Estonia Marks 96th Independence Anniversary
27 February, 2014
Estonia Marks 96th Independence Anniversary
On February 24, at the Georgian History Museum, the Estonian Embassy to Georgia celebrated the Independence Day of the Republic of Estonia. After the national anthems of Georgia and Estonia, the latter performed by 5-year-old Tobias, son of Ambassador Priit Turk, the diplomat made a festive speech:
“It’s the 96th anniversary of this important day in our history. Exactly 96 years ago today, some brave Estonian men came out and proclaimed the independence of the Estonian nation. As happened many
times later in history, their courage was at once challenged, as they had to protect their homeland against troops. But they succeeded and for that we can now celebrate the 10th anniversary of Estonia being part of NATO and the European Union. We Estonians, like Georgians, like Ukrainians, have always felt part of European democratic civilization, part of the European family. That is where we all belong. In Estonia, it took a long time and an unchangeable commitment for people to become part of Europe. United with this goal, we reformed our society, built stable institutions, and restructured our economy. Now we believe that our sovereignty is stronger; our culture, traditions and language are very well protected.
“Our dear Georgian friends! You have set this very same goal and let me assure you that Estonia as well as Estonians sincerely support Georgia’s European future. We wish Georgia to become a full member of the European family as soon as possible. These sometimes uphill struggles should not distract Georgians from this goal - but I hope instead it will be a unifying factor. I see that on this road to EU integration, the ties between our countries become closer as well. Of course, you can count on Estonia’s support and our experience in joining these institutions.”
While summing up the last year’s bilateral cooperation, the Estonian ambassador noted that cultural exchange was especially representative.“First of all, there were three Georgian operas and ballets in Estonia’s Sarema Opera Festival in summer. Secondly, in autumn, the co-production ‘Tangerines’ was released, which deeply touched Georgians and Estonians. It is a real masterpiece, but also it is a sincere dedication to the Estonian community in Abkhazia. We always celebrate our independence day with friends, so thank you for being with us today.”
The National Holiday Presentation was held before the background of works by the famous Estonian painter Siim-Tanel Annus, entitled “Relief paintings.” It is his debut as a painter in this country. “Georgia is very popular in Estonia. We share more or less the same political past. We are two small nations,” Annus noted in private talks with us.
To the question why he named the exhibition “Relief Paintings,” the painter answered: “It is painted on relief. If you put a light from the upside, you will see that this has three dimensions.” It is difficult to guess what the technique is, but Georgian Journallearned that the painter uses sand mixed with glue. “Then I put it into a bottle like ketchup. I invented it, but I am not unique. I think every artist is a little bit experimenting with different materials. Just colors were boring for me, so my fantasy led me to this technique.”
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Annus also gave a number of radical performances. “I was like Pussy Riot is now, some thirty years ago,” he admits, smilingly. To the question of what he will take from Georgia as a new inspiration, he replied: “I am walking around the streets, taking photos of Georgian stones and ornaments of the churches. Tomorrow, I am going to the mountains. Georgia is so wonderful. It is impossible to come here and not to fall in love with it immediately.”
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