On Monday, April 3rd, Anete Elken started work as the cultural representative of the Estonian Embassy in Beijing. Her assignments will include developing cultural ties between Estonia and China and establishing contacts between East Asian and Estonian cultural organisations and creative individuals. She will also help to introduce Estonian culture and develop cultural export.
The Ministry of Culture has been searching for a suitable person for some time, one who would live and work in Asia and help to promote cultural relations and those related to the creative economy in the East-Asia region.
According to Paavo Nõgene, the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Culture, governments should help to bring professional cultural organisers together in order to develop mutually beneficial sector-based and economic cooperation. “Cultural relations between Estonia and China have become very active during the last three years. Close cultural relations also help to open doors in other fields of activity, since ministers are governmental colleagues and can share information about good relations and cooperation,” Nõgene said.
Marten Kokk, Estonia’s ambassador in China, acknowledged that cultural cooperation has recently intensified. “During the last six months, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (ERSO) and Estonian National Male Choir have all performed in China. Within the framework of international cultural cooperation, ERSO and the Estonian National Male Choir are preparing for concert tours in 2018. The naming of an Estonian cultural representative in China is a very necessary and timely step, and will help realise the emergent interest and potential,” Kokk said.
Anete Elken will help to prepare for the events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia. In addition, she noted that the 16+1 Culture Year is currently underway, during which China along with 16 Central and East European countries are organising various cultural events, forums and other interesting initiatives. “For me, it is important that Estonia be as represented as much as possible at these events. I will help cultural activists from both countries come together and cooperate, without them having to worry about language barriers or other obstacles,” Elken noted.
Anete Elken has been living and working in China for the past few years, and is fluent in both Mandarin Chinese and English. She is the creator of the RuKis brand, which deals with the small-scale production and sale of Estonian rye bread in China. She is also an educational programs coordinator at The Hutong, where she organises educational and cultural trips and team training. Anete Elken graduated from the Tallinn Arte Secondary School with a gold medal, studied Middle East and Asian culture at Tallinn University, and Mandarin Chinese and Chinese culture at the International Education College at Guangxi University.
Head of the Foreign Relations Department, Ministry of Culture
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