Estonian Institute

We spread information about Estonia, promote studying the Estonian language and culture abroad.

Estonian Literary Magazine

What an exciting morning!

An Estonian film "Truth and Justice" ("Tõde ja õigus") directed by Tanel Toom, and based the epic novel by the Estonian classic Anton Hansen-Tammsaare, is among the ten films that have advanced to the next round of voting in the best international feature film category for the Oscars 2020, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced.

Congratulations to all of us, who know what hard work and standing in your truth are really about, and -- fingers crossed!

See more from the Estonian World:

Culture step party in Narva. Thanks for all participants!

Haridus- ja Teadusministeerium

PISA 2018: Estonian students rank 1st in Europe!

According to the OECD’s PISA Estonia students rank first in Europe in all three domains of assessment – reading, mathematics and science. In the world, Estonian students rank 8th in mathematics, 5th in reading and 4th in science.

“We must first of all thank our students and teachers for these results. Their dedication and hard work each day gives us reason to take pride in our education,” said minister Mailis Reps.

Read more, how Estonia exactly performed: (in Estonian), (in Russian) or (in English)

Free giveaway of Estonian Institute brochures - Eesti Instituut

We all know that many good things come for free. So,for this week Estonian Institute has organised free giveaway of selected booklets and magazines!

Further information here: The list of the giveaway brochures is following: Celebration/booklet ( Hilarious Estonia (https://estins

We are happy to let you know that three Estonian authors have made it to the longlist of the International Dublin Literary Award 2020! Congratulations to Kai Aareleid, Andrei Ivanov, and Ilmar Taska! And, of course, fingers crossed for the shortlist!

And another set of exciting translation news has arrived today – three novels by Estonian authors have made it to the longlist of the International Dublin Literary Award 2020!

These three mighty books are "Burning Cities" by Kai Aareleid (translated by Adam Cullen), "Hanuman’s travels" by Andrei Ivanov (translated by Matthew Hyde) and "Pobeda 1946. A Car Called Victory" by Ilmar Taska (translated by Christopher Moseley).

Congratulations to all the authors, translators and publishers! Keep fingers crossed, and find out more about the award here:

EUNIC Meet the Members Estonian Institute

Katrin Maiste, the head of the Estonian Institute talks to the EUNIC Global team about cultural cooperations, nature and the institute itself.

#eunicglobal #eunic #estonianinstitute #culturalinstitutes

The Estonian Institute celebrated its 30th anniversary with a conference in Tallinn on 11 and 12 October. The institute was founded in 1989 and has offices i...

TIA&TW - Estonia Today: Estonian Culture

Episode #2305: Estonia Today - Estonian Culture On this last installment of programs devoted to the Republic of Estonia, Dennis Wholey speaks with renowned c...

Ott Tänak becomes the first Estonian WRC champion The rally driver, Ott Tänak, driving for Toyota, has become the first Estonian to win the World Rally Championship, after successfully completing the Rally de Catalunya in Spain.

The special guest of the Estonian program during the Baltic Roadtrip Project is Jim Koskinen, the 18-year-old former chairman of the Helsinki Youth Council, who will talk about the activities and the influence of the Youth Council on 28th of October at 17.00 in Valga Gymnasium.

He will share how young people can make their voice heard as well as about how youngsters contributed to the Finnish EU Presidency programme! Everyone is welcome to listen to Jim!

Youngsters from Baltic states are mapping the future of the border regions!
October 23–30, 24 young people from three border towns – Valga (Estonia), Daugavapils (Latvia) and Šalčininkai (Lithuania) – are on a road trip to visit each other’s cities and discuss the opportunities and challenges of living in border zones.

See more:

Estonian Institute celebrated its 30th birthday on October 10th-11th with the international seminar „Every beginning is easy!". Two days were full of discussions, lectures, meeting with colleagues, music and art.
Thank you, all our guests from different countries and Estonia, partners, colleagues and friends of Estonian Institute!
Photo galleries of seminar:
#eestiinstituut30, #eunicglobal

Here are some pictures of Estonian Institute's birthday seminar's first day.

Eesti Instituudi rahvusvahelise kultuuriseminari esimene päev on täies hoos ja siin on ka esimesed kaadrid.
Suur tänu väga sisuka päeva esimese poole eest!

