MAY 2017

Information on Estonian language studies
Ongoing competitions
National culture society events

Information on Estonian language studies

Come and find out FREE OF CHARGE what our language cafés are all about
Saturday 6 May | Narva

12:30-14:00        Narva Young Sailors Club (1st floor)
15:00-16:30        Narva Central Library
                            Narva Counselling Centre (Keres Centre, 3rd floor, room 308)
17:00-18:30        Narva College of the University of Tartu (gallery hall, basement level)

PLEASE NOTE: You must register in advance by calling 800 9999.  Let us know you’ll be coming – we look forward to seeing you!

Have you studied Estonian at school or on language courses but don’t have many opportunities to use it? Come and join the language cafés organised by the Integration Foundation. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner or more advanced – everyone’s welcome. On 6 May you have a great opportunity to find out first-hand what the language cafés are all about.

So what do they involve? Here are five important things you should know about them.

1. They DON’T involve grammar studies
The language cafés are not language courses. They’re a chance for you to take a break from your everyday routine and practise your Estonian in a relaxed atmosphere outside of the confines of a traditional classroom setting. Your language skills will improve, and you’re sure to meet some great people.

2. Everyone gets the chance to speak
Finally you get an opportunity to focus on speaking Estonian and understanding what others are saying. You also build up your courage and self-assurance in using the language.

3. We keep talking the whole time
We don’t do any writing; we don’t do any exercises; we don’t do any reading. We talk, and talk, and talk.

4. Mistakes are allowed
No one should worry about the fact that their Estonian isn’t perfect. It’s so cute when people with Russian or English as their first language speak Estonian, isn’t it? It doesn’t matter if you make little mistakes.

5. We talk about things that are of interest to people
It’s no secret that we all like to talk about ourselves, our travels, our hobbies, our work and our families. And they’re just the sorts of things we talk about at the language cafés.

The introductory event showcasing the language cafés in Narva on 6 May is being organised by the Integration Foundation as part of Europe Day and the all-Estonian “Let’s Do It!” clean-up campaign.

Come and see what’s on the menu at our language cafés!

In 2017 and 2018 the Integration Foundation is giving people the chance to take part in language cafés all over Estonia so as to support them in their efforts to learn the national language.

The first groups will be starting up in Harju, Ida-Viru, Tartu and Pärnu counties in May.

The language cafés provide support for independent Estonian studies and a chance to practise to those who want to:
- speak Estonian;
- expand their vocabulary;
- practise studying on their own; and
- talk about everyday topics with other people in a relaxed atmosphere.

Each group meets 25 times, with each get-together lasting for 1.5 hours. Group size is max. 16 people.

If you would like to register for the cafés or need more information, e-mail us at [email protected] or call us on our free number 800 9999.

The groups discuss things like introducing yourself, looking for work, training and studying, communicating with colleagues, travelling, enjoying hobbies and marking special days and occasions, as well as everyday situations such as attending doctor’s appointments and dealing with officials.

Led and advised by the people running the groups, an Estonian-language (speaking and listening) environment is created, opportunities for practising spoken Estonian are introduced, the self-assurance of the participants is boosted and skills for independent studies of the language are shaped.

The language cafés are being organised as part of the ‘Moulding attitudes to learning for the independent Estonian language studies of less successfully integrated people’ project (no. 2014-2020.1.06.16) financed by the European Social Fund.

Where can I study and practise Estonian for free?
Information events (in Russian language) in Ahtme, Maardu and Rakvere

The language requirements of professional positions are a concern for many residents of Estonia, who don’t always know where they can find opportunities for language studies and practice.

This May, the Integration Foundation will be organising further information events (in Russian language) in order to showcase participation in the language cafés and other ways of learning Estonian in cooperation with specialists from the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund and the Innove Foundation.

An overview will be provided of the opportunities that are available for learning and practising Estonian. Attendees will also be advised on how to use language-learning resources and materials and how to start (and carry on) studying the language independently.

