800 events for 100th annivesary

Latvia's official program of events linked to celebrating the 100th anniversary of the country's founding will include more than 800 events, Culture Minister Dace Melbarde said November 9.

Work on the program has concluded and it has been submitted to the government for approval, Melbarde told the press.

The program includes more than 300 events of national importance, over 100 projects supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation, and more than 400 events organized by local governments, said Melbarde, emphasizing that the events organized by Latvians in Latvia and abroad were impossible to count precisely.

There are 119 regional coordinators of centenary celebrations, and at least 40 local governments are still working on their individual programs to mark the 100th anniversary of Latvia.

The next five years will each emphasize a particular period in Latvia's history 100 years ago. 2017 will be the Year of Will, as the key decisions on the future of Latvia were made in 1917. 2018 will be the Year of Birth to mark the time of great changes in 1918. 2019 will be the Year of Heroism to pay homage to the heroes of the War of Independence.

2020 will be the Year of Freedom, commemorating the first Latvian parliament and first President, Janis Cakste, whereas 2021 will be the Year of Growth, as Latvia was recognized internationally in 1921.

The preparations for the centenary celebrations will also involve honoring cultural values, release of several films and books, including Latvian National Encyclopedia, infrastructure upgrades, new tourism routes, and others, said Melbarde.

Oskars Indriksons, head of the State Border Guard's Coordination and Public Relations Department, said that Latvian centenary celebrations would open on May 4 next year with a campaign during which 100 oak trees would be planted along Latvia's borders.

The events and activities of the program of Latvia's centenary celebrations are being planned and organized by public institutions, non-governmental organizations, and members of the general public - in total, more than 5,000 people are involved in hundreds of discussions taking place in Latvia and abroad.

The celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Latvia will continue from 2017 to 2021. The main message will be "I am Latvia", emphasizing that the people are the main value of the country - what they do today shapes the present and lays the foundation for the future of Latvia.

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Culture
Culture