MARCH 2018

Five reasons to attend the ‘KU-ку!’ Estonian language fair
Information session for Estonian speakers interested in volunteer work
New Estonian language clubs to open their doors in March
Registration for summer camps is open to young foreign Estonians until the end of March
We’re looking for a new base in Narva and managers for our Estonian Language Centres

We’re looking for organisers for a popular language-learning method for school kids
Survey: Activities of national minority cultural associations significantly support cultural integration of Estonian society
Narva folk music festival and start of the New Year of the Sun at the Flower Pavillion!
Rakvere Theatre to provide simultaneous translation for performances 
A gift for all families with children who return to Estonia


Five reasons to attend the ‘KU-ку!’ Estonian language fair


The Integration Foundation is inviting everyone to take part in the ‘KU-ку!’ family day, during which the latest opportunities for adults to study Estonian will be presented.


Events will be taking place as follows:

11:00-18:00 on 17 March 2018 at Narva College of the University of Tartu (Raekoja plats 2, Narva)

11:00-18:00 on 24 March 2018 at Tallinn Song Festival Grounds (Narva mnt 95, Tallinn)


Why attend the fair?

  • Language learners are often unsure which way to go about studying a language or which training provider to choose. The fair will provide you with a good overview of the options available. You will also find out what the latest study materials are for Estonian and which ones are best suited to you.
  • Consultants on Estonian language exams can help you complete sample exercises from the exams and offer advice.
  • Online study environments and materials will be showcased and sample language café sessions will be run.
  • The latest study materials will be on sale.
  • There will be a prize draw on the hour, every hour. Plus there will be a café, and fun activities will be organised for children.


Admission to the fair is free of charge.


The aim of the fair, which is being organised for the first time, is to bring adult language learners and companies and publishers providing language-learning services and resources together.


For further information please contact the Integration Foundation on 800 9999 or e-mail [email protected]


Deniss Karabljoff: “There are so many cool-sounding words in Estonian!”

Deniss Karabljoff, the MC for the Estonian language fairs taking place in Tallinn and Narva, tells newsletter readers about his relationship with Estonian language, music and literature.

Hi everyone! My name’s Deniss Karabljoff. I was born in Tallinn at the tail end of the 1970s. I started learning Estonian as a kid, for which I’m eternally grateful to my parents, who put me in an Estonian-language group in kindergarten.

To me it’s very important that you’re able to speak the language of the country you were born in, and where you live and work, because it helps you learn things later on, improves your memory, gives you loads of new opportunities in terms of communicating with people and self-development and is very much added value when you’re doing business.

Estonian words that sound cool: mudilane, pistaatsia, mudima, lohakas, matka, kala, kalaburger, pisike, suka, siiski, sasi, külmovato (which combines the Estonian word külm and the Russian suffix -вато, like the Estonian suffix -võitu).

Women’s names that mean other things: Alla, Nina, Olga (very close to the word olgu), Katja (from the verb katma, meaning ‘a person who covers something’), Inna & Anna.

In my free time I do sport. I particularly like winter sports, including figure-skating, which I did professionally for almost 10 years.

I’m also closely linked to the local entertainment industry, which I’ve been part of for more than 20 years now, and which is why I have my own particular take on the Estonian music scene.

Estonia’s best bands and singers in my view are Smilers, Caater (Kalle Kukk), 2 Quick Start, Code One (Koit Toome), Anne Veski, Black Velvet (Sven Lõhmus) and Jüri Homenja. I also love Kreisiraadio (meaning ‘crazy radio’), the hilarious Estonian trio of Hannes Võrno, Peeter Oja and Tarmo Leinatamm. As for Russian music in Estonia, it’s definitely made inroads – more and more Estonians are listening to Russian stuff these days and going to Russian parties.

When I was a kid I loved reading Muhv, Kingpool ja Sammalhabe /Halfshoe, Mossbeard and Muff/, the traditional title given to the very successful collection of children’s stories by Estonia’s Eno Raud (1928-1996). They tell the story of the three eponymous characters and their adventures, who in Estonian are collectively known as the Naksitrallid (‘Three Jolly Fellows’ in English).