Welcome to Estonia’s Isle of Women

What would life be like without men? The New York Times describes life on tiny Estonian island Kihnu. What would life be like without men? On this tiny Baltic island, it’s business as usual. But its colorful, folkloric way of life is threatened by a dwindling population.

ELM Autumn 2019 issue is out now!

Soooo, here it is – the fresh and vivid ELM Autumn 2019 issue!

And may you be warned that it might be difficult to choose between the two equally enchanting covers this time – writers Viivi Luik and Tõnu Õnnepalu both have their own space. Their conversation can be read on the pages 6–14 of the magazine, and very soon at (as will be all the other stories).

Take a first look at the new issue here:

Keep warm, and as always – stay beautiful!
Cover photos by Piia Ruber.

Here are our volunteers at the Tallinn Airport / Tallinna Lennujaam, teaching the Estonian Language to passers by from other parts if the world. It looks quite fun!

Learning Estonian - Eesti Keele Nädal

Please check on the map where and how many people are already participating in Estonian language week. The largest numbers are today from Finland, USA, Russia, Hungary and of course Estonia. If you or your friends have learned or wish to learn some Estonian, mark your country to the map! It is anonymous and easy. Let us know your country latest on the 29th of September. Estonian Institute will count learners and countries and publish the results. You are most welcome to share the link! From 23-29 September 2019 the First Worldwide Estonian Learning Week will take place. Help us to reach three million Estonian learners! Come to learn or teach the world’s most beautiful language, Estonian, with us!   Do you know these words? Test yourself! Complete these three questions and take ...

Love at first suaree » HeadRead

ESTONIAN LANGUAGE LEARNING WEEK story: Estonian language through the eyes of a Frenchman via the lovely Festival HeadRead.
Be sure to visit their web and and their extremely amusing IG account headreadfestival! Louis Tarpin When you settle in Estonia as a Frenchman, a question soon arises: how will you learn that language? Confident that your mastery of two or three other languages will help you, you book a course somewhere and start studying. Then, usually about halfway through the first lesson, you clutc...

Jimmy Nelson

The Setos have lived for centuries on the border of two large cultures in the East and the West: The Republic of Estonia and the Russian Federation. These proud peoples have been determined to keep their customs and follow their beliefs despite tumultuous changes on their borders over the past decades.
Seto | Estonia | 2019
#HomageToHumanity #JimmyNelson #photography #Europeanculture #culturaldiversity #Fotografiska #Tallinn #Estonia

Worldwide Estonian Language Week KeelEST or ‘Let’s Do It!’ of Estonian language - Eesti Instituut

You can find some suggestions for participating in the Esonian Language Week here: The Estonian Institute invites you to learn and teach Estonian all over the world for one week, on September 23–29, 2019. Approximately one thousand people ar

The Estonian Institute will start new Estonian language courses at our premises in Suur-Karja 14 (Tallinn Old Town)
on Tuesdays: 5.30-7 pm (improvers, A1) - first meeting 1.10
on Thursdays 5.30-7 pm (beginners, A0) - first meeting 3.10

The classes will run for 12 weeks (24 contact hours).
The study groups will be small, 5-10 persons.
Fee: 200 € per person

Additional information and registration: [email protected]

Tallinn Photomonth is starting tomorrow and we got to meet the curator of one of the exhibitions in the main program. Heidi Ballet talks about the international group exhibition called When You Say We Belong To The Light We Belong To The Thunder, that you can visit at EKKM from 07.09 until 20.10.2019.

More information at the cultural event calendar:

Estonian city Tartu is chosen to be one of the three European Capitals of Culture in 2024! Congratulations!

Posting this video of Berk Vaher from Tartu 2024 team reading his poem "Same as usual" this spring, is how we send our warmest congratulations to city of Tartu for being chosen to be one of the three European Capitals of Culture in 2024! We are also warmly applauding to another Estonian city Narva (which was also one of the candidates) for its hard work and impressive re-awakening when in competition. Keep up the good work, both of you!
Watch the video here: and see more about the Tartu 2024 concept here:
#neverthesame #artsofsurvival #Tartu2024

Today, 30 years ago, approximately two million people joined their hands to form a human chain spanning 675.5 kilometres (419.7 miles) across the three Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, through countries that back then were still occupied by the Soviet Union.

This peaceful demonstation was The Baltic Way to show the world what we stood for – for freedom, solidarity, and human rights. And while celebrating this exceptional anniversary 30 years later, we also stand in solidarity with all the countries and people who are trying to find their way to freedom in the world today.

