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On Citizens’ Day, Estonia Recognises Promoters of Public Diplomacy


No 420-E

In honour of Citizens’ Day today, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet is recognising active promoters of public diplomacy with certificates of recognition. The recipients have demonstrated a long-term commitment to introducing Estonia and strengthening its ties with other countries.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet noted that every Estonian can help increase Estonia’s foreign political influence and good reputation abroad through public diplomacy. “Public diplomacy is a good opportunity for small countries, and we wish to encourage and support public diplomacy activities. Close communication among people plays a vital role in introducing Estonia and in intensifying relations with foreign countries,” stated Paet. “We highly value the contribution of those people who have taken it upon themselves to introduce Estonia and to actively maintain Estonian culture abroad,” he added.

This is the third time the Foreign Ministry is giving certificates of recognition to promoters of public diplomacy in honour of Citizens’ Day. The certificate of recognition is given to those who have voluntarily made a long-term and significant contribution to forming and maintaining Estonia’s positive image in their country of residence.

The Foreign Ministry thanks and recognises the following people:

Kristin Smedegaard for her dedication to preserving Estonian culture in Copenhagen.

Gunnar Paabo for his long-term commitment to supporting Estonian culture in the USA and for preserving and recording the memory of Estonian war veterans that fought with the armed forces of the US.

Liina Teose for her long-term commitment to promoting Estonian culture as well as teaching and introducing Estonian folk dance in the USA.

Vello Vahter, chairman of the Bradford Estonian Home, for his long-term dedication to promoting Estonian culture in Northern England.

Juhan Parts, long-time chairman of the Leicester Estonian House, for preserving Estonian culture in Central England.

Meeli Bagger for her dedication to preserving an active Estonian cultural life in Germany.

Erik Sootla for promoting bilateral relations between Estonia and Kazakhstan, first and foremost in the area of education relations.

Imbi Sooman for her long-time work teaching the Estonian language and preserving Estonian culture in Austria.

Ilmar Raag for promoting Estonia-France relations and introducing Estonian cinema in France.

Tiiu Vilu for introducing Estonia through teaching the Estonian language in Norway.

Turid Farbregd for translating Estonian literature into Norwegian and introducing Estonian culture in Norway.

Arne Sandvik for his help in developing the Estonian printing industry.

Mai Raud-Pähn for her multi-faceted long-term work in preserving the national memory and supporting the vitality of Estonian culture in Sweden.

Ivar Paljaku for his long-term and comprehensive work in maintaining the academic, cultural and organisation continuity of Estonians in Sweden.

Katrin Pedaru Hirai for strengthening the friendship between Estonia and Japan in a beautiful way with the help of flower arranging.

Leonida Brashkina, member of the St. Petersburg Estonian Society, for holding Estonian culture and traditions in esteem.

Ljudmila Zjumtšenko for the long-term development of the Tammsaare Museum Sotchi project and for supporting Estonian culture in Russia.

Vera Oinets,  head of the Krasnoyarsk Estonian Society, for preserving and introducing Estonian culture in Russia.

Kristiina Sark for organising group activities for Estonian children and introducing traditional Estonian patterns in Hungary.

Deacon Tuuli Raamat for her dedication to preserving the national Estonian identity and providing Estonian-language spiritual guidance at the Alppila Church in Helsinki.

Fjodor Berman for his dedication to maintaining Estonia-Lithuania cultural relations.

The Estonian School of the Netherlands, for preserving Estonian language and culture in the Netherlands (founded by Saima Hinno and Riina Hendriks; board members Agnes Kuusik-Dijkstra, Kaire Guthan van der Toorn, and Margit Tera).

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