Dublin to host four-day Latvian cultural festival

The second European Latvian Cultural Festival (ELKS) will be held in Dublin, Ireland, from 13 June to 16 June, organizers have confirmed. The event brings together artistic groups from all over Europe and beyond, with seventeen different countries set to be represented.

"The celebration was built by following the structure of the exile song festivals," Inguna Grietina-Dārziņa, Chairman of the Board of the Latvian Society in Ireland told Latvian Radio. "But the new model, in the form of the European Latvian Culture Festival, explores what is going on in Canada, Australia and the United States, relating it to the new type of migration."

The festival website gives full details of what to expect, with song and dance to the fore and culminating in a huge open-air concert on 20 June to be performed by around one thousand amateur singers and dancers.

The first Festival was from 18 to 21 June 2015, in Brussels and celebrate the first Latvian Presidency of the EU. You can watch a video of it below.

 

The repertoire is usually selected by evaluating other similar festivals such as this year's Song Festival in Canada, as well as incorporating songs from the centenary Song Festival that took place in Latvia in 2018.

"Then we have a tradition of giving a premiere. The special guests are the group Raxtu raxti, who have arranged one of their songs specially for the festival," reveals Grietina-Darzins.

The festival director Andra Baltmane says: "When we were thinking about the idea of ​​this year's big concert, about the concept, we looked for what is important to each of us. The concert was given the title "Blue Sea, Green Land.""

"We have put was important in the repertoire of people in middle age and the elderly, with what is important for young people. So there are both new and old songs, new dances and old favorites," says Baltmane.

The celebration comes with the support of the Ministry of Culture and the support of the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia, as well as Dublin City Council.

An estimated 40,000 Latvians live in Ireland.

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