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With generous support from Estonians in the USA, the Estonian Relief Committee, known as Eesti Abistamiskomitee USA-s, achieves its mission to: (1) help Estonians that are less fortunate, and (2) help preserve and promote Estonian culture and heritage in the United States.

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The annual anniversary event is celebrated in many places around the world, including Tallinn, Tartu and Toronto. it has been held in the San Francisco Bay area since 1983, making it the 35th year of the celebration. It has been hosted by Dr. Mati Kiisk in his beautiful home in San Rafael, California for the past 20 plus years.

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EANC Washington Director Karin Shuey speaking at the Estonian section of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens.


Now that 2018 is coming to a close, it seems like a great time to take a look back at some of the year’s highlights of EANC’s activities in Washington.

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Photos by Siiri Lind


It would be difficult for any American choir to sing in Estonian, let alone choose Estonian repertoire to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Estonia’s independence. 


The Christmas Party (Jõulupidu) was once again held in Faith Lutheran Church in Mentor, Ohio. About 40 people attended the church service. Pastor Peeter Pirn held a Christmas service, Peeter Orro on organ and Lembi Veskimets on viola enhanced the service.


Kaarli Kooli 5th graders playing the soprano plokk/flööt (recorder) at the school's advendi/kontsert at Kaarli kirik, Tallinn's only twintowered church, standing just beyond the Old Town and named after King Karl XI of Sweden. From the left are Emma, Lotta, Marii, Susi, Hanna-Loore (back row, grade 6), Mirtel, Karolina (6. klass) and Juhan. The plokkflööt is in fact far from new, it's the original Western flööt, at least in its solid wooden form; today many recorders are made from molded resin. The light-colored pillid (instruments) featured here are made of resin, not elevandi/luu (ivory), as desired by royalty and aristocrats during the renessanss period. Photo: Riina Kindlam


Surprise-surprise! In German, the puu/puhk/pill (woodwind instrument) seen being played here is called eine Block/flöte, hence the Estonian plokkflööt, Swedish blockflöjt and Dutch blokfluit.

Estonians love the forest. The Baltic nation and former Soviet republic is, according to a somewhat contested legend, also home to the first Christmas tree. So when the holidays roll around, it makes sense that many Estonians decamp to the nation’s plentiful forest to cut down their tree, writes Rosie Spikes in Quartzy (

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EANC Washington, DC Director Karin Shuey (center with glasses) supporting protest at Russian embassy. Photo credit: Nadiya Shaporynska


In the wake of Putin’s recent aggressive action against the Ukrainian navy in the Sea of Azov, there has been an outpouring of support and calls to action from Ukraine’s friends and allies. EANC and the Estonian government were among the first to speak out.


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