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Dear Teacher!

The Estonian Literary Museum in Tartu and Museum of Estonians Abroad (VEMU) in Toronto are asking for your assistance in promoting our School Lore Competition among students of the Estonian Supplementary Schools in Toronto, Hamilton Estonian School, and more widely among Estonians in Canada.

This initiative is a continuation of competitions conducted in Estonian schools in 1992, 2007 and 2008. Students of all ages are invited to participate as are guides and scouts, even adults who wish to recall their schooldays while they were still young.

Submission deadline date is November 30, 2021..


The competition is based on a questionnaire (available as a PDF file or on-line questionnaire) at www.folklore.ee/kp. We ask that you encourage as many students as possible to complete the form. Our preference would be the use of the on-line questionnaire, however, a separate file can be sent to kp@folklore.ee or paper submissions (clearly marked School Lore Competition) to the Museum of Estonians Abroad (VEMU), 310 Bloor St. W., Toronto, ON, Canada, M5S 1W4.

Please ensure students include their name, gender, age, school, grade, address, and if possible, their e-mail address. We ask that they describe their connection to Estonia/Estonians as per the question at the beginning of the questionnaire.

Please be assured that all submissions will remain confidential. Later analysis of the answers provided will exclude personal data, and published submissions will only list the age and gender of the students, omitting their names. For paper submissions a 3 cm left hand margin is requested.

Students can answer some or all of the questions concentrating on those themes that interest them most, or those they know most about. For separate file or paper submissions please have students include the question number beside each answer. Short yes and no answers are discouraged as well as copying information from websites, books, fellow students. Questions can be answered in free form writing down all that comes to mind. Responding to the questions could be incorporated as a specific classroom component (provided computers are available) or as part of distance learning at home.

In the Classroom

When completing the questionnaire in class we would prefer the use of the on-line version, however, understand that for younger students the handwritten option may be better suited for them.

In case the in-class session is not sufficient for the students to record all they wish to say they can click „Send“ at the end of the form and continue later by re-opening the on-line questionnaire. They then enter their name again, leave blank the already completed sections and continue on from there. The system will combine all answers into one document using the student’s name. For paper submissions we would prefer that all class (or school) submissions are gathered together and sent in one envelope.

Distance Learning at Home

The questionnaire could also be assigned as homework. Preferred is the use of the on-line form, however, responding via e-mail is an option, or the student could bring his/her written responses to the teacher. For the topics of „important dates and celebrations“ or „games and pastimes“ you could select a student to write a more comprehensive overview of a specific celebration, game or type of pastime, or permit the student to choose a topic of interest to them. In doing so it would be good if the student could ask questions of his/her fellow students and/or friends and family.

In choosing topics the age of the children and their capacity to do the work must be taken into account so that they aren’t overwhelmed and their answers don’t become superficial. It is important that one theme is completely covered, from beginning to end. NB! Copying text (eg.numerous anecdotes) from the Internet brings no value to the work!

Responses can be in Estonian or English. A mix of Estonian and English is also acceptable (eg. some jokes may be a combination of both languages).

Additional Materials

Welcome also are illustrative additional items such as photos, videos, tape recordings, notebooks, etc. also longer, more detailed topics that have been researched. Please send these to the Museum of Estonians Abroad (VEMU). We will return requested original items once we have copied them. Students who are sending digital photos and videos are asked to include who recorded the material plus when. For photos copied from the Internet it is imperative to obtain permission from, and cite, the owner, and include the web address. Additional materials enhance the value of the submission, provided the activity depicted in the photo, video or on the tape is described.

Individual Participants

The competition is also open to individual participants who are welcome to respond to a chosen topic in depth or respond to as many categories (or all) as they wish All submissions whether school based or individual will be assessed.


The best entries will receive Estonian Literary Museum publications, with cash prizes also being awarded. The best answered themes will receive a bonus reward. In judging submitted works the connection between the quantity and quality of the answers provided will be assessed. Awards for teachers actively involving their students in the competition will also be conferred.Should sufficient submissions be received our intent is to compile a School Lore publication and exhibition.


Guidance should be provided to ensure students correctly understand the questions, however, written content provided by the student should not be altered (including no censoring) nor should text be checked for spelling mistakes All submissions will be retained as original material in the archive.The objective of the competition is to obtain insight into current school lore as experienced by students today.


Our preference is for students to respond using the on-line questionnaire available at www.folklore.ee/kp. Should paper questionnaires be used please distribute these to your students. Students should enter personal data (name, gender, year of birth, school, class, address and ,if possible, e-mail address) at the beginning of the questionnaire.

For paper submissions students can use a fresh (never used) school notebook or A4 (81/2 x 11 inches) paper, leaving a 3 cm. left margin. Answers captured as a separate file should be sent to kp@folklore.ee (layout as is).

The organizing committee will gladly answer any questions you have.


Piret Voolaid, piret@folklore.ee
Piret Noorhani, piret.noorhani@vemu.ca
Johanna Helin, vemu@tartucollege.ca

Contact address:
Museum of Estonians Abroad (VEMU)
310 Bloor St. W.
Toronto, ON M5S 1W4
t. 416 925 9405

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