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On Citizens’ Day, Estonia Recognises Promoters of Public Diplomacy


In honour of Citizens’ Day, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet is thanking and recognising active promoters of public diplomacy with thank-you letters. The recipients have helped to introduce Estonia and strengthen its ties with the United States, Spain, Ireland, Canada, Lithuania, Germany, Finland, Denmark, and Russia.

According to Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, all people can help increase Estonia’s foreign political influence and good reputation abroad through public diplomacy. “Close communication among people plays a vital role in introducing Estonia and in intensifying relations, including economic relations, with foreign countries,” stated Paet. “We highly value those people who have made a significant contribution to introducing Estonia and to actively maintaining Estonian culture abroad,” emphasised Foreign Minister Urmas Paet.

The Foreign Ministry recognised the following people:

Toomas Sõrra is a long-time developer of Estonian cultural and educational life in New York City in the United States. He has been the director of the Estonian School and made a great contribution to disseminating Estonian news.

Pille Rojo has, in addition to her regular job, voluntarily and enthusiastically introduced Estonia as a tourism destination in Spain.

Moonika Tsavlotko has established a toddler play group in Dublin, Ireland, where the children of Estonian families can spend time together while hearing the beautiful sound of the Estonian language. Tsavlotko has also started the initiative to establish an Estonian-language Sunday school in Dublin.

Helgi Leesment has worked actively her entire life to maintain and preserve Estonian culture and introduce Estonia in Alberta, Canada.

Danute Sirijos-Giraite has made her contribution by translating Estonian literature and Estonian plays into Lithuanian. For example, Sirijos-Giraite has translated Part I of “Truth and Justice” (“Tõde ja õigus”) into Lithuanian.

Kristel Degener has, in addition to her regular job, made a contribution to promoting contacts between Estonian and German entrepreneurs.

Kulle Raig has promoted Finnish-Estonian cultural ties for decades as a teacher, journalist, author and translator. She was the first director of the Estonian Institute in Finland, manager of the Association of Finnish-Estonian Societies, and worked in the Estonian Embassy in Helsinki from 1991-1995.

Aire-Mae Veskis Hove has been the chairman of the board of the Copenhagen Estonian Society “Eesti kodu”, which brings together Danish Estonians, for many years. She has also for nine years been the director of the Copenhagen Estonian Sunday School, the goal of which is to teach the children of mixed Danish-Estonian families Estonian language and culture.

Viiu Fjodorova is the chairwoman of the St. Petersburg Estonian Society, who for decades has been active in promoting Estonian culture and introducing Estonia in St. Petersburg, Russia.



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