All of the information events will start at 18:00.
9 May                   TALLINN, Mustamäe Secondary School of Science (E. Vilde tee 64)
10 May                 AHTME, Ahtme Branch Library (Ridaküla 4, Kohtla-Järve)
16 May                 MAARDU, Free Time Centre (Keemikute 12b)
18 May                 RAKVERE, Lääne-Viru County Central Library (Lai 7)

Further details regarding the information sessions and registration are available by calling the free number 800 9999.

Information can also be found on the Integration Foundation website at

Ongoing competitions

We support cultural projects that promote integration

The Integration and Migration Foundation has launched a project competition designed to support cultural activities taking place in 2017. The competition is open to projects that bring together people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

According to Jana Tondi, the Head of Language and Cultural Immersion with the Integration Foundation, the organisers hope to see projects submitted that turn attention to Ida-Viru and Harju counties and emphasise greater cooperation between the national groups represented in Estonia. Projects which enable non-Estonians to experience and be part of Estonian culture are also welcome.

“Creating opportunities for people to do things together is the best way to contribute to integration,” Tondi said. “By attending cultural events and taking part in workshops, people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds start interacting more.”  

Festivals, exhibitions and other activities fostering cooperation between people from different backgrounds will be supported as part of the competition. Projects involving the translation and publication of contemporary Estonian children’s and young adult literature are also suitable, along with the organisation of related events.

Last year, as a result of the same competition, the Integration Foundation supported the Estonia National Opera festival ‘A Narva Full of Music!’, a cultural diversity and equal opportunities programme as part of Tallinn Music Week and events of the ‘Meetings with Tarkovski 2016’ project in Tallinn, Maardu, Ida-Viru County, Tartu and Pärnu.

The budget for the competition is 30,000 euros. The maximum amount of support that can be sought for a single project is 10,000 euros.

Applications can be submitted by private and public legal entities registered in Estonia as well as local authorities and the agencies administered by them.

The deadline for the submission of applications is 29 May 2017.

An information session for applicants will be held at 13:00 on 17 May at the Tallinn office of the Integration Foundation (Lõõtsa 2A, 8th floor). Please register for this event in advance by e-mailing [email protected].

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

We support the promotion of media education in schools

We invite general education schools and vocational education institutions to submit project applications for the promotion of media education.

The aim of the competition is to foster the media competence of students from upper secondary schools and vocational education institutions as well as their ability to analyse information, critically interpret media messages and themselves create media content.

We support the conducting of interviews, the presentation of news and reports, the making of short films et al. under the guidance of professionals, study trips to media agencies by students and the organisation of information seminars.

The total budget for the project competition is 15,000 euros. The deadline for the submission of applications is 5 June 2017.

The documents and application forms for the competition are available on the Integration Foundation website at

Those interested in applying are welcome to attend an information session to be held from 15:00-16:30 on 16 May 2017 at the Tallinn office of the Integration Foundation (Lõõtsa 2A, 8th floor).

The project competition is being financed from the state budget via the Ministry of Education and Research. 

For further information or to register for the information session, please contact:
Liilika Raudhein, analyst, telephone: +372 659 9841, e-mail: [email protected]   

National culture society events   

Exhibition of Estonian-Russian artist Ivan Sokolov is open in Estonian parliament

An exhibition of works from the collection of the NPO Russian Museum was opened in the Riigikogu (the Estonian parliament) on 3 May, this time focussing on the art of Ivan Sokolov.

According to Irina Budrik, a member of the management board of the museum, Sokolov’s paintings reflect the charm of everyday life and have a deeply calming effect. “Sokolov didn’t focus on social problems, but tried to see moments and capture the mood of them,” she explained. “That’s why he’s referred to as an impressionist.

Budrik believes that bringing Estonian-Russian culture to the Riigikogu will send out a signal that there is a place in Estonia for everyone who has chosen the country as their home.

