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Baltic Heritage Network Conference “New Beginnings of Baltic Diaspora” 26.-29.06.2018 Tartu, Estonia


The Republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are celebrating their 100th  birthdays in 2018. For this occasion the Baltic countries, as well as Baltic  diaspora communities, are looking back in time and summing up the experience of a century. Such important anniversaries give us the opportunity to draw conclusions from what has occurred, but also to look at what has yet to come and set goals for the future.

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What’s Happening on March 31, 2018?


Estonians and friends of Estonians are coming together in NYC on Saturday, March 31, 2018 to celebrate the centennial of Estonian independence in grand style. EV100 Gala NYC will take place in the elegant Grand Ballroom of the Essex House, located on Central Park South; a fitting site for this noteworthy event.

Dear people awaiting the festivities! As of November 16th, there are only 100 days left until our great common birthday. What do you wish a century-old state and what do you give its people as a gift? We can think about our state and pat it on the shoulder for enduring, arrange communal work days in our hometowns, throw the party of the century, or create something that will be enjoyable for our children and grandchildren down the road.

Annual consumption of alcohol in Estonia declined to 9.9 liters of absolute  alcohol per adult resident in 2016, it appears from an annual review presented at a conference of the National Institute for Health Development (NIHD) on November 1, 2017.

Pillerkaar Lord of Life Octoberfest Fairfax VA 10 28 17

Pictured: Jeff Zelek, Laila Oinas, Toomas Parratt, Age Landra Robinson, Jyri Erik Kork, Deborah Klepp, Arney Smits, Kadri Kallas-Zelek


Despite rain and cooler weather, Pillerkaar, Estonian Folk Dancers of the Washington DC Metro Area, performed in Fairfax, Virginia at the Lord of Life Lutheran Church Reformation 500 Oktoberfest on Sunday, October 29, 2017.

Europe’s very first gym located at an airport has opened at Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport in Estonia and it is free for passengers to use, writes The Lonely Planet.

Estonians living abroad who are unable to remotely renew their ID card's  certificates on their own do not need to visit an Estonian embassy in person to apply for a new card; they can submit an application for a replacement card via email.


Cookies left for Santa or meatballs for a deceased grandfather during hingede/aeg, the time of souls – it all depends on where you're from. Photo: Riina Kindlam


Estonians visit and light candles on the graves of loved ones on 2. november, hingede/päev (All Souls Day), as do many Europeans of various faiths. However, they don't take food to graveyards, as do people in Mexico for Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead; instead a table is set at home for the visiting souls of esi/vanemad (ancestors).


For Estonians, hingede/aeg, the period of souls, is long – all of November (also known as koolja/kuu, month of the dead and hinge/kuu, soul month) and even up to jõulud (Christmas). And as Ahto Kaasik, who studies folk traditions and sacred places has said – "Souls don't follow a calendar, they come when the weather is quiet, often foggy and mild".


During this extended period, families would set a table for the deceased in the house or the saun every nelja/päev (Thursday) during the fall. Thursdays were considered lucky: good for sowing, making offerings, religious ceremonies, predictions and even witchcraft.


On this particular night, the first Sunday in November, a little girl decided it was the right time to light a candle in the window and invite her Papa home. We were having liha/pallid (meatballs), so some were left out for him all night as well.


Riina Kindlam,



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