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Council members, Estonian Society representatives and guests who attended EANC's 2018 annual meeting in Philadelpia.

 

The EANC’s council for the 2018-2022 term held its first annual meeting in Philadelphia over the weekend of November 3-4, 2018. Twenty-eight of thirty council members attended, along with Estonian Society representatives from seventeen communities around the U.S. (some of whom are also council members). Several special guests rounded out the busy and informative weekend agenda.

plakss

On photo: holding a wreath is Indrek Uukkivi (TEM choir elder), to his left is Iri Luts (ÜEKN secretary), then Ülle Ederma (ERKÜ), and Arved Plaks (TEM).

 

I was 11 years old when I was sitting anxiously between two suitcases on the hard floor of a hay wagon. As the wagon rolled on an uneven gravel road, it was impossible to get comfortable due to the shaking of the wagon.

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Erik (Reimo Sagor) with his baby daughter Nora.

 

Estonia's foreign-language Oscar submission “Võta või jäta” had 5 successful screenings in Los Angeles with the director Liina Trishkina-Vanhatalo, lead actor Reigo Sagor, and producer Ivo Felt present. 

One hundred years ago, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe declared their independence amid collapsing empires. But that independence was short-lived as Eastern Europe was consumed by the Nazi and Soviet empires.

The case of the Rutto family from Abkhazia, who lost their claim to Estonian citizenship following a recent Supreme Court ruling, has brought the issue of Estonian citizenship back into the media. Though the Rutto case concerns the matter of citizenship by birth, reactions have included other aspects as well, demonstrating once again how confusing the provisions of Estonia's Citizenship Act can be. What follows is an attempt to untangle things, strictly following the law: an overview of Estonian citizenship, who is entitled to it, who cannot lose it, who can, and why. 

Thanks to the generous grant provided by the Estonian American Fund, the School of Law of the University of Tartu has been able to develop its international law program considerably. We are now much more visible in the field of international law and have become the focal point for international law-related academic activities in the Baltic States, particularly in Estonia. 

foto Erika Jakobson Eesti lipuga foto Markus Jakobson

Erika Jakobson (center) celebrating her Estonian heritage. An attendee at the Song Festival in Tallinn, Estonia in 2014, Erika and her family were moved by the power of song and generations of pride that continue to inspire her today. Photo: Markus Jakobson

 

A wave of joy rushed over me as I stood watching the choir of 30,000 fellow Estonians singing to celebrate our history. Being surrounded by people with so much pride for their country made me  realize why my dad had so much love for Estonia. He was among many people crying at Laulupidu (2014), as he heard songs that echoed independence fill the air, while he danced and waved the Estonian flag.

Freedom 1977 NY

Captive Nations Week demonstration in New York, July 1977. Photo courtesy of the Estonian Archives in the U.S.)

 

As the newly-elected council takes their seats in November for the next four-year term, it seems like a good time to review how the Estonian American National Council (EANC) came about and some of its political accomplishments over the decades.

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