Latvia, Lithuania to present new 'Balts award'

On Baltic Unity Day, when Latvians and Lithuanians jointly commemorate the events of the Battle of Saule, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Latvia and Lithuania, Edgars Rinkēvičs and Linas Linkevičius, have announced the establishment of a new "Balts’ Award" said a press release from the Latvian Foreign Ministry September 22.

However, the two ministries are still working on the rules governing who gets the award, when, for what, and what the award will actually consist of.

"The award will be assigned for the promotion of Latvian and Lithuanian languages, literature, and historic research, to mention a few," says the release, while reassuring everyone that "The application will be open on the websites of Latvian and Lithuanian Ministries of Foreign Affairs in due time."

As to when the first recipient can expect to receive their statuette/medal/certificate/cash prize, "The first Balts’ Award will be symbolically presented in 2018 when both countries celebrate their centenaries," says the ministry.

“I believe that this initiative will foster research into the history of the Balts and the development of the Baltic languages, as well as promoting literature to enable us to know each other even better,” said Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs according to the release.  

In case anyone is wondering why Estonia is not included, it's because despite Estonia being a 'Baltic state', Estonians are not Balts (as they never fail to remind anyone who makes that mistake).

If you'd like to get into the Baltic spirit, a special celebration will be taking place on AB Dambis beside the River Daugava in central Riga on the evening of September 22, says Riga City Council. Fires will be lit and folk groups will play traditional music (including the music of the now extinct Old Prussians who were another Baltic people) from 19:30.


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