Information session for Estonian speakers interested in volunteer work


The Integration Foundation will be holding an information session for those interested in helping to improve the Estonian language skills of their fellow countrymen at 10:00 on 6 April in Tallinn (venue tbc).


If Estonian is your mother tongue or your speak it fluently and you are

  • interested in supporting other people who live in Estonia linguistically
  • a [language] school or kindergarten teacher
  • an employee of a company or variety of organisations
  • a library worker
  • a volunteer
  • a mentor
  • a coach

then we look forward to showcasing the language café methodology for you and to you taking part in a sample café session.


Everyone interested is welcome to attend the information session. 


The language café methodology will be outlined by recognised professionals from the field of Estonian language teaching and teaching material authors Marju Ilves and Leelo Kingisepp.


The language café methodology has been honed over the last two years under the aegis of the Integration Foundation in order to improve advisory services related to learning Estonian. The cafés are designed to encourage people to communicate in the language. They provide an Estonian-language environment that encourages people to practise. Attendees also learn about other ways of studying the language independently and receive a boost to their self-esteem, helping them overcome learning-related barriers.


More information about the Integration Foundation’s advisory and information services and the language cafés can be found online at


Please register by 30 March by e-mailing advisor Olga Žukova at [email protected].


The information session is being funded via the European Social Fund project ‘Terms and conditions of the provision of support for activities promoting integration in Estonian society’. Admission is free.


New Estonian language clubs to open their doors in March


We’d like to invite all language enthusiasts to come along to our new language clubs in Narva, Sillamäe, Kohtla-Järve, Jõhvi and Tallinn to hone their Estonian skills. Apart from language-learning, the clubs also give participants the chance to broaden their knowledge of Estonian culture, attend cultural events and meet interesting people.


To register, contact the companies organising the language clubs directly:



The clubs are open to anyone who has passed an Estonian language exam at the B2 or C1 levels.


The activities of the clubs are financed via the ‘Linguistic and cultural immersion’ sub-programme (5.2.2) of the ‘Activities supporting integration in Estonian society’ project of the European Social Fund.


For further information please contact: Jana Tondi, Head of Language and Cultural Immersion | Telephone: +372 659 9069 | E-mail: [email protected]



Registration for summer camps is open to young foreign Estonians until the end of March

This jubilee year we’re inviting more young foreign Estonians between the ages of 13 and 18 than ever before to take part in the language and culture camps being held in Estonia.

Five camps are planned for 2018:

Camp 1: 25 June-5 July at Venevere Holiday Village

Camp 2: 9-19 July at Venevere Holiday Village

Camp 3: 23 July-2 August at Venevere Holiday Village

Camp 4: 24 July-3 August at Sammuli Holiday Village

Camp 5: 6-16 August at Venevere Holiday Village

We recommend that applicants choose a camp based on their language skills: beginners attending Camp 1 or Camp 3, those at intermediate level attending Camp 2 or Camp 4 and those at advanced level or fluent attending Camp 5.

Parents have until 31 March 2018 to register their children for the camps on the website of the Integration Foundation at

Those accepted to attend the camps will be notified by e-mail by 15 April 2018.

Language and culture camps for young people with Estonian roots are supported by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education and Research via the ‘Countrymen programme 2014-2020’ and as part of the ‘Estonia 100’ project of the Government Office.

For further information please contact:

Jana Tondi, Head of Language and Cultural Immersion | Telephone: +372 659 9069 | E-mail: [email protected]

Marina Fanfora, Coordinator | Telephone: +372 659 9068 | E-mail: [email protected]


We’re looking for managers for our Estonian Language Centres in Tallinn and Narva


Would you relish the challenge of setting up a brand new unit of the Integration Foundation? Putting together a team and leading it? Establishing a network of experts in the field and shaping the image of the unit among the public? If you feel these are just the sort of challenges you’re looking for, keep reading!


We’re looking for a new base in Narva

We require around 600 m2 of space in Narva, where both the Integration Foundation and its new Estonian Language Centre will be based from 1 January 2019.

