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National Minorities Day to be marked by young speakers with public debate


National Minorities Day will be marked in Estonia for the 11th time this September. In honour of the day itself, 24 September, a debating tournament will be held the weekend before which will culminate in a public final and reception at the Russian Theatre in Tallinn on 23 September. Registration to attend the Grand Prix of the integration-themed tournament is open until 22 September.

“The debate being held on the 23rd of September is dedicated to the theme of integration and national diversity in society,” explained Ministry of Culture deputy secretary general Anne-Ly Reimaa. “The youngsters taking part will be debating whether nationality plays a role in Estonia today, and if so to what extent and in what context, and whether young people in the country perceive nationality as part of their identity.” 

To mark National Minorities Day the Estonian Debating Society will be hosting a debating tournament in three languages at Tallinn English College on 19 & 20 September. The theme of the debate will be “Nationality doesn’t count – or does it?”. The tournament will culminate in a Grand Prix event at the Russian Theatre in Tallinn on 23 September, during which the best teams will face off in one final debate. Commentating on the debates will be Minister of Culture Indrek Saar, historian David Vseviov and Tallinn University junior researcher Marianna Makarova.

Anyone interested in the field can attend the event, which starts at the theatre at 15:00 on 23 September. A particularly warm welcome will be extended to university students and young people who are interested in integration and who wish to contribute to its promotion. If you wish to attend, please register in advance on the National Minorities Day website at Registration is open until 22 September and the number of places is limited.

In addition to the debates, a variety of events will be held around Estonia leading up to and following National Minorities Day – fairs, handicraft workshops, showcases of national cuisine, art exhibitions, folk music concerts and more, organised by national cultural associations. Information about these events can be found online at

The first National Minorities Day was held in 2005, when then Minister for Population Affairs Paul-Eerik Rummo decreed that it would be observed on 24 September – the anniversary of the first Estonian National Minorities Forum in 1988. This year it is being marked for the 11th time.

For further information please contact:
Kristina Pirgop
Head of Development Centre
Integration and Migration Foundation
Telephone: +372 6 599 024