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ERR News - The largest negative net migration of the past decade helped push Estonia's population down by another 7,915 people last year, according to preliminary figures released on January 18, by Statistics Estonia. Based on registered births, deaths and migration figures for the year, the agency put the nation's population figure at 1,286,540 as of January 1. The recent Population and Housing Census, which used December 31, 2011 as its reference date, had come up with a result of 1,294,455.


ERR News - Tõnis Lukas, appointed head of the National Museum yesterday, said he hoped to sign the building contract for the museum's new complex next week and that construction should start in March. It is Lukas's second time directing the museum, ETV reported. He praised the work of his predecessor, Krista Aru. “There is little sense in pushing through too many personal ideas in a permanent institution. The museum will continue with it's main functions.


A London-based classical music review website has, for the second year running, named Arvo Pärt the year's most-performed living composer. put the 77-year-old Estonian in 54th place overall in its "Concert and Opera League Tables 2012," a list created from a sampling of 12,597 concerts and 4,451 opera performances.  "[The] table contains the composers who featured in the greatest number of concerts during the year: a composer gets an entry if at least one work was performed in a given concert," the article accompanying the rankings said. 


At its 60th Anniversary Gala in September 2012, The Estonian American National Council (EANC) announced that it would distribute a portion of the Gala proceeds to the Long Island Estonian Children’s Summer Camp and the Estonian American Girl Guides and Boy Scouts. On December 15 at the “Järvemetsa” Christmas celebration in Lakewood, New Jersey,  EANC Board member Ilmar Vanderer presented checks to Leena Kangro and Tina Fischgrund for the Girl Guides and Boy Scouts.   The Long Island Estonian Children’s Summer Camp also received its special donation check from EANC last month.    


Have you considered popping some suir as part of a healthier New Year's regime? Or tried sõir as an appetizer (eel/roog)? They're both made for consumption with great care and love. When I first typed sõir into my internet search engine (otsingu/mootor), the only hits I got were for soir – evening in French. And I have to admit, I kept forgetting "that other word" (suir), that I've wanted to simultaneously introduce for a while, since it's so similar and most likely just as new to readers. Are they both fringe delicacies? Well, suir (bee pollen), also known as mesilaste leib (bee bread) is not eaten for its great taste. In fact it's kibe (bitter), some say hapu (sour) and magically, naturally hapendatud (fermented) by the bee's secret ingredient, an amazing lactic acid bacteria (piim/happe/bakter).


Wrapping up the old year well might be more important to Estonians than a spectacular start to the new. Depending of course on how superstitious you are. Why else do Estonians wish each other "Head vana-aasta lõppu" – "Happy end of the old year", up until the clock has struck midnight on New Year's Eve? That's not heard in English-speaking countries. No need to get ahead of ourselves, just in case. Similarly, the tradition of baby showers is a foreign concept in Eesti. Once the child has arrived, a visit is made to meet him or her, called katsikud, katsikule minek.


 (Washington, DC) -  The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC), representing the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian communities in the United States, enthusiastically applauds the passage of the Magnitsky Act in the U.S. Congress, and the signing of the Act into law by President Barack Obama on Dec. 14.

Opening the November-December 2012 Concert Series

Seattle’s classical music lovers filled the Benaroya Symphony Hall to its capacity to hear Neeme Järvi conduct Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with Arabella Steinbacher, violinist.  After Järvi’s first performance, Seattle Classical Music Critic, Philippa Kiraly, writing for the Seattle Times newspaper, summed up her observations as follows: “Remarkable violinist and conductor were masterful pair at the Seattle Symphony.  


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