Offers can be submitted until 15:00 on 22March 2018.

The competition documents can be found online at



We’re looking for organisers for a popular language-learning method for school kids


The Integration Foundation launched a competition on 22 February to find partners for the organisation of family studies in 2018. Applications are welcome first and foremost from non-profit organisations and schools.


Family studies are designed for school children who want to tangibly improve their Estonian skills. To this end, students whose mother tongue is a language other than Estonia spend 10 days with an Estonian-speaking family, talking to children their own age, in the course of which their language skills improve almost without them realising. 


Jana Tondi, the Head of Language and Cultural Immersion with the Integration Foundation, says that applications for the competition should include a family studies programme, a daily schedule and a budget, plus the CV of the project manager. “The application should highlight how the organisers plan to fill the time of the kids taking part,” she explained. “That means what sort of visits and excursions will be arranged, who they’ll be meeting and how all of this is designed to help improve the kids’ Estonian skills. It’s up to the project manager to find host families for the studies as well.”

Those interested in applying are welcome to attend an information session to be held from 15:00-16:30 on 6 March 2018 at the Tallinn office of the Integration Foundation (Lõõtsa 2A, 8th floor). Please register for the event by e-mailing [email protected] by 5 March.

The total budget for the competition is 100,000 euros, with the maximum amount of support that can be sought for a single project being 35,000 euros.


The deadline for the submission of applications is 11:00 on 22 March 2018.


The competition is being financed from the state budget by the Ministry of Culture.


For further information please contact: Jana Tondi, Head of Language and Cultural Immersion, telephone: +372 659 9069, e-mail: [email protected]




Come and enjoy the fantastic music at the Narva folk music festival!


The ‘Play the concertina!’ folk music festival, which starts at 14:00 on 11 March at the House of Nations in Narva (Kreenholmi 25), will bring together concertina players and other folk musicians.


The concertina is the most popular instrument in folk music today. That said, it is not the only instrument that will feature in the festival, which aims to offer all sorts of amateur Estonian collectives the chance to perform at a joint party. The organiser of the festival, Svätogori Association of Slavic Culture director Alla Matvejeva, says this year’s festival is special because 2018 is the Year of European Cultural Heritage.


For further information please contact: Alla Matvejeva, Director of the Svätogori Association of Slavic Culture in Narva | E-mail: [email protected]



Mark the start of the New Year of the Sun on 18 March at the Flower Pavilion!


The ‘Ajdan’ Azerbaijani Cultural Centre of Estonia invites everyone to the Flower Pavilion (Pirita tee 26) at 18:00 on 18 March to join in the celebrations marking the start of the New Year of the Sun, otherwise known as Novruz Bayramı or more generally in Eastern tradition as Nowruz.


  • There will be performances by students from Azerbaijani and Tatar Sunday schools as well as Kabardian, Cherkesh, Bashkir and Uzbek collectives and singers.
  • Guests of honour will be renowned Kazakh opera singers Shimkent Urelhan Seilbekova and Erlan Zhandarbai.
  • There will be an exhibition and an Eastern fair.


Admission is free.


Nowruz was added to the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage on 21 March 2009, while a year later the United Nations named 21 March International Day of Nowruz.


For further information please contact: Nijazi Gadžijev, Director of the NPO ‘Ajdan’ Azerbaijani Cultural Centre of Estonia | E-mail: [email protected]


Survey: Activities of national minority cultural associations significantly support cultural integration of Estonian society


The Integration Foundation has conducted a survey on the impact of participation in the activities of the cultural associations of the national minorities living in Estonia on their attitudes, ethnic and national identity. The survey also gathered feedback on how effective the current support system for national minority cultural associations is.

The survey involved the leaders and active members of organisations promoting and preserving the cultures of national minorities, people who have taken part in the activities on these organisations, and those who demonstrate a keen interest in national minority culture and national culture.

The opinions of almost 300 people were collected via online survey. In addition, six focus group discussions were held with the leaders of national minority cultural associations: two in Tallinn, two in Ida-Viru County, one in Tartu and one in Pärnu.

