Global Estonian | Estonian state continues to support the preservation of the identity of Estonians abroad
Foto: Vaas/Transpordiamet
Foto: Vaas/Transpordiamet

Estonian state continues to support the preservation of the identity of Estonians abroad

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In February of 2024, the Integration Foundation in in cooperation between with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs opened a call for proposals for projects launched on the initiative of foreign Estonian communities to strengthen their ties with Estonia, contribute to the preservation of Estonian identity among Estonians around the world and increase awareness of diaspora activities in Estonia. 

42 projects from Estonian communities around the world will receive funding and support. The budget for the application round was 100,000 euros in total. The maximum amount of support was 5,000 euros per application, and a total of 74 projects were received.

With the grants, activities and projects will be carried out in Estonian communities in 15 countries: Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic, Moldova, the USA, Canada, Japan and Australia.

Over the decades, choirs, folk dance groups and cultural societies provided support to thousands who had to flee from the occupation authorities 80 years ago. Back then, you couldn't come from the free world to your country for a song and dance party, but now it's possible. This year, the Estonian state is financing the work of several choir directors in learning the repertoire of the song party, camps for folk dancers and making folk costumes for the party. With the help of the grant allocated from the application round, for example, the "Nou Pois Älleud III" project will be continued in Canada, where Estonian women from all over the USA and Canada will come together on a long weekend to dance, sing and communicate in Estonian. The Estonian community in Sydney organizes a grand event "Estonian folk dance in Australia - 90th anniversary celebrations" with project support.

In the last few decades, communities consisting of young people have grown rapidly: Estonians have gone to study, work and see the world in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan, Spain and elsewhere. A completely new generation of young business people and scientists has formed in the United States, and of course the largest Estonian community lives in the neighboring country of Finland. It goes without saying that the desire to preserve the Estonian language and spirit lives on in many Estonian families abroad, and this does not only mean kama, chip sandwiches and Christmas blood sausage. And it makes me happy that more and more different projects are submitted to the application round. Whether it's a film festival or a sports competition, listening to old audio records together or a camp - if they bring Estonians together and help gather them into a network that actively communicates, it's all worth supporting.

The application round for self-initiated projects of Estonian foreign communities is financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The results of the 2024 application round can be found on the website of the Integration Foundation (in Estonian):




Veebilehte haldab Integratsiooni Sihtasutus.
Sihtasutuse asutaja on Eesti Vabariik, kelle nimel teostab asutajaõigusi Kultuuriministeerium.