Saturday, April 27, the VEMU (Museum of Estonians Abroad) fundraiser took place for the 8th time. This year the theme was Kihnu. The evening was exciting and offered interesting experiences for all the senses through taste, sound, and visuals. It was especially great that Silvia Soide and Inger Lilles-Nestor had travelled to Toronto from Kihnu island for this event.
Silvia was born in Vancouver, but her grandmother was from Kihnu and Silvia has now lived there for 10 years. Inger was born on mainland Estonia, but also spends most of her time in Kihnu, where her father’s family is from.
Silvia is a photographer and her colourful photo exhibit “The Patterns of Kihnu Life” was opened at the fundraiser and is available to view at Tartu College until mid-September. Inger, who has a number of interests and hobbies, was in Toronto as a chef; she prepared the fundraiser dinner with the help of Susi Holmberg’s team. There were a number of thrilling flavours, but the most Kihnu-related were the seal meat pies (pirukad). Inger runs the restaurant Kihnu Gurmee. We recommend anyone visiting Kihnu in the summer, to order a memorable meal from Inger.
The third guest who travelled from afar, was the filmmaker Meelis Muhu, the author of the films “Kihnu Wooing” and “Kihnu Wedding.” Meelis and Silvia told everyone about the colourful life in Kihnu. The President of the Estonian Studies Centre, Jaan Meri, and VEMU’s Chief Archivist, Piret Noorhani introduced the fundraiser guests.
Tiina Kiik offered musical entertainment, leading a sing-along with her accordion. The party was a full house and energetic. Laani Heinar decorated the hall with Kihnu-style decorations. Rutt Veskimets thanked the organizers in her closing speech.
The Kihnu-theme continued Sunday afternoon, when Meelis Muhu’s Kihnu films were screened and there was an opportunity to talk with the guests.
The Kihnu guests also performed at Ehatare and T.E.S. Estonian Supplementary Schools. Meelis Muhu was also very busy with HotDocs, where his film with co-filmmaker Minna Hint “To Share or Not to Share” was screened.