Lõimeleer to organise language and culture camps for foreign Estonian children
26 November 2019
The Lõimeleer series of summer camps is designed to give Estonian youngsters living abroad the chance to get to know kids their own age from Estonia, learn handicrafts and traditional music, songs, dances and games, ride a horsecart, go boating and much more. For example, at the camps being held in 2020 there will be a combined football and poetry workshop and an introduction to the traditional kama or mixed-grain dishes prepared by countrywomen from Urvaste, both hosted by poet and sportsman Contra.
Lõimeleer is being held for the fifth time in 2020. Priit-Kalev Parts, the director of the Lõimeleer non-profit organisation, says that children from the USA, Canada, Sweden, Kazakhstan, Finland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Norway and Estonia attended the camps last year.
The leaders at the camps are the head of hobby studies and creative activities teacher, students of the subject and other specialists from Viljandi Culture Academy, who will introduce the youngsters to traditional cuisine, skills, dances and games, tell them stories and guide them in making handicrafts.
“The camps will help the kids, who are all young foreign Estonians, strengthen ties with their homeland, learn something new and develop their Estonian skills through a range of fun activities,” explained Parts, the man behind the Lõimeleer concept and the camp’s resident horse whisperer. “There won’t be any school lesson-type learning, but since the camps are run in Estonian it’s advisable for the kids taking part to have at least a basic ability to speak and understand the language. Parents will also have the chance to get involved in 2020, so that kids under the age of 10 can take part as well, and so that parents who speak other languages can practise their Estonian.”
There will be four six-day Lõimeleer camps in 2020: 12-18 July, 19-25 July, 26 July-1 August and 2-8 August.
Registration is now open, with discounted rates available until 5 January 2020. Christmas tickets can also be purchased for family members and friends at a discount until the same date.