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Easter weather in Estonia this year could not have been more by the book. The big, Good book that is. Snow is not appropriate you say? Well, it was definitely hard to find someone who remembered the last snowy liha/võtte-/pühad or "meat taking holiday", referring to the end of fasting for Lent. The last day of March was one for finally bringing the bike out of the shed in Tallinn, but on the evening of April 1st it began to snow again in earnest. April 1st is traditionally the day when herds were finally let out to pasture to frolic and play after the long winter (karja/laske/päev). These days most Estonians have removed their studded winter tires by this deadline.

 

President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate diplomat Jeffrey D. Levine to be next ambassador to Estonia on February 16, 2012. Born circa 1954 and raised in California, as a teenager Jeffrey Levine was a fan of the band Jefferson Airplane and the movie Blazing Saddles. Levine earned a B.A. in Journalism at Humboldt State University in 1976. Much later he would add an M.S. in Resource Strategy at the National Defense University in 1999. Levine worked as a newspaper reporter for seven years, most notably as a founding staff member at USA Today from 1982 to 1985, after which he moved on to the State Department.

 

The Estonian American National Council (EANC) has a new website!  It is at the same web address – www.estosite.org – but it has a completely new look and more information about news, activities and resources for Estonian Americans.  Plus an easy-to-navigate menu, with links to useful websites. The website is a work in progress, and we look forward to receiving comments and suggestions for additional links and sources, postings about current news and events, and format and ease-of-use enhancements.  Some sources listed are in Estonian, some in English, and some in both languages – and you will find the same language mix on this website.  

 

ERR News - While a report released by Children's Ombudsman Indrek Teder last month found that 45,000 children in Estonia were living below the absolute poverty line last year, nearly half of that total, or 22,000, had to make do on less then 69 euros ($90) per month, reported Eesti Päevaleht. Statistician Ene-Margit Tiit told the newspaper that the definition of "absolute poverty" was a political decision, with each country determining where to draw the line on what it considers the minimum needed to cover basic human needs.  In Estonia, the line is set at 174 euros ($227) per month for a person living alone, and in the case of households, 87 euros ($114) per month per child. The report commissioned by Teder's office revealed that an additional 18,000 children were at risk of absolute poverty, putting the number of children threatened by poverty at 63,000, or one fifth of the nation's total.  

 

PRESS RELEASE  3/19/2012    Dear Estonians and our friends all over the world!!  Estonians from San Fran-cisco and West Coast invite you to join us for the West Coast Estonian Days (LEP) and the world-wide ESTO joint festival from June 28th to July 1st 2013.   Over the years LEP and ESTO goals have always been to connect Estonians in  foreign countries and to preserve Estonian culture and language. The keyword of  the event in 2013 is “connect” which means to connect everybody and everything  related to Estonia. The official program starts with a gorgeous and formal evening  gala show. The guest performer will be our beloved Principal Dancer of San  Francisco Ballet, Tiit Helimets, who will promote our event goals and will introduce  Estonia to San Francisco. 

 

 

ERR News - At their meeting in Washington on March 27, Secretary of State of the US Hillary Clinton and Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the two countries will co-chair a new working group that will support the development of new democracies. According to a Foreign Ministry press release, Clinton proposed to Paet that the countries jointly direct the new initiative - Leaders Engaged in New Democracies (LEND) - because Estonia's activities in supporting new democracies have been "visible and effective." 

 

 

Dear friends of Estonia living abroad, we are glad to inform you that once again, the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (www.meis.ee, hereinafter Foundation) will hold an Estonian language camp for young people of Estonian origin living outside of Estonia. These camps have been held since 2000. Estonian language camps for youth of Estonian origin are  part of the national “Compatriots Programme 2009-2013” which is designed to support Estonians living outside of Estonia and promote cooperation. The language camps are held in Estonia and are supported by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education and Research. In summer 2012, there will be three separate camps for children between the ages of 12 and 17.

 

On Saturday, April 14, 2012, 3 PM at the New York Estonian Culture Days at the New York Estonian House. THOMAS PALM, Ph.D.  Estonia: a personal historic overview: Why does a choir of 25,000 people sing about insects? The role of location in national history -- 700 years of occupation? The beginnings of Estonian identity and nationalism: the role of choral music, and more.    Thomas Palm is a retired professor of economics from Portland, Oregon, where he taught at Portland State University for over thirty years. He was born in Tallinn, Estonia, but spent much of World War II in Germany.

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