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“Estonia and the people of Estonia have endured a lot. However, even today we don’t have a real overview of what exactly happened in Estonia during the Soviet period,” said President Toomas Hendrik Ilves on Decemeber 8, in Kadriorg, at the first session of the Learned Committee of the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory.

 

BNS - Estonian students are third in Europe after Finland and Ireland for their reading skills and their knowledge of mathematics and science subjects, it appears from a recent European Commission report.

According to the Education Ministry the number of students with a poor achievement level in science subjects is three times lower in Estonia than the average in Europe.

 

BNS - Inspired by the "Let's Do It Estonia 2008" campaign, NGOs in Romania are preparing for a campaign in which volunteers will collect illegally dumped or littered garbage across the country in May 2010.

The Romanian NGO's behind the initiative have named it "Let's Do It Romania."

TORONTO, November 30 - Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre, Hon. Bob Rae introduced a resolution today to recognize August 23rd –Black Ribbon Day- as a national Canadian day of remembrance for the millions of victims of totalitarian Communism and Nazism in Europe. The resolution, seconded by Etobicoke Centre MP, Borys Wrzesnewskyj, passed with the unanimous consent of all parties.

The Central and East European Coalition (CEEC) met on November 17, 2009 with Congressmen Dennis Kucinich (R-Ohio) and Thomas Price (D-GA), co-chairs of the newly formed House Russia Caucus, to discuss the goals and mission of the Russia Caucus, and to provide suggestions for a possible agenda.  While caucuses on many of the Central and East European countries already exist, this is the first caucus with a focus solely on Russia.
The body is meant to improve communication between Congress and Russia's lower house of parliament. 

FM Review - In the early morning hours of 1 December 1924, a couple of hundred armed Communist conspirators attempted a coup d’etat in Tallinn. The conspirators killed approximately 20 people including the Estonian Minister of Transport Karl Kark. The Estonian people reacted quickly and crushed the attempted coup.
1923 and 1924 were economically very difficult years for Estonia. Overestimating the unrest of the Estonian people, the Communist leadership in Moscow decided the time was right for a Communist coup d’etat in their neighbouring country. This decision was not based exclusively on economic factors -- a coup would have been attempted in any case. In November 1924, 149 people in Estonia were convicted of hostile activities against the state. At the same time, staged demonstrations against Estonia were organised in the Soviet Union.

2009, after two trips from Melbourne, Australia to Europe and back has firmly convinced me that I am no longer the lively gazelle with unlimited energy to scamper up Geislingen’s hillsides. Nevertheless I relished the opportunity to disprove my fantasy.
In September I was privileged to participate in the International conference about Children as the Invisible Victims of War. I had always believed that the journey through a war zone looked different through the eyes of a child compared with what the adult saw. My time at that conference validated that notion for me.

"Issi, sülle!" In a word: "Daddy, pick me up!" "Carry me!" "I want to sit in your lap!" I heard that a lot this morning, when the kids at my daughter's day care and kindergarten were overjoyed at having their daddies over for breakfast. Not just any breakfast, but a pudrupidu (porridge party). The previous day had been Father's Day in these parts, unlike the 52 countries including the U.S., who celebrate dads and grandpas on the second Sunday in June. However Estonia adopted the custom from our neighbouring Finns, who along with other Nordic countries celebrate fathers in the fall. Eesti isad abroad thereby have two days a year to celebrate their revered status.

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