Max Tuju - 2020 EFC Scholarship Recipient

Max Tuju is an Estonian-Canadian university student who received a 2020 EFC Scholarship. Max is currently completing his undergraduate degree in Geography at Lakehead University. Attending Jõekääru was an important experience for Max to feel connected to his heritage. Max isn’t quite sure yet what his future will hold after graduation.

On being Estonian
[Since visiting] Estonia in 2015, I have gained a greater understanding and appreciation of what being Estonian means. The fact that I was able to travel to a land that stands strong today in spite of numerous foreign invasions and occupations in the past stood out to me as a testament of the strength and resilience of our people in the Fatherland. That against all odds, we have retained our cultural identity and remain united as a nation, no matter where we may have ended up in the world.

Personal and family experiences have taught me very much about what being Estonian collectively means. It means that we are a resilient and strong people who are willing to persevere in our goals as a nation, no matter what we may face. I feel empowered by this because I know that our nation will continue to not only survive, but also thrive in the face of today’s world.

On the role of EFC
Estonian Foundation of Canada is important to the community because it provides Canada’s Estonian community with a cultural institution that acts as a cornerstone to unite, inform, and serve the wider Estonian diaspora in Canada, as well as provide a sense of common purpose for this community. Based on personal experience, I can see why the mission of the Estonian Foundation of Canada remains vital, as I have gained a greater understanding of what being of Estonian descent means for me and my family.

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Max Tuju on üks Kanada Eesti üliõpilastest, kes sai 2020. aasta ESK stipendiumi. Max lõpetab bakalaureusekraadi geograafias Lakeheadi Ülikoolis. Jõekääru suvelaager andis Maxile olulise võimaluse, et tunda ühendust oma juurtega. Max ei ole veel kindel, mis talle tulevik peale ülikooli lõpetamist toob. 

Eestlaseks olemise kohta:
Peale seda kui 2015.aastal Eestis käisin, mõistan ja hindan ma rohkem seda, mida tähendab olla eestlane.  Juba see, et sain reisida maale, mis on tänapäeval tugev vaatamata arvukatele varem toimunud välismaistele sissetungidele ja okupatsioonidele, annab mulle tunnistust meie rahvuse tugevusest ja vastupidavusest isamaal.  Just vastupidiselt – oleme säilitanud oma kultuurilise identiteedi ja püsinud ühtsena kui rahvas, ükskõik kuhu me maailmas ka sattusime.  

Isiklikud ja perekonna kogemused on mulle õpetanud, mida tähendab üheskoos eestlane olla.  See tähendab, et me oleme vastupidav ja tugev rahvas, kes on valmis oma eesmärkide nimel jätkama, olenemata sellest, millega me silmitsi seisame.  Saan erilist jõudu teadmisest, et meie rahvas mitte ainult ei jää ellu, vaid lausa õitseb tänapäeva maailmas.  

ESK rolli kohta:
Eesti Sihtkapital Kanadas on kogukonnale oluline, kuna ta on Kanada eestlastele organisatsioon, mis toimib nurgakivina laiema Eesti diasporaa ühendamiseks, teavitamiseks ja teenindamiseks Kanadas ning annab kogukonnale ühise eesmärgi tunde.
Isikliku kogemuse põhjal näen, miks Eesti Sihtkapital Kanadas eesmärk jääb eluliselt tähtsaks, kuna olen paremini aru saanud sellest, mida mulle ja minu perele tähendab Eesti päritolu. 

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The Estonian Foundation of Canada is a registered charity that supports Estonian cultural and heritage initiatives across Canada.

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