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The Estonian folk dance world has never seen anything comparable over its last century of existence.
This past summer’s Folk Dance Celebration themed “Meri” (English ...“The Sea”) left hundreds of people standing behind the gates due to lack of seats in the stadium. It did not matter that the same concert was performed on three occasions. People were shocked – this is impossible?
The Dance Celebration is similar in scale to the Olympic Opening Ceremonies with over 7500 dancers performing on the big field at once. As recent as the turn of the millennium, it was believed that Folk Dance Celebrations would need to be dropped from the Song-and-Dance Festival scene due to lack of audiences.

WASHINGTON, DC – Maria Kivisild Ogrydziak, Chairman of the U.S.- Baltic Foundation (USBF) announced on March 19 that Estonian Composer Arvo Pärt will receive the Baltic Image Enhancement Award at the 2010 U.S.-Baltic Gala.
The 2010 U.S.- Baltic Gala to be held on Saturday, May 8th at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC.  Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius will be the Guest of Honor and receive USBF’s Baltic Statesmanship Award.  

After Estonia regained her independence, a group of former political prisoners sought support to convert the place where they were introduced into the Soviet penal system into a museum. As high school students they had been active in a patriotic underground organization, Blue-Black-White. KGB viewed that as a serious threat to Soviet authority, and promptly rounded up the suspects.  Boys and girls were sentenced to serve long terms in prison camps in Siberia.  A large modern building in Tartu had served as KGB headquarters. Its basement was used to hold “enemies of the workers” while they underwent interrogation.  It was a small but nasty place. 

People know Keila juga and Jägala juga, accessible tourist attractions, located just west and east of Tallinn respectively. And a lot of people who have visited them from abroad might have been tempted to call them a KOSK instead of a JUGA. ("Niagara kosk" sound familiar?) Niagara is in fact a juga – a steep fall of water off an escarpment. A kosk can be extremely steep as well; the distinction lies in free-falling water (juga) vs water cascading along the surface of rocks (kosk). A series of many falls (pl. = joad) is called a joastik. With a decreased gradient, we arrive at rapids (kärestik), the home of parvetamine aka rafting.

A surprise awaited Estonia’s president on March 19 in Washington, D.C. when he spoke  in the Atlantic Council’s global leadership discussion series. Frederick Kempe, president of the Council, asked  Mr. Andrew Prozes, the director of the Council’s board to introduce Mr. Ilves because Mr. Prozes and Mr. Ilves had something in common.  As it turned out, Mr. Prozes, who is also CEO of LexisNexis, also has Estonian parents, from Saaremaa. The Prozes family fled to Germany where Andrew was born, and emigrated to Canada in 1948. Mr. Prozes, referring to Mr. Ilves’ background in psychology, called him Estonia’s First Therapist.

The Estonian American National Council announ-ced elections for the XX Council on January 18, 2010, with a closing date for nominations for candidates of March 2, 2010.  The Elections Committee is extending the nomination period for 60 more days (until May 3, 2010) as the committee did not receive the minimum of 50 candidate applications as required by EANC by-laws.

On the 22nd and 23rd of April, Tallinn will be the host for the annual unofficial meeting of NATO countries’ Ministers of Foreign Affairs, which will be attended by delegations from up to 56 countries and nearly 400 journalists.
The event will be hosted by Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet.
The preparations for holding the summit already began in November 2009, when  NATO’s technical workgroup arrived in Tallinn in order to discuss the technicalities of the event.

According to the leader of the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), on a political level, Estonia is welcome to the Eurozone since its financial state is extremely strong.
Discussing the issue of the adoption of the single European currency and the words coming from the Bussels-basedthink tank, the Estonian national broadcasting reported that the economic analytics believe that if Estonia would join the Eurozone, it would not escape from helping countries as Greece, if it is jointly decided.


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