Ivan Sokolov studied painting under Kristjan Raud, later contributing to exhibitions as an equal to such great figures as Johann Köler, August Weizenberg and Ants Laikmaa. Despite this, the work of many Estonian-Russian artists is very modestly represented in museum collections. “But thanks to the Russian Museum’s efforts in collecting art and organising exhibitions, that situation is finally changing,” Budrik remarked. 

The exhibition will be open at Toompea Castle until 26 May. It is being financed via the National Minority Cultural Association project competition funded by the Ministry of Culture.

Romance to fill the air in Tallinn and Kohtla-Järve at the end of May  

The 18th International Isabella Yurieva competition for Russian romance will be held in Tallinn from 26-29 May. There will be participants from Estonia, Russia, Latvia, Ukraine and Norway.

- 26 May at 18:00: The competition will be officially opened on Town Hall Square in Tallinn. Taking to the concert stage will be winners from previous years and the jury members.
- 27 & 28 May from 12:00: Rounds 1 and 2 of the competition will be taking place at Kanutiaed Youth House (Aia 12).
- 29 May at 18:00: The gala concert of the competition will be held in the House of the Blackheads featuring the winners of this year’s competition.

30 May at 18:00 will see the traditional charity concert taking place at Kohtla-Järve Cultural Centre, with performances by the competition winners and jury members.

The concert is being financed via the National Minority Cultural Association project competition from the budget of the Ministry of Culture.

Narva prepares a present for the 100th birthday of the Republic of Estonia

The 80th anniversary of the first all-Estonia gathering of Russian choirs and orchestras is set to be marked in Narva on 20 & 21 May 2017.

Following in the tradition of the Estonian Song Festival, a Russian festival of song was held in Narva in 1937, attended by huge numbers of choral singers and musicians. The passing of eight decades since the landmark festival is being marked with a series of events that will begin in Narva and then continue in Tallinn and other towns and cities around the country.

- At 12:00 on 20 May the Geneva children’s symphony choir will be performing at Narva Cultural Centre under Irina Kosova. Their repertoire for the concert will include classics of both Russian and foreign composers. Before the concert starts, the winners of the ‘History of Russian Song Festivals in Estonia’ quiz will be awarded.

- At 14:00 on 21 May a procession of singers taking part in a gala concert will set off from in front of the Resurrection of Christ Cathedral in Narva. The concert, which is being held at the Geneva Cultural Centre, will feature choirs, vocal and instrumental ensembles and dance groups from Narva, Tallinn, Kiviõli, Sillamäe and other parts of Estonia, as well as from Russia. Also presenting a diverse and exciting programme will be the national minority cultural associations represented in Narva. The festivities will end with a performance by the renowned Russian folk orchestra Metelitsa.

These events are being funded from the national minority cultural association project competition financed by the Ministry of Culture.

Both of the concerts are free of charge!

For further information please contact: Alla Matvejeva, Director, NPO Centre for Ethnic Education and Culture Organisations & organiser of Narva events, e-mail: [email protected], telephone: 5560 8676  

This is your invitation to attend a huge Slavic party!

Everyone interested is invited to take part in the Slavic Cultural and Literary Language Days being held at the Russian Cultural Centre in Tallinn (Mere pst 5) from 19-25 May. This huge party, which is a very important one for the Slavic peoples living in Estonia, has been held in the country for almost 30 years.

24 May is the Day of St Kirill and St Meffodi. Everywhere around the world where Slavic people live they celebrate the Slavic Cultural and Literary Language Days as a festival that brings all Slavs together. This year Slavic writing is marking its 1154th birthday. As in previous years, the programme will include Ukrainian, Russian and Belarusian cultural days.


