General News

Eesti Päevad 2022 Update

Eesti Päevad 2022 warmly invites you to attend the XXVIII Estonian Festival to be held over Easter in Melbourne from 15/4/22 to 18/4/22. A number of everyone’s favourite events, old and new, have been included to engage the interest of all Estonian Australians, rekindling and strengthening friendships and celebrating all things Estonian!

Dress warmly for Kilmore. Also, dress Estonian – blue-black-white, or ethnic. Or maybe you have purchased the Eesti Päevad XXVIII warm hoodie. There is an indoor area, but mostly it is the on the ground in the forest. Also, should the weather not be favourable, we may have to rearrange events, like bringing the market stools/rugs inside, but have the events outside regardless. Warm and flexible, this is what we will be.

Firstly you need to get there, to the hidden gem in the forest. You will need a map, to find the “Tervete” Latvian Scout camp site. You turn from Kilmore to Lancefield, and then drive deep into the forest. We may book a bus from Eesti Maja to Kilmore and back, but only if enough people indicate that requirement being sufficient for a booking.

First events will be for children – they wake up early, ready for action early. Karin Kapsi will gather children for singing. The same way as she has been running the kids group in Sydney.

More for the children will follow. Maarja Kamar will set them up at tables, where they listen to a story, and then draw about it. Olga Loitsenko will bring out the ball games.

Children can be entertaining to watch, but who is not up for it, however adults are welcome to mingle and meet and greet and gather around the bar. Bar is open from the moment you arrive and will not close, unless empty! The bar is set up on the bench top near the scout hall entrance by Tom Sarapuu (Adelaide) and Raul Seepter (Sydney). Cheers! You may also want to buy eesti alcohol to take home as we definitely do not get this opportunity often.

You are also welcome to bring your personal items, imagination is the limit. Bring a rug, snacks, drinks, dogs, cats, games, instruments … it is OUR picnic and it will be what we make it to be.

Next on the program will be yoga. Hope you brought your yoga mat and wear flexible clothes. Kelli Schwede completed her yoga course in September 2021, in lockdown, and is now ready to bring it out there.

Action continues under the name of “Fun and Games”. This is organised by Arno Vann, who has done it for tens of years as European Scout camp leader. We may see who wins the rope competition, we may see who can carry their wife fastest, umm … a child maybe. Some may even eventuate as winners of the competitions. Winners deserve some goodies – by Chaga.

Who is Chaga? Time to move closer to the marketplace. The market is a pop up place near the restrooms, set up by vendor rugs or tables by Estonian businesses or people selling their products.

Chaga will be the first to introduce theirs, and the others will follow. Be ready to buy some good stuff on the day, arriving from Western Australia and Queensland. If the day has been boring for you so far, you may want to buy a book and find a quiet corner to go and read – or talk with the author. There will be quite a few market stalls to explore.

Attention! Attention! Please gather round for the Eesti Päevad Opening ceremony!

Younger generation Estonians have asked, what are the traditions and customs. While in the forest, we will still follow tradition – there will be Eesti Päevad flag hand over and badge nailed, there will be church service (Sara Villarreal ) and opening speeches, including by Consulate from Canberra.

We will light the bonfire (by Sõrve Summer camp) and make the forest echo from our song and ground shake from our dance – leaving no one behind. What will we sing – Kungla Rahvas, maybe? Then we know that we have arrived, we are here to stay.

Getting to the end of the program, with the evening darkness over us, delicious aromas invite us to the kitchen for a bowl of soup prepared by Indrek Ott from Sydney, the sauna gets heated up, and the band, Rolling Stonians – five young Estonian Australians from Sydney, are ready to rock us.

Stay overnight on the grounds, in your own tent or car, or sing and dance till you drop – the grounds master Henry says – no one can see or hear you there, but eventually the day and night will end, maybe in accommodation that you have found nearby or driving back to Melbourne, to be ready for the Eesti Päevad festival day number two.

At 11am, Matti Kiviväli will greet you at the Eesti Maja doorstep. If you have not done the building excursion before, it comes highly recommended. Being the world’s largest Estonian house, there are the stories to hear and rooms to see. The building is also waking up for action – the upper library is getting set up for chess (Martin Lukas), the foyer sets up for Taara shop (Aime Metsar), first floor hall starts opening their handcraft (Ingrid Renno), with the handcraft exhibition’s official opening at midday.

It will surely take an hour to see all the craft exposed, but if more time is needed – the exhibition will remain open until the end of Eesti Päevad on the afternoon of 18th April.

Let that day continue in the downstairs hall, where cafeteria is now open. Bar will be open as well. So stay and have lunch and mingle – or join in for the Literature Afternoon (Siiri Iismaa, Muusajüngrid) at the underground bar.

Cafeteria is set up by 2 Castles Master Bakers, who will serve lunch such as Pelmeni, Reuben sandwich or Bagels topped with seeds and salmon schmear, Vatrushka tarts, Pretzels, Rogliki or Canapés, etc. As for European breads – hopefully many will be ordered prior to Eesti Päevad, to be picked up then.

The next event is Stand-up comedy – Olga Loitsenko and team from Melbourne International Comedy Festival performing “Of Outsiders and Misfits“.

All are welcome to stay at the bar while the hall and stage are set for the evening concerts (Jex Saarelaht band for a mix of his own and others jazz compositions, Karin Kapsi band – Estonian based music for cello-flute-piano, last but not least – band from Estonia looks promising!)

