, festivities, receptions, church services and events organised by Estonians are taking place in Stockholm, Lund, Gotland, Helsinki, Berlin, Bonn, Copenhagen, Brussels, Vienna, Zurich, London, Dublin, Los Gigantes, Luxembourg, Blansko, Reykjavik, Edinburgh and Prague, as well as in other cities.

The Austrian president, Alexander Van der Bellen, who has roots in Estonia, has agreed to attend the Estonia 100 party organised by the Vienna Estonian School. The Estonian Independence Day in London is being celebrated with an Estonian Day, where local food will be served, crafts taught and folk dances performed. A large party will also be taking place in Los Gigantes, Tenerife, with performances by Anne Velli, while Olav Ehala, Nele-Liis Vaiksoo and Lauri Liiv will perform at the Luxembourg Estonians’ Party.

From Colombia to Singapore

Celebrations will also be taking place in more distant locations such as Barranquilla in Colombia and in Singapore, where there is also a small Estonian community. The folk dance groups Tarbatu and Sõprus, the Väägvere village choir and choir Rõõmusõõm are all travelling from Estonia to visit and perform for their compatriots in Australia.

“It is truly noteworthy that so many Estonian communities abroad have decided to celebrate the centenary is such grand style,” Jaanus Rohumaa, the head of the Estonia 100 organising committee, said. He added that the organised events were an excellent example of how the anniversary can be celebrated with the same grandeur and joy beyond Estonia’s borders, as Estonians will be doing in Estonia this week.

In addition to the events organised by the Estonian communities abroad, other events are also being held in other countries for the celebration of Estonia’s centenary during the 100th anniversary week. For example, Festival Baltikum, dedicated to the 100th anniversaries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, kicked off in Germany last week, where the opening concert was dedicated to Arvo Pärt’s music. The festival will continue throughout this week, bringing various Estonian musicians to the stage, led by conductor Kristjan Järvi.

The music festival MustonenFest will take place in Israel, which this year is also dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia, and during which a total of 20 concerts will be given all over Israel. Vox Clamantis will perform a concert at the St Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Tbilisi.

For more information about all of the anniversary week events, visit the EV100 website.

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Cover: The folk dance groups Tarbatu in front of Adelaide Estonian House in Australia on 18 February 2018. Estonians abroad and friends of Estonia who celebrate the country’s 100 years of independence – please share your moments with Estonian World and Estonia 100. You can upload your emotions here: https://goo.gl/HXmBQu

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About the author: Estonian World

Estonian World is a global independent online magazine, founded in London in 2012 and headquartered in Tallinn, Estonia. The magazine has editorial representations in London, New York, Toronto and Tallinn, and contributors all over the world, on every continent. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.