Estonian Identity

Canada’s “Forest University”: connecting to what is intrinsically Estonian

Canada’s “Forest University” – “Metsaülikool” in Estonian – is a cultural phenomenon. Find out how this year’s theme of spiritual health deeply touched the participants’ souls. I knew the “Metsaülikool” (MÜ) magic had begun when Sirje Kiin came bustling determinedly toward me, wrapped in a big towel, on her way …

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Võrumaa smoke sauna tradition added in UNESCO cultural heritage list

UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, has decided to inscribe the Võrumaa smoke sauna tradition, practiced in southern Estonia, on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The smoke sauna tradition, or “suidsusannakombõ”, as it is known in the local dialect, is an important part of the …

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Estonians taking on the world in Brisbane: where we are at and where we have come from

Estonians are certainly making an impact on and their presence felt in Australia. The way in which Estonians integrate into an existing culture without forgetting their roots has made them welcome citizens in the “land down under”. Waves of Estonians have hit Australian shores with every recession and crisis in …

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Estonian communities around the world: keeping the flag flying in Sydney

Australia hosts the fifth largest Estonian community in the world. Among the Estonians currently living in Australia, the Sydney community is the liveliest one. The first Estonians settled in Australia in 1853, and the first Estonian society was established in Melbourne in 1914. During the course of the Second World …

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Children choir from Piedmont experiences a life-changing concert at the Estonian Song Celebration

Singing with the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir has connected Tate Bissinger with numerous places in the world – from Slovakia to Germany. But on the weekend of 5-6 July 2014, singing connected her with something bigger and more powerful than anything she’d ever experienced. It happened in Estonia – …

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Record number of people attended the Estonian Song and Dance Celebration – five video highlights

The 26th Estonian Song and 19th Dance Celebration drew the highest ever number of participants and audience from 4-6 July – over 153,000 people visited the performances. Most tickets were sold for the second concert of the Song Celebration, this year called “The Time to Touch”, on Sunday – 67,322 …

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Three new videos demonstrate the Estonian Song and Dance Celebration

Every five years, almost 100,000 Estonians gather to sing in a giant choir. Find out about the tradition and how you can be part of the magic. Along with the famous Song Festival, almost 10,000 Estonian dancers gather every five years to dance together. What is the magic of the …

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“To Breathe As One” – a new film shows how singing keeps Estonia together (video)

Back in 2000, two internationally famous choirs – the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir in Oakland, California and the Estonian TV Girls’ Choir in Tallinn, Estonia – met at Heathrow Airport. The young people were heading to their respective homes after competing in singing events in various parts of the globe. They had time to kill, and they started to sing. Thus was born a choral friendship …

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