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IMG 0701 Looris

Linnar Looris, first soloist of the Houston Ballet, performing in “Tempest”.


June 24, 2017

Enamus selle ajalehe lugejaskonnast oskab nii eesti kui ka inglise keelt, nii panen mõnda paberile viimases. Peamine põhjus on, et ma ei oska teatud sõnu või mõtteid eesti keelde tõlkida.


So here are some events in Texas related to our community that are easier described in English than in Estonian. This is here to remind you, dear readers, that we here in the South US, we still have a presence, especially in Houston. Our numbers in Houston have diminished, especially those of us who share the common bond of having escaped from Estonia (note: not emigrated!) to the sounds of distant cannon fire. Of these many have moved on to Florida. I have heard that elephants have special places where they go to die – is there a parallel in Florida for us humans? Florida seems also to be a weird choice for one’s last residence, given that it is racked more frequently by hurricanes than are the shores of Texas.


But what of the younger additions from Estonia? The day-long flight back to Estonia is no problem for them and they fly back whenever they want the company of Estonians. So also our chairlady of our informal Houston-Estonian association, Helen Arnold, took her three-year-old boy to her birthplace in Rapla for Jaanipäev.


She made a name for herself some time ago when her dog, a pitbull named Sharky, appeared on YouTube and even appeared on TV shows. Sparky had an affinity to take care of baby chicks, licking them gently. Sparky can be seen on the webpage


When I asked Helen about Sparky, it turned out that she died two years ago. Here is a thought: we can achieve a sort of immortality on the internet. We may have moved physically to ‘manala’ but we continue to exist in the form of electrons on the internet. I expect that long after I am gone my mailbox will still be flooded with requests for donations. And my time-share condo still will send threatening demands for immediate payment of overdue maintenance fees. We live on via the internet!


We in the Houston area are spread far and wide over the city, so naturally the newcomers quickly find friends close by in their local community. We meet rarely, usually only when rare Estonia-related events occur. Over the years there have been showings of films made in Estonia or performances by the Tallinn’s Philharmonic choir. If one draws a circle around Houston’s metropolitan area, including its suburbs, then the area is five times larger than Tallinn’s area with its suburbs.

Still Estonia and Estonians are known here. Many people have commented to me on Estonians’ extensive use of the internet and of the problems it has with its big neighbor to the East.


A well-known Estonian is Linnar Looris, who has performed with Houston’s ballet company since 2007 and has risen to the rank of first soloist. From conversations with ballet goers it’s clear they are aware of his birthplace. Most recently he performed the lead role in the ballet “Tempest” which is based on a play by William Shakespeare. Typically the leading perfor-mers take the final bow as a group, but at the conclusion of “Tempest” Linnar Looris alone was given the honor of taking the final bow to thunderous applause. He remarked to me later that he especially liked this ballet because besides dancing he also got to act.


To be continued


Arved Plaks



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