See more about The Baltic Way and today´s events here:


A fresh and thorough introduction to Estonian literature by Hilary Bird, has now been published.

Great news – a brand new book – "An Introduction to Estonian Literature" (editor Hilary Bird) has now been published!

"Hilary Bird’s Introduction to Estonian Literature is truly a pioneering work, and a welcome contribution for anyone with an interest in the lively and flourishing literature of this small but culturally vibrant country. Ms. Bird’s coverage is not merely of the modern writers, some of whose work is available in English translation, but also of literature in the Estonian language from the earliest times, which has been a closed book up to now to anyone without a knowledge of the language."

Christopher Moseley
School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London

See more from Slavica publishers:

We are out of officce on the 5th and 6th of August - Eesti Instituut

OUT OF OFFICE SOON: We are having a summer seminar away from Tallinn on the 5th and 6th of August. Find our contact information below: We are out of office on the 5th and 6th of August, because we are having a summer seminar. Regarding urgent matters please call +372 55514943.   Kind regar

Almost 100 000 people are celebrating songs, music, Estonia! My love #minuarm

Today is the last day of the Estonian Song and Dance Celebration, but when does it all end?

Actually, never. But, of course the grand finale of every festival is a deep and touching experience for everyone who happens to witness it – whether onsite or in front of the TV or computer screens all around the world. The last dance of the dance celebration is always “Tuljak” (“A Village Party”), and the last melody of the 2nd concert of the song festival is „Mu isamaa on minu arm“ (“The Land of My Fathers, the Land that I Love”). One of the highlights of that evening is undoubtedly the emotional gratitude ceremony, which concludes the song festival – people cheer and make waves, while all the conductors and dance coaches are flung up in the air. We thank you, we thank ourselves, we thank the music. And when the last notes of the last concert are about to fade into the evening air, there are plans being made for the next Song and Dance Celebration already. This is how the ritual works. Because the celebration of one’s soul is a never-ending story. Just like our songs and dances.

What was the very first song celebration like?

The very first All-Estonian song celebration took place in 1869 in Tartu, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the abolishment of serfdom. The concept of organised collective singing was borrowed from the Germans in the 19th century. Such communal singing went a long way towards raising and reinforcing a young nation’s self-awareness. 1,000 singers and musicians took part in the first song celebration, with the audience of 12,000. In comparison – the 2014 Song and Dance Celebration brought together 175,000 people. Song celebrations were originally organised and held in Tartu. The first song festival in Tallinn was hosted in Kadriorg in 1896 (the third national song celebration). Since 1928, all national song celebrations have taken place at the Song Festival Grounds in Tallinn. The stage can accommodate 15,000 people, and, at times, the grounds have held close to 300,000 people.

Why there must be a parade?

Five kilometers, 6,600 steps. This is the Estonian samba carnival and pilgrimage at once. The Song and Dance Celebration’s parade takes place before the first song celebration concert, on Saturday. The parade follows a set route from Toompea hill through Tallinn city centre and Kadriorg to the Song Festival Grounds. Traffic in the city is halted. The parade attracts cheering multitudes from far and wide. The festival’s performers all participate in the parade. Singers, dancers, musicians, conductors. They’ve been practising for this great event for a long time and now they can feel proud of their accomplishments, and spread the joy. Every group in the parade is having their very own party – it’s a parade of a hundred parties. It is also the tuning process for what is yet to come.

To see all 21 questions about our Song and Dance Celebration, see more:

What should I wear to the Song and Dance Celebration?
Are you still deciding what to wear at the Song and Dance Celebration? Don't worry, we've got you covered!

There is no dress code for the audience. You could opt for a casual look, or you might want to dress up, the choice is yours. You might even wish to come in your own national dress. Why not! Estonian spectators often come in their national garments, and we would be glad and honoured if you chose to wear yours
Strict guidelines exist for the performers, however. The dancers, for example, have to be dressed in correct, authentic dress. Authenticity here refers primarily to the geographical provenance of the garments; nowadays the clothes are made using modern materials, of course. This means that no stylised, national costume-inspired, trendy ‘ethnic’ garments are allowed. Most dance groups, it has to be said, already have and wear proper national garments. During recent celebrations, seminars and workshops were held on various aspects of the national dress, and practical hints and tips and help for the dancers were given by Estonian National Museum staff.

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Suur-Karja 14

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
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