Annela and Tuuli-Emily Liivat: upholding the Estonian diaspora in Finland
Annela and Tuuli-Emily Liivat live in Finland and actively promote the Estonian diaspora. The mother and daughter are a good example of how an Estonian family living abroad can still contribute to what is important to them.
Annela was born in Tartu and graduated from Miina Härma Gymnasium and the University of Tartu. She has been a teacher of Russian language and literature, a training manager, and the chief specialist of refresher training at the Institute of Education of UT. She has been living in Finland since 2015. Annela has completed a year of teacher competency training at the University of Tampere and has taught Estonian to Estonian children. She currently teaches Estonian to adults at several folk high schools in Pirkanmaa.
Annela is a founding member of the Estonian club in Pori and has been active in Finnish Estonian societies since 2014. She is also a founding member and mentor of the organisation Estonian Youth in Finland, established in 2018.
Annela Liivat was the Vice Chairman of the ESTO2019 Helsinki Committee and in 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia presented her with a certificate of honour for citizen diplomats. Annela is a member of the Estonian Language Education Society and is the chairman of the board of the Tampere Estonian Club since autumn 2020. Tampere Estonian Club is a member of the Association of Estonian Cultural Societies and one of the five founding members of the Network of Estonian Organisations in Finland.
Tuuli-Emily is an active promoter of the Estonian diaspora and a model example of how much an active family maintaining an Estonian identity can guide and inspire young people to create an Estonian identity for themselves.
Tuuli grew up with the Estonian club in Pori, created a youth group in Tampere, founded the NGOs Estonian Youth in Finland and the Global Estonian Youth Network, and contributed to the establishment of the Network of Estonian Organisations in Finland. She considers the ESTO2019 event, where she participated as a leader of youth activities, an important turning point. Meeting Estonians living in Estonia and elsewhere broadened her horizons and inspired her to start providing more youth organisation activities. Tuuli, who moved to Finland in 2012, believes that it is important to allow young people to come up with activities on their own and that actively participating in the community is important regardless of where you are currently living. She has been teaching Estonian to adults at the Nokia and Tampere folk high schools for many years.
Annela and Aare Liivat have been married for 36 years and Aare has lived in Finland for 15 years. They have two adult children – son Lauri and daughter Tuuli-Emily – as well as 15-year-old daughter Mari-Leen, who is in eighth grade at the Finnish International School of Tampere.