President Kersti Kaljulaid is in Finland today for a working visit and to open the ESTO 2019 12th Global Estonian Culture Days. Kaljulaid will meet with Finnish prime minister, Anti Rinne.
Apart from her participating in the ESTO days, the president will also meet with the Finnish prime minister, Anti Rinne. Kaljulaid is expected back in Tallinn in the evening, the Office of the President said.
The ESTO days are held for the first time in Helsinki this year. A traditional opening church service will be held in the Helsinki Cathedral, officiated by the head of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (EELK), Archbishop Urmas Viilma, the bishop for West Estonia, Tiit Salumäe, and Joel Luhamets, the bishop for Tartu, organizers said.
After the service, events continue in Helsinki’s Senate Square with an opening concert, entitled “Bridge Across Times,” featuring folk dances and songs traditionally sung at the Estonian Song Festival.
Speeches will be given by President Kersti Kaljulaid as well as deputy mayor of Helsinki, Nasima Razmyar.
According to Sirle Sööt, chair of the ESTO 2019 executive committee, Finland is an obvious choice for the festival. “Currently the largest Estonian community outside Estonia is in Finland, with as many as 60,000 Estonians living there permanently. Thus, the Estonian cultural days increase awareness of Estonian identity, and contribute to continuous development, emphasizing Estonian culture as a whole,” Sööt said.
ESTO 2019 is taking place in Helsinki, Tartu, and Tallinn from June 27 to July 3.