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Neighbors compare notes on centenary celebrations

Anyone who likes to party should get ready for two years of non-stop celebration, the Baltic states and Finland said Wednesday.

Representatives of all four countries were in Riga to outline their plans to mark 100 years since the founding of their republics - in 2017 in the case of Finland and 2018 for the Baltics - though it is worth remembering that during the interwar period Finland used to be considered a Baltic state, too.

Finland's program is on a grand scale, involving 1,900 projects (25 of which involve saunas in one for or another), 70 participating countries and even a plan to send a satellite into orbit - as well as the opening of country's first "fish library".

Program manager Suvi Innila told LSM more, along with her Lithuanian counterpart Rolandas Kazlauskas who extended a very warm welcome to Latvians from south of the border.

Finland and Lithuania centenary celebrations

"I'd like to invite all residents of Latvia to join us on 'the day'... all the bells of Lithuania will be ringing to inspire the guests and all those who are taking part," Kazlauskas told journalists with typical Lithuanian hospitality.

Estonia will be kept busy in the second half of 2017 when it holds the rotating Presidency of the European Union, thanks to the United Kingdom bailing out.

Then with the advent of 2018 things warm up even more with an extremely ambitious program that will see new public spaces created in 16 Estonian towns and cities (including Valka/Valga on the border with Latvia) and a wonderful initiative to put a musical instrument into the hands of every child in the country.

Maara-Liisa Soe, head of the program at the Estonia 100 government office told LSM more, including a hope that neighboring municipalities might start competing to have the best ideas.

Estonia centenary celebrations

Meanwhile, Latvia has a "massive team" working on its own year of festivity, LV100's Linda Pavluta told LSM.

The Baltic states will also join forces to promote their literatures at the 2018 London Book Fair, Pavluta said.

Linda Pavluta on LV100 program

You can find out more about Latvia's offerings at the official website of the centenary.


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