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Wrapping up the old year well might be more important to Estonians than a spectacular start to the new. Depending of course on how superstitious you are. Why else do Estonians wish each other "Head vana-aasta lõppu" – "Happy end of the old year", up until the clock has struck midnight on New Year's Eve? That's not heard in English-speaking countries. No need to get ahead of ourselves, just in case. Similarly, the tradition of baby showers is a foreign concept in Eesti. Once the child has arrived, a visit is made to meet him or her, called katsikud, katsikule minek.

 

 (Washington, DC) -  The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC), representing the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian communities in the United States, enthusiastically applauds the passage of the Magnitsky Act in the U.S. Congress, and the signing of the Act into law by President Barack Obama on Dec. 14.

Opening the November-December 2012 Concert Series

Seattle’s classical music lovers filled the Benaroya Symphony Hall to its capacity to hear Neeme Järvi conduct Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with Arabella Steinbacher, violinist.  After Järvi’s first performance, Seattle Classical Music Critic, Philippa Kiraly, writing for the Seattle Times newspaper, summed up her observations as follows: “Remarkable violinist and conductor were masterful pair at the Seattle Symphony.  

 

A recent gala hosted at the Estonian House on 34th Street in New York launched a project that promises to bring one of the most famed living Estonians in the world—composer Arvo Pärt— to Manhattan for an unprecedented concert–lecture series. The series will specifically explore the spiritual roots of Pärt’s music and will center on a concert at Carnegie Hall on May 31, 2014, with the composer and his wife, Nora, in attendance. The landmark performance will feature the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, under the baton of Tõnu Kaljuste.

 

The Estonian American National Council has just published its first newsletter, containing news about its activities and about events, people and issues of interest to Estonian Americans. EANC plans to publish the free “EANC Newsletter” four times a year. In order to keep costs down, EANC will send as many future issues electronically as possible.  However, printed issues will continue to be mailed to subscribers who do not have e-mail. If you did not receive the December 2012 issue, the newsletter will be posted on www.estosite.org.  If you would like to be added to our mailing list, contact Linda Rink at 215-546-5863 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .   Please include your e-mail address in any correspondence.    

 

The Estonian Society of Central Florida (Kesk Florida Eesti Selts (KFES)) had many causes for celebration in December. For the first time in many years, Jõuluvana returned! More than 30 KFES members gathered on December 2, 2012, to welcome him in with song, and half the members—aged 3 to 90—performed for him in verse, song and dance.   Members were also deligh-ted to hear the news that the Estonian honorary consul corps in the United States was just expanded to Florida with the appointment of KFES vice president Lisa A. Mets as Honorary Consul for North Florida. 

 

VES #44, November 1, 2012   Logically, there is something askew in the newly published University of Tartu doctoral thesis by Tõnu Esko, et al.  The study not only claims that we are closer to Latvians and Russians, genetically, than to Finns, but reflective of foreign rule in Estonia beginning in the 13th century, also to a considerable extent the Italians, Spanish and French (none of whom were ever directly a part of any influx into Estonia). Mainly, though, it does not take into account the possibility of analogously reverse conditions or incidences.

 

Dr. Ekaterina (Tina) Khmelnitskaya, Curator of Russian Porcelain from Russia’s world famous State Hermitage Museum, was a Fulbright Scholar at Stanford last spring.    She is doing research about artists who worked in the Imperial porcelain factory in the early 20th century, but left in 1917.  The main sculptor of the time was Estonian August Timus (1865-1943) who later in Tallinn created sculptural portraits of K. Päts, J. Laidoner,  J Tõnisson, and other noted figures as well as the medal for the heroes of Estonia’s Independence War. What was in Estonian museums was destroyed in the 1940’s.  There is hope, though, that some of Timus’ artwork still exists in private homes of Estonians in the U.S., and might be able to be studied and shared in an upcoming book about August Timus.    If you can help in anyway, please contact:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

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