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Estonian Literature Day. Karl Martin Sinijärv talking about books

Estonian Literature Day

9. February 2024

Last year, Estonian cultural traditions were complemented by a worthy initiative. As of 2023, 30 January is the Estonian Literature Day in the national calendar of anniversaries, being also the flag day. The Estonian Literature Day aims to treasure the core texts of literature and to pay attention to contemporary literature and the role of writers in Estonian culture and society. The date is significant, marking the birth anniversary of Estonian literary classic Anton Hansen Tammsaare.

The Estonian Literature Day 2024 was celebrated with a wide range of events. President of Estonia Alar Karis awarded the title of Distinguished Teacher of Literature to Anu Kell who works at Tallinn Secondary School of Science, and called to value the teachers of literature. He said: „To carry on and develop the Estonian language – this is one of the basics of our independence. And it is what our literature does in the best and most diverse way. The Estonian Literature Day guides us to delve into the written word – especially in our present era that favours superficiality. Let us therefore value our teachers, especially teachers of literature who build strong cultural values that bind us over time.“

The National Library of Estonia contributed to the celebrations with its own programme. It started with a book talk with Mart Juur, a well-known Estonian TV-performer, and Karl Martin Sinijärv, the Literary Adviser of the National Library. Half-an-hour with poetry followed, introducing two young poetesses.

Stefan Zweig „Juudi jutud ja legendid“
Juudi jutud ja legendid Stefan Zweig 2023

A large audience gathered at a book presentation that took place in cooperation with the Austrian Embassy – a brand new translation of „Jüdische Erzählungen und Legenden“ by Stefan Zweig, introduced by the Austrian Ambassador H.E. Peter Mikl and translator Piret Pääsuke. The programme concluded with a concert by EiK, a poet and musician of the younger generation.

The Estonian Literature Day on 30 January was filled with good reads and inspiring music, and among the many celebrations the events at the National Library found numerous grateful listeners and participants.