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More than ten members of the Estonian Society of Central Florida (Kesk Florida Eesti Selts) spent the weekend of December 10-11, 2011, making preparations for Christmas. On Saturday, December 10, Leena and Väino Aare of Bradenton, Florida, once again very generously hosted the verivorst-making party. Seven pairs of workers working serially made nearly 100 sausages in just under 4 hours.

 

It's not too late to write to Jõuluvana in Estonian, you just have to know what and how to ask. If you want something traditional like sokid, vitamiinid or flanell-pidžaamad, the requests are straightforward enough. But I'm sure a lot of you are yearning for gadgets your grandparents never even dreamed of.    You could text Santa from your mobiiltelefon aka mobiil aka mobla. Just like the British say mobile and not cell. In Estonian that's called sending an SMS or sõnum (message). Or you could e-mail him –saada talle e-post. Hey, if you're an upfront sort of person, call him! He'll surely take your call hands-free, as a vaba/käe/kõne with the phone firmly in his autohoidik. Or make that saani/hoidik (sleigh phone holder), with the flying vehicle set on kiirus/hoidik (cruise control).

 

Since 1961, the Estonian Students Fund in the USA (ESF) has provided scholarships and grants to students of Estonian descent.    While the scholarships were initially given to recent émigré students, the Fund now is giving scholarships to 2nd and 3rd generation Estonian-Ame-ricans.   Like any organization, the Fund has evolved and adapted to changing times.  In the mid-1990s, the Fund started supporting students living in Estonia.   During the past 4-5 years, the Fund has provided scholarships for Estonian-American students who wish to study in Tartu or Tallinn.  Last year, the Fund provided assistance to 79 students: 17 in the USA, 28 in Estonia and 34 studying in other countries.

 

The European Commission is worried by the poor knowledge of young people of the European Union (EU) in maths and in science, because one fifth of the Europeans have an insufficient knowledge of the sphere. Androulla Vassiliou, the Cypriot education and culture commissioner, set Finland, Estonia and Netherlands as examples for other member countries where the number of young people with an insufficient knowledge of math and science subjects is considerably lower.

 

This week Estonia hosted the virtual Olympics in Tallinn where contestants would run, jump or do whatever they do at the Olympics, in a square, in a gymnasium while looking at a video screen. They would imitate the action, for instance running on the spot. The computer device would decide who would be the fastest or strongest. They went through the entire gamut of sports mind you, even keeping dry while swimming. The sponsor was a company named Kinect which provided the computer games. Their motto is to get people off the couch. The winner of the Olympics was Guatemala. Estonia didn't even qualify.  eesti.ca

 

The organizing committee of the XXXI West Coast Estonian Days (LEP) - XI ESTO is inviting all Estonian artists, designers and friends to submit designs for the Festival’s over-all logo. Due to the dual nature of the combined Festivals - LEP and ESTO - it is requested that THREE VERSIONS of the logo design be submitted. All versions should have the same overall design, but different text (see below).The winning design will be selected by the organizing board and shall be considered it’s property.

On Saturday, October 1, at the Latvian cultural center “Priedaine” more than 100 Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians met to demonstrate their unity and friendship. Around 1950 there was a large influx of Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians into New Jersey.  In those beginning years the three baltic nations worked together to explain their tragedy to their fellow americans. With the fall of the  Soviet Union and regained freedom, the baltic unity efforts slowed.

 

In a job-share program with two other troupes, the Opera Company of Philadelphia has named its first composer in residence. New York-based Lembit Beecher, 30, will spend stretches of several weeks at a time at the Opera Company, as well as Gotham Chamber Opera and Music-Theatre Group in New York, observing productions and developing ideas for potential projects. Beecher was chosen not for having big operas under his belt - he has to his name only a chamber opera he wrote as a student - but for his potential.

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