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The ESTO Festival, which was born in exile as the Global Estonian Cultural Days in 1972, will not only be taking place closer to home in 2019, but also returning home. The 12th ESTO Festival will be held in two years’ time in Helsinki, Tartu and Tallinn.


To mark the occasion, the Estonian National Museum will be putting together a  joint exhibition about ESTO with which we are asking for help from anyone who has ever attended the festival. The museums are interested in people’s  memories, as well as photos, films, advertising materials, programs, souvenirs, letters and postcards sent to family and friends and any other pertinent material.


A questionnaire which is available from the Estonian National Museum, the Museum of Estonians Abroad (VEMU) in Toronto, Canada and from the websites of both ( & will help you put your memories into words, but we also hope to acquire general impressions of ESTO as well as physical mementoes. The questionnaire can be completed in Estonian or English.


Materials sent to the Estonian National Museum will continue to be held thereafter in the museum’s collec tion so that researchers have access to them in the future. The museum has previously gathered fellow Estonians’ recollections on the topics ‘Fleeing One’s Homeland: The First Decade in Exile’, ‘Estonians Abroad 1955-2000’, ‘Trips to Soviet Estonia’ and ‘Letters from Afar’. The museum is also home to the archives of Estonians abroad (Ernst Jaakson, Endel Tulving et al.), photo collections, interviews recorded in the field, publications and objects. Any ESTO material amassed will form an important addition to the cultural heritage of our fellow Estonians collected to date.


The VEMU archive collections are the biggest of their kind outside of Estonia, in which the history of the ESTO Festival is also represented in small publications, photos, films, festival souvenirs and archive documents. However, we know that there are other exciting finds to be made in people’s homes – material greatly needed for the exhibition which VEMU will be glad to receive. Especially  soughtafter are high-quality photos and films, but also personal memories of  ESTO, which have yet to be specifically collected.


Please submit your questionnaires and materials to the Estonian National Museum (Muuseumi tee 2, Tartu, Estonia; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) or to the Museum of Estonians Abroad (310 Bloor St. W., Toronto, ON MM5S 1W4, Canada; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) by 15 June 2018.


Kairi Ustav

Marketing Manager

Estonian National Museum


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