On October 10, the Lithuanian Community in Estonia (LCE) celebrated its 40th anniversary and the 30th anniversary of joining the World Lithuanian Community. In 1980, the Lithuanian Community in Estonia, continuing the traditions of the first Lithuanian Society in Tallinn (then Reval) founded in 1917, was registered as a society. Another ten years had passed, and it was renamed the community.
“Compared to other Lithuanian diaspora communities, in terms of number of members, we are a small community, with about 70 active members. But we have an endless desire to maintain our identity,” Rita Kuzminienė, the President of LCE, said in the event.
The traces of Lithuanians in Estonia go back to Jonas Jablonskis and his period in Reval. Together with Prof. Petras Avižonis he wrote the famous “Lithuanian Language Grammar.” The University of Dorpat (today the University of Tartu) is yet another place that played an important role in Lithuanian history. This is where a number of Lithuanian medical doctors studied.
Milda Marija Trinskytė, the founder and first chairwoman of the LCE, shared her memories of the community’s activities. Cecilija Rasa Unt, the chairwoman for thirty years, who wrote a book about the LCE, noted that most Lithuanians came to Estonia in the post-WWII years, when former deportees were not allowed to settle in their homeland. Until 2000, up to 2,000 Lithuanians lived in Estonia.