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The University of Wisconsin-Madison, host of the Baltic Studies Summer Institute (BALSSI) for summer 2010 and 2011 is seeking qualified Estonian language instructors for elementary and intermediate Estonian for summer 2010 (and 2011). This is an intensive, eight-week program that involves 4 hours of instruction a day, plus grading. It is not for the faint of heart, but it is an incredibly rewarding experience, as we attract many qualified American graduate students who require a Baltic language for their research.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will travel to Finland and Estonia from April 21 to 23, 2010.
In Finland, Secretary Clinton will meet with senior Finnish officials to discuss European security issues, as well as Afghanistan and Iran, as a part of our ongoing bilateral consultations. In the year of the 35th anniversary of the signing of the Helsinki Final Act, she will also give a speech outlining the global human security agenda for the 21st century.
The Secretary will continue to Estonia to attend the NATO Informal Foreign Ministerial. On April 22 and 23, the Secretary will participate in meetings with NATO Allies to discuss a range of issues before the Alliance, including European security and Afghanistan. She will also meet with senior Estonian officials to discuss our bilateral relationship, and will have a media event with Estonian citizens.
www.state.gov

9 April (BNS) - According to a syllabus now being worked out, Finnish could be taught at Estonian schools as a second foreign language starting from 2013. At present it is possible to learn Finnish as a third or fourth foreign language in high school, which means one weekly lesson for three years, a total of 210 lessons.
According to the Finnish Institute, a syllabus will enter into force from 2013 that will make it possible to teach Finnish starting from the sixth grade as the second foreign language in three weekly lessons.

The Estonian folk dance world has never seen anything comparable over its last century of existence.
This past summer’s Folk Dance Celebration themed “Meri” (English ...“The Sea”) left hundreds of people standing behind the gates due to lack of seats in the stadium. It did not matter that the same concert was performed on three occasions. People were shocked – this is impossible?
The Dance Celebration is similar in scale to the Olympic Opening Ceremonies with over 7500 dancers performing on the big field at once. As recent as the turn of the millennium, it was believed that Folk Dance Celebrations would need to be dropped from the Song-and-Dance Festival scene due to lack of audiences.

WASHINGTON, DC – Maria Kivisild Ogrydziak, Chairman of the U.S.- Baltic Foundation (USBF) announced on March 19 that Estonian Composer Arvo Pärt will receive the Baltic Image Enhancement Award at the 2010 U.S.-Baltic Gala.
The 2010 U.S.- Baltic Gala to be held on Saturday, May 8th at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC.  Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius will be the Guest of Honor and receive USBF’s Baltic Statesmanship Award.  

After Estonia regained her independence, a group of former political prisoners sought support to convert the place where they were introduced into the Soviet penal system into a museum. As high school students they had been active in a patriotic underground organization, Blue-Black-White. KGB viewed that as a serious threat to Soviet authority, and promptly rounded up the suspects.  Boys and girls were sentenced to serve long terms in prison camps in Siberia.  A large modern building in Tartu had served as KGB headquarters. Its basement was used to hold “enemies of the workers” while they underwent interrogation.  It was a small but nasty place. 

People know Keila juga and Jägala juga, accessible tourist attractions, located just west and east of Tallinn respectively. And a lot of people who have visited them from abroad might have been tempted to call them a KOSK instead of a JUGA. ("Niagara kosk" sound familiar?) Niagara is in fact a juga – a steep fall of water off an escarpment. A kosk can be extremely steep as well; the distinction lies in free-falling water (juga) vs water cascading along the surface of rocks (kosk). A series of many falls (pl. = joad) is called a joastik. With a decreased gradient, we arrive at rapids (kärestik), the home of parvetamine aka rafting.

A surprise awaited Estonia’s president on March 19 in Washington, D.C. when he spoke  in the Atlantic Council’s global leadership discussion series. Frederick Kempe, president of the Council, asked  Mr. Andrew Prozes, the director of the Council’s board to introduce Mr. Ilves because Mr. Prozes and Mr. Ilves had something in common.  As it turned out, Mr. Prozes, who is also CEO of LexisNexis, also has Estonian parents, from Saaremaa. The Prozes family fled to Germany where Andrew was born, and emigrated to Canada in 1948. Mr. Prozes, referring to Mr. Ilves’ background in psychology, called him Estonia’s First Therapist.

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