Celebrating 55 years of friendship at Tartu College
What kind of a party would have running shoes, skates, ski boots, gymnastics gear, basketballs, volleyballs, golf balls, bicycle helmets and every other possible kind of sports equipment as centrepiece decorations on the dinner tables? A party organized by some kind of over-the-top, fanatical sports club? Not quite. The occasion was the 55th anniversary of Küünlapäev, known in Europe as Candlemas and in North America by the somewhat less romantic name of Groundhog Day, an occasion celebrated annually by the members of the five Toronto Estonian Women`s Academic Organizations: ENÜS, korp! Filiae Patriae, korp! Indla, korp! Amicitia and korp! Fidentia.
With Toronto hosting Pan Am Games 2015, this year`s Küünlapäeva organizers, the moderately athletic women of korp! Amicitia decided to throw what amounted to a Pan Am Games pre-party! And the mega sports paraphernalia decorating the tables and walls of the main hall of Tartu College on February 8th? That was the brainchild of Kristina Põldre, the gymnastically inclined current president of korp! Amicitia.
Just as the opening of all significant events (Olympics, Estonian National Song Festival) are marked by the lighting of the flame, so too did the Küünlapäeva celebration of sports and athletics begin with the ceremonial lighting of the tricoloured candles of all 5 organizations symbolizing the “flame of friendship” which has lasted for 55 years.
What followed the candle lighting ceremony was a cornucopia of entertainment ranging from the expression of heartfelt words and deeply felt sentiments to humorous presentations to hilarious skits about athletics and questionable semi-athletic activities. Turns out that many Estonian women are “wannabe” comedians, potential rivals for the Toronto Estonian community’s newest up and coming comedy sensation Paul Lillakas.
The afternoon ended on a high note with the celebration of AKEN’s 25th anniversary - 25 years of AKEN fund-raising activities presented pictorially on the big screen. The women of Toronto’s five Estonian academic organizations are justifiably proud of the fact that they have accomplished something over and above perpetuating their own particular organizations.Through their joint efforts, the AKEN women have, over a 25 year period, raised a net amount of half a million in support of innumerable good causes in the homeland as well as in the local Esto community in Canada. As the locals would say - not so bad, eh! Text Ellen Leivat.
Photos: Lillian Lennox of korp! Amicitia.
Küünlapäev = Candlemas = Groundhog Day Estonian Life (1)