Estonian President Receives Prizewinners in Tallinn
On 2 June 2020, the President of the Republic of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid, welcomed the prizewinners of the 21st Estonian EUSTORY History Competition in the presidential castle in Kadriorg Park in Tallinn. The prizewinners were honoured for their successful entries on the topic of “Estonia in the World, the World in Estonia”.
Due to the Corona pandemic, the official award ceremony had to be cancelled in mid-May. Instead, Madis Somelar, one of the competition organisers and Chair of the Estonian History and Civics Teachers’ Association, announced the awardees and congratulated them on their success online.
However, the prizewinners did not have to do without a face-to-face event that honoured their accomplishments: The Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid invited them together with their tutors and the competition organisers to a superb and warm ceremony and reception at the Kardriorg Palace - a building complex that contains a lot of history and now serves as the official residence of the Estonian President.
The ceremony began with an address by President Kaljulaid who is the patron of the Estonian History Competition. In the following speech, Madis Somelar emphasised the awakening interest in history and the value of studying history today. During the last part of the festive ceremony, President Kaljulaid honoured the prizewinners and their tutors by handing over the official certificates in the palace’s Rose Garden. The ten prizewinners present during this ceremony were composed of the first places from basic schools and the first places from gymnasiums who all handed in research papers presenting their findings as well as the first places in the creative category.
In a Facebook post after the event, President Kaljulaid underlined the importance of this competition's subject “Estonia in the World, the World in Estonia”: "Today, I hosted the best students of the historical research competition and their supervisors in Kadriorg. This year the place of Estonia in the world was sought. Almost a year ago, Estonia was elected member of the UN Security Council, and in May our first presidency of the Security Council ended. Hopefully someday our historians will consider this an important milestone in the history of our diplomacy. […] Congratulations to everyone!"
Since the Estonian History Competition was founded by the Estonian History and Civics Teachers’ Association in 1999, 21 competitions have been conducted and overall 2,121 contributions have been handed in.