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Detroidi Eesti Haridusselts “Kodu”

Estonian Educational Society of Detroit “Kodu”

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Estonian Educational Society (KODU) activities

On Oct. 28, 2017, we celebrated KODU’s 91st anniversary with a potluck luncheon in the downstairs fellowship hall at St. Paul’s. Riina Elsey provided us with a trivia contest, and the pleasant afternoon finished with a screening of “The Vacationers”.

Our annual Christmas party with the Estonian church congregation took place on Dec. 9, 2017. After the church service, we enjoyed a hearty meal of traditional Estonian holiday foods. Everyone admired the beautiful table decorations which were handmade by the students of the Detroit Estonian School (DEK) and Ool Pärdi. After the meal, traditional Estonian Christmas songs were sung in hopes that Jõuluvana would come to visit us. Santa’s elfin helpers, Monica Rajandu-Turner and Monica Foedisch, distributed gifts to all the good children.

This year, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia on February 24th. This was the first time in many years that our celebration coincided with the actual date. The program began with Arvi Sinka accompanying our singing of the U.S. national anthem. The opening remarks were given by Loit Maripuu, chairman of the EELC congregation. We were then treated to a video of Estonian president Kersti Kaljulaid’s greetings to all Estonians worldwide. Next, a trailer of the film, “Raising the Flag”, was shown. It was followed by the DEK students singing “Mu koduke on kallike”. Our guest speaker was Monica Foedisch. Krista Pärdi read “Music” by Juhan Liiv. Axel Peil gave the closing remarks, and the program concluded with the singing of the Estonian national anthem. Afterwards, we enjoyed champagne and a delicious meal, followed by kringel and a specially prepared torte. Merriment and dancing rounded out the event.

Our annual Vastlapäev (Mardi Gras) was on Mar. 3, 2018. The afternoon began with sledders tackling a snowy hill in Novi’s Lakeshore Park. Afterwards, all went to the Aksu home to enjoy steaming bowls of pea soup and the traditional vastlakukleid.

Saturday, June 16 saw everyone gathered at the Pärdi farm for Jaanipëav and to toast the upcoming wedding of Ool and Kellie. Our potluck picnic was delightful. A cake, furnished by Kellie, and homemade ice cream rounded out the meal. Later, young and old alike enjoyed the hayrides that Arp Pärdi provided before the bonfire lighting.

The 25th of June, we were visited by ”Gevi”, a group of folk musicians and dancers from Jõhvi, Estonia. Their performance that evening was spellbinding; we truly felt pride in our heritage! One of the musicians, whose hobby Is making whistles out of reeds, gave some of his handiwork to the children to enjoy. Many thanks to the Postma family for graciously providing their spacious yard for this very special event!

Going forward

The committee meeting for KODU was held on Saturday, Sept. 15, to plan upcoming events. The first of these is KODU’s 92nd anniversary party to be held on Saturday, Nov. 10 this year, in the downstairs hall at St. Paul’s. We’ll share a potluck meal and also have trivia quiz or other amusements, and then screen a recent Estonian-made film, with English subtitles, that all ages will enjoy. You may pay your membership dues ($10) at this time.

We’ll join with the congregation for the Christmas celebration and feast on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, and for the Estonian Independence Day celebration on Feb. 23, 2019. The Vastlapäev gathering is still being planned. However, the date for Jaanipäev is confirmed for Saturday, June 15, 2019.

As always, we look forward to seeing everyone at these events!

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Oldest of the three active Estonian organizations in the Detroit area is Estonian Educational Society of Detroit “Kodu”. This organization was founded on October 17, 1926 by twenty five local Estonians. The goal is to preserve Estonian native culture and language.

 Eesti Lipp

Asustatud 17. oktoobril 1926 kahekümne viie asutaja (vana-eestlaste) poolt, sihiga koondada eestlasi siin uuel kodumaal ja hoida alal eestlust ning viljeleda eesti kultuuri.






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