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Washington, DC (JBANC) -The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC) is pleased to announce that it will co-sponsor a full-day conference with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars on the soon-to-be released NATO Strategic Concept. The event will take place on Friday, May 21, 2010 at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC.

When I heard they were finally beginning to tear down the old Eesti Kunstiakadeemia building downtown, my first thought was, "Will they think to move the wonderful little oak by the front door?" It was more like a sculptural element, somehow bonsai-like, if simply due to being dwarfed and boxed-in by the huge Soviet clunker of a building surrounding it.
It turns out Estonian artists and their protegees have been gathering at Tartu maantee 1 on the corner of Laikmaa (after the Impressionist painter Ants Laikmaa) since 1917. The school was founded in 1914 and has had many names, the most famous acronyms of recent times being ERKI (Eesti Riiklik (State) Kunstiinstituut) during the Soviet era and now EKA.

A novel written in Finnish about the Estonian tragedy has become a bestseller in Finland. Sofi Oksanen born January 7, 1977  in Jyväskyla,  draws on her Estonian connection on her mother’s side to put a face on Estonia’s suffering, much like Anne Frank’s diary put a face on the Holocaust. The book, titled Puhdistus in Finnish, Puhastus in Estonian, and Purge in English has sold 150,000 copies in Finland. A similar success in the U.S. would translate into nine million. It’s going to be translated into 31 languages. Ms. Oksanen earned the biggest award in Nordic countries, the Nordic Council 2010 Literary Prize, and also the highest honor that Finland can bestow on an author, the Finlandia Award.
Ms. Oksanen’s U.S. book tour brought her to the Finnish Embassy in Washington on April 26, 2010. 

By Anneliis Beadnell
When artist Jaanika Peerna was asked to create an exhibition for New York Estonian House’s annual Kultuuripäevad (Cultural Days) 2010 she was positive that the Estonian language was to be the muse of the exhibition. The question was how to get more artists, Estonians and non-Estonians, to interact on such an endeavor?  
After several months of discussions (amongst Leevi Ernits, Jaanika and me) Latatara was born to break down the common functions of straight lingual translation through visual poetry.

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.

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