If you do not go out to eat before these concerts – yes, there are quite a few places in the local area – and stay all day long, wanting to see more of the handcraft upstairs and play chess – then be aware that the cafeteria will be open again for the evening concerts time.

Last night ended at the bar, let’s start the new day at the same place. Rehearsals time! Well, the rehearsal participants will deserve a bowl of soup once they finish. Maybe other people want a bowl of soup as well (chef – Indrek Ott) – so let’s all start the day from the kitchen.

Lots of talking ahead today. There will be a panel discussion about the future of Estonian houses (Juho Looveer), followed by Chamber of Commerce workshops (Virge Nielsen), Estonian Embassy in Canberra (Kersti Eesmaa).

Next events will be out of Estonian House – first we throw axes at Maniacs, Abbotsford, then head for the night at Melbourne Zoo, to dine and dance the night away. Both event names give a hint for a dress code to make it more fun, and an eesti trivia may be thrown in as well besides the good food and eesti music. Both events come with prizes for the best!

Oh no, is this the last day already! Is this why the Eesti Maja hall is set so nice… and people are so beautiful, many wearing ethnic costumes! (if you forgot yours, rush upstairs to buy some from handcraft exhibition!). Your folk costumes will be photographed if you so like – for virtual archive (Mai Buchert).

The folk day will be in three parts. First set will be performers of all our song and dance groups, from Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane. After interval we will listen to a concert from Kooskõlas choir. Finally we get to hear how they sang at Laulupidu!

Before the third part, I would say we take a break for lunch, but no, we will try to do it differently to avoid queues. We will have your number up near the kitchen for your food order at any time during the concerts. The meal will be a BBQ cooked outdoors (Tom Sarapuu) and as food isa ready, your number comes up.

I would also proudly mention that MC for the event will be Paul Kadak, whom we love to follow from Channel 7.

Folk Day ends in the afternoon. We can stay and mingle at the bar, and put some music on, stay on as long as we like, but … that’s it, folks.

There were many names in this story, and there are many more behind the scenes. It is OUR Eesti Päevad.

Eesti Päevad is a continuation of a long lived tradition which once again will stay in the hearts of all young and old Estonians and Estophiles in Australia.

Eesti Päevad organising committee hopes you think the plan is exciting, and invites you to be a part and make it a memorable festival.

SEE YOU IN MELBOURNE, at Easter 2022 !

Any questions, comments, suggestions, proposals, thoughts – please get in touch with Sirje on

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EESTI PÄEVAD XXVIII KÜSIB – kus veedad sina lihavõtte pika nädalalõpu 2022?  

Melbourne’is Austraalias? 

Aprill on Melbourne kuu – nädal varem on Grand Prix vormel, nädal hiljem tuleme kokku eestlased üle mandri.  

Let’s talk EESTI PÄEVAD. 

15ndal Aprillil saabud Kilmore metsa Melbourne lähistel. Istume mättale mängimaie nii nagu kuldsetel aegadel. Üle varjulise metsaplatsi kõlab eesti muusika, laul, tants, käivad võistlused, mängud, pakutakse suppi, avatud on eesti baar, vaatame kui hoogsale tantsule tõmbab eesti bänd, kuidas kutsub põleva halu lõhn saunast ja lõkkeplatsilt. 

16ndal Aprillil avame Melbourne Eesti Maja uksed ekskurssiooniks. Maailma suurim eesti maja väärib tutvumist. Eesti Päevade ajaks on kasutuses kõik ruumid ja jääb puudugi! Ekskurssioon lõpeb baaris vestluseks, küsimusteks-vastusteks. Kui aga neid pole võib kohe minna maleruumi avatud turniirile. Võib külastada Taara poe eesti suveniiride väljamüüki. Seejärel avaneb käsitöö näitus, järgneb kirjanduse pärastlõuna. Kohvik ja baarid on avatud et mitte näljaselt vastu minna õhtustele üritustele – stand up comedy ning kontserdid. NB Läbirääkimised bändiga Eestist edenevad hästi! 

17ndal Aprillil, ükskõik kui kaua veetsid eelmise õhtu Eesti Maja baaris, toimuvad hommikused harjutused festivali lõpupäevaks. Keskpäevast aga koguneme vestlusteks – workshoppideks. Round one – eesti majade tulevik. Round two – pannakse kokku Eesti – Austraalia kaubanduskoja poolt, konsulaadi poolt (kaasa arvatud passi missioon!), Global Estonian eesti välisministeeriumi poolt, ÜEKN eesti ülemaailmse katusorganisatsiooni poolt, AESL, arhiiv, keeleõpe – you name it. Kuna majas muid üritusi ei toimu, võivad vestlusringid kesta kaua huvi. Majast väljas toimub aga Kirvevõistlus ning Restoraniõhtu Melbourne loomaaias. 

18ndal Aprillil toimub folk päev. Laulu ja tantsukirev, jäädvustame ka rahvariideid mida sel päeval kanname.  

Palun võta siinjuures vastu kutse Eesti Päevadele, kes sa oled eestlane Austraalias, Eestis, mujal maailmas, sinu muust rahvusest sõbrale, estofiilile – see muljetavaldav event on sulle. Me pole ammu üle Austraalia kokku tulnud! 

Pikemad jutustused igast ettevõtmisest leiad siin – 

Kui facebook ei ole sulle, lühidalt on veebilehel (sinna tuleb ka piletimüük)  – 

By Kristi Barrow

Loves all things Estonian. Especially Crafters Elderflower gin. Aussie born.