Estonian expats to hold cultural days in New York in April

Estonian expats are to hold cultural days in New York City in April; the programme offers a variety of events from films and theatre to a startup showcase.

According to the organisers, the five-day programme, from 3-7 April 2019, offers a wide spectrum of events, including movies, theatre, musicians and lecturers.

The cultural days will be kicked off on Wednesday, 3 April, with the Estonian startup showcase titled “Innovating Disruption at the 59th Parallel”, shining a spotlight on “the eco-system behind one of Silicon Valley’s best-kept secret ‘unicorn hatcheries’”, the organisers said in a statement. The entrepreneurs will also be available for a meet and greet on Friday evening after the opening ceremony.

In addition, a movie night is to spotlight the nature documentary, “Wind Sculpted Land”, and a three-part feature film, “The Manslayer/The Virgin/The Shadow”.

The cultural days also present concerts by the Estonian musicians, Uku Suviste and Grete Paia, and a performance by a New York City-area folk dance group, Saare Vikat, that is vying for a spot to perform at the Song and Dance Festival in Estonia in the summer.

The visitors of the cultural days can also attend a photo exhibit by Maria Spann, titled “Children of the 1944 Estonian Diaspora”, see a play written by the Estonian author, Andrus Kivirähk, and attend various lectures.

Estonian culture for the émigré community

The Estonian cultural days began in 1970 as an event to showcase Estonian culture for the émigré community in an era when Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union. During 50 years of occupation, Estonian culture in the western world was kept alive through events such as the cultural days.

With independence in 1991 came the opportunity for Estonians everywhere to interact more closely and the Estonian cultural days have transitioned with the times into an event attended by Estonians of all ages and backgrounds including older emigrants and their descendants as well as recent transplants, the organisers said.

The programme of the event is available on its website.

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Cover: Grete Paia.

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About the author: Sten Hankewitz

Sten Hankewitz is a lifelong journalist and Deputy Editor at Estonian World. Having lived in Estonia, Spain, the UK and all around the US, he now resides in Chicago, IL. He loves to write and besides working at Estonian World and doing some occasional blogging, he writes books and contributes to other outlets in Estonia, Israel and elsewhere. He has strong convictions and he shows them unashamedly. You can follow him on Twitter, like his page on Facebook or check out his personal blog. You can write to Sten at sten@estonianworld.com.