The Topic of Foods of Estonians Abroad in the Estonian National Museum Yearbook

February 1, 2018

The most recent issue of the Estonian National Museum Yearbook (nr. 60, 2017) focuses on Estonian food heritage. Two out of five articles discuss the food culture of Estonians who have built new homes far from their homeland. Aivar Jürgenson’s article “On Estonian Food Culture Abroad” focuses on the food traditions of Estonians in Siberia, the far east of Russia, Caucasus, and South America (Argentina and Brazil). Jürgenson also discusses how these Estonians adapted to their new circumstances, which inevitably changed their diets. Riina Reinvelt’s article “Our Food and Their Food: Food Experiences of 1944 Refugees According to ERM Resources” based on surveys and memories collected at the museum, analyses the initial experiences refugees had with foreign flavours in their first stopping points in Sweden and Germany, as well as in their final countries of residence in Canada, Australia, and the USA. While the first generation of refugees typically continued eating Estonian foods, for the generations born abroad, typical everyday Estonian foods were not abandoned, but became foods served primarily on special occasions.