BaltHerNet’s XI Summer School Taking Place in Setomaa

April 2, 2023

BaltHerNet’s summer school titled “Diaspora Estonian Cultural Heritage Abroad. XI. My Estonian Roots” takes place in Setomaa at Värska from June 26-29th. Since Setomaa is known for its knowledge of traditions and unique, strong identity, we chose the theme of this year’s summer school, identity, and roots, accordingly. Topics such as researching family genealogy and names, ways to preserve your family history, mapping of tombstones, and family, as well as regional heritage, will be discussed and explored. We will introduce collections related to the theme from Estonian and diaspora archives.

Setomaa is also unique and different because it’s a border zone. The shuffling of borders and life in a border zone has created a lasting impact on the people that reside there. We invite Estonians living abroad, Estonians that have returned to their homeland, setos, and identity researchers to participate in discussions regarding the multi-identities of people who live in various cultures.

Summer school participants will meet in Tartu on June 26th and visit Noora, after which the charter bus will depart for Setomaa. June 27-28 will feature presentations and discussions as well as documentary film screenings. On June 29th, we will embark on a road trip of Setomaa, and visit Värska Agricultural Museum and the Saatse and Obinitsa museums. Participants will be taken back to Tartu by nightfall.

In addition to representatives from diaspora Estonian communities, the summer school will feature presenters from Estonian memory institutions that Summer 2022 in Hiiumaa. pertain to the aforementioned theme and who are involved with maintaining related collections: the National Archives of Estonia, the Estonian Biographical Centre, the Estonian National Museum, the Estonian Literary Museum, the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory, Setomaa Museums Inc.

Non-profit Baltic Heritage Network summer schools are focused on Estonians living abroad and for employees of Estonian memory institutions who are involved with collecting, maintaining, researching, and distributing information about Estonian cultural heritage. Lectures, courses, hands-on learning, discussions, and dialogue. Experts from various Estonian memory institutes share their thoughts and knowledge about archives, libraries, museums, and other topics. Registration for the summer school begins in April. The working language of the summer school is Estonian.