Eesti Elu
The more, the merrier. Estonian Life
Inimesed 20 Dec 2015 EL (Estonian Life)Eesti Elu
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President Lennart Meri and Toomas Tammark. Photo Ruho Paluoja - pics/2015/12/46588_001.jpg
President Lennart Meri and Toomas Tammark. Photo Ruho Paluoja


The more, the merrier.
Last weekend was “Rahvajõulupuu” and the Estonian House was packed. People belonging to every Estonian organization were there enjoying the afternoon together. I was able to see old friends and meet new people. There, among the displays for Estonian organizations and merchant stalls, the enduring strengths of the Estonian community can be seen.
We have choirs, dance groups, academic societies, scout and guide groups, schools, summer camps, charities, a credit union, ESTO and EKN. This list only scratches the surface of what this community has to offer. Their presence in Canada possible by the audacity and endurance of Estonian ingenuity and their future is secure through those same forces. There are issues these organizations have to confront and overcome common to all organizations. But we shall overcome. Together.
We have started ranging far and wide over this vast country either for profession or preference, on an increasing scale. Organizations will evolve to meet these opportunities. These changes can either be met with despair or hope, but they will not be stopped. Everything changes.
This is why periodic festivals like ESTO are so important. Far from having a ‘symbolic conclusion’, they have had a perpetual mandate to promote Estonian identity, bring the global Estonian community together and display the power of Estonian endurance.
To become an Estonian citizen, the Republic of Estonia does not care where you were born. Estonia’s nationality laws are based on jus sanguinis. This reflects more than just a desire for re-patriating the diaspora. It reflects an inherent feature of the global Estonian community; the more, the merrier.
Toomas Tammark
 
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