esmaspäev, mai 08, 2006

When you need a little gloom and doom...

The Sixth Nordic Poetry Festival will be held in Estonia between May 11 and 13 (this coming week) and will feature depressing-yet-uplifting poetry about the somber-yet-soothing sea at locations in Tallinn, Tartu, and Kohtla-Järve.

The titles of the program topics? 'Harbor of Good Hope', 'High Tide & Low Tide', 'At the Edge of the Inside Sea', 'Here & There Beyond the Seas', 'Related by Sea', and, 'I Carry the Water of the Seas.' Poets from across the Northern Dimension will read, including the one and only Hando Runnel.

This year also marks the 15th year of Nordic activities in Estonia. Estonia has five Nordic Council offices on its soil, and according to Wikipedia has 'expressed interest in joining' the council. I recall one vote where it fell short of the votes necessary to join. But other than that - what is the status of Estonia's desire to join Norden? Have they accepted yet? Or is Eesti as always stubbornly persisting?


So I sent an e-mail to the Nordic Council asking when Estonia was becoming a member, and I got no response.

I checked some background and it looks like Triimu Velliste (Isamaaliit) requested to join in 2003, and he was pretty much met with the same answer.

But I am guessing that it will take a few more years before Estonia officially becomes a member. Estonia is already a de facto Nordic country at cultural events here in the US. For example, Estonians are represented at Scandinavian Fest in Pennsylvania and the Nordic Arts Festival in Wisconsin.

The reason Estonians get sucked into these events is probably two fold 1) they have a well-organized foreign community that is capable of supplying arts & crafts, lecturers, choruses to larger festivals like these and 2) they are a smaller country that cannot draw that much attendance to their own festivals. So it's a win-win situation.

Likewise, joining the Nordic Council could be a win-win for them. Because selling Estonian folk music or poetry abroad as just Estonian raises question marks, but selling it under the Nordic umbrella makes it more interesting and accessible to the global audience.

Anyway - I am still waiting for my e-mail back from the Nordic Council. I'll let you know when I get it...

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