The results of the survey show that the activities of national minority cultural associations make a significant contribution to the promotion of cultural integration in Estonian society.  According to the respondents, knowing the culture of your origins creates a bridge to discover other cultures and learning to respect them.

Active participation in national minority cultural activities:

  • contributes to the formation of strong, positive ethnic identity – people perceive significantly less danger in regard to their own language and culture and also feel that there is a place in Estonia for other cultures;
  • increases interest towards Estonian culture and all other ethnic cultures represented in Estonia, which promotes the cultural integration of Estonian society;
  • favours more active involvement in Estonian society, including higher turnout at elections;
  • promotes greater interest towards events occurring in the cultural life of Estonia and of the places in which people live; and
  • sees participants placing greater value on Estonian citizenship and associating it with a greater sense of security in the future.


The survey was commissioned by the Ministry of Culture.

If you have any questions or require further information, please contact: Marianna Makarova, Head of Research, e-mail: [email protected]


Rakvere Theatre to provide simultaneous translation for performances 


Rakvere Theatre, with the support of the European Social Fund, has purchased 40 tablet computers with which theatre-goers will be offered simultaneous translation into Russian.  The software for the translation system was created in cooperation with (and has been successfully implemented at) the NO99, Vanemuine and Von Krahl theatres. 


Simultaneous translation is currently available for two performances: See kõik on tema /It’s All Because of Her/, designed for younger audiences, and the legendary drama Lendas üle käopesa /One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest/. The translation is presented as subtitles on the tablet screen. 


Belarusian writer Andrey Ivanov’s play It’s All Because of Her tells the story of the tumultuous relationship between a mother and son in the Internet age. The mother is played by Tiina Mälberg, a stalwart of Rakvere Theatre who has been acting on its stages for 25 years. She also played the titular role in the 2017 Estonian film Ema /Mother/, which won the Best Film award at the Austrian Film Festival.

The son is played by the young and very talented Imre Õunapuu, whose performance has been praised by critics for its believability. The target audience of the play is parents and their teenaged children aged 14 and over. Performances with simultaneous translation will be taking place on 14 March, 12 April and 3 May at 19:00  on the small stage of Rakvere Theatre.


The other play for which the theatre is offering simultaneous translation is writer Ken Kesey and dramatist Dale Wasserman’s One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The play is set in a mental institution in the United States in the 1960s. Main character Randle McMurphy (played by Üllar Saaremäe) is not merely some hooligan who ends up in the madhouse rather than being sent to prison – he’s a reprobate who always lands on his feet. Unexpectedly he meets his match in the form of ruthless Nurse Ratched (Ülle Lichtfeldt), who rules the secure psychiatric ward with an iron fist.

The first performance of One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest with simultaneous translation will take place on 15 March. Further performances at which translation will be available will follow on 3 April and 4 May at 19:00 on the main stage of Rakvere Theatre.


Anyone wishing to make use of the translation software should contact the theatre’s box office at [email protected] or on 329 5444. Should anyone wish to attend a performance on another day with a large group, feel free to contact the theatre to find out what options are available.

Everyone is welcome!




A gift for all families with children who return to Estonia

To mark the centenary of the Republic of Estonia, the company Eesti Pusle OÜ is presenting all families with children who return to the country with an Estonian history-themed 1000-piece puzzle. All large families who apply to the Integration Foundation for support to move back to Estonia will receive the gift.

The puzzle provides a comprehensive overview of local history, from the hunters who arrived here following the retreating ice to the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia.

It came about primarily as a result of the designers’ interest in Estonian history and heritage, which led them to want to take others on an entertaining journey along the country’s timeline. Thus was the Great Estonian History puzzle born, looking at all of the key events in the recent and more distant past of the country, with enlightening texts and delightfully illustrated by Eero Alev.

People of all ages are sure to learn something new from the puzzle. Young history enthusiasts will gain a good initial overview of important periods and events on which to further build their knowledge, while older members of the family who are more au fait with Estonian history will enjoy the finer, more hidden details.

For more information see