19 May at 16:00 – Ukrainian Culture Day at the Russian Cultural Centre. A concert will be held with performances by collectives from the Association of Ukrainian Organisations in Estonia. 
20 May at 17:00 – Belarusian Culture Day at the Russian Cultural Centre. The Belarusian cultural association ‘Ljos’ will be celebrating its 20th anniversary. A concert will be held with performances by members of ‘Ljos’ and collectives from Belarus.
21 May at 18:00 – ‘The Voices of Slavs’ vocal music concert at the Russian Cultural Centre. Performances by soloists from the Russian Philharmonic Society
22 May at 18:00 – Russian Culture Day at the Russian Cultural Centre. Performance by the Russian National Folk Orchestra ‘Metelitsa’ from St Petersburg
23 May at 18:00 – Concert of Orthodox spiritual songs at the Church of the ‘Quick to Hearken’ Icon of the Mother of God (Loopealse pst 8). Performances by church and secular choirs from Tallinn
24 May at 11:00 – ‘Russian Poetry in the Romances of 19th-century Composers’ talk & concert of Vladimir Ignatov
25 May at 17:00 – ‘Haruzin: Enlightener of the Nobility of the Soul of the Knight’ talk by Tatjana Tšervova


The Slavic Cultural and Literary Language Days are taking place with the support of the Estonian Ministry of Culture, the Integration Foundation, Tallinn Department of Culture and the Russian Cultural Centre.

For further information please contact: Tatjana Semenjuk, Project coordinator, Slavic Cultural and Literary Language Days 2017, mobile: +372 58 36 363

Estonian House of Russian Culture invites you to a poetic concert

Everyone is invited to attend a concert entitled ‘Severyanin’ at the Russian Theatre starting at 19:00 on 13 May. Taking to the stage will be the Estonian Defence Forces Orchestra, popular Russian actor Evklid Kürdzidis, Anastassia Tsubina, Dmitri Kosjakov and Eduard Tee. The special guest at the concert will be Estonian writer Jaan Kaplinski.

There will be poems, stories and music by Rachmaninov, Petrov, Krepka, Ekler, Pokrase, Ignatov and more. Those attending the concert will also be able to admire an exhibition and enjoy other surprises.

The concert is being financed via the National Minority Cultural Association project competition from the budget of the Ministry of Culture.

Tickets are available from Piletilevi at¢er=7#view=ticketsselect or directly from the organiser (+372 51 13 075).

For further information please contact: Marina Tee, Director, NPO Estonian House of Russian Culture, e-mail: [email protected], mobile: +372 51 13 075

Interested in Slavic culture? Come along to the ‘Slavic Wreath’ song and dance party!

The 15th international ‘Slavic Wreath’ festival is being held this year from 19-28 May, dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the first national Russian song festival in Narva in 1937 and to the 110th anniversary of the ‘Russian seasons’ organised in Paris by Sergei Diaghilev.

The festivities will open in Narva, with a wide range of events filling the town’s squares, and culminate in a colourful gala concert at Tondiraba Hall in Tallinn. The unique concert will feature almost 80 collectives from Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Russia and Belarus – more than 2000 people in total.

The festival is designed to popularise and advance Russian and Slavic choral singing, instrumental and vocal music and the art of dance, and through the experience shared at the event to boost the cultural self-awareness of the Slavic people living in Estonia.

The jubilee celebrations are being organised by the Union of Russian Educational and Charity Associations in Estonia and supported by Tallinn City Council, Tallinn Department of Culture, the Ministry of Culture, the Integration Foundation, the Gambling Tax Council and local authorities.

You’re invited to the gala concert of the ‘Kvity Ukrainy’ children’s festival!

Everyone interested is invited to attend the gala concert of the ‘Kvity Ukrainy’ international children’s and youth festival being held at the House of the Blackheads (Pikk 26, Tallinn) at 13:00 on 3 June.

‘Kvity Ukrainy’ is a traditional festival that is held every year to give the Ukrainian community living in Estonia the chance to preserve their culture and national heritage and to showcase it for an Estonian audience.

Collectives from Estonia, Ukraine and Poland will be taking part in the festival, which is being organised by the Ukrainian Youth Association in Estonia.

Admission is free of charge.

The competition is being financed via the National Minority Cultural Association project competition from the budget of the Ministry of Culture.

For further information please contact: Vladimir Palamar, Director, Ukrainian Youth Association in Estonia, e-mail: [email protected]