Estonia is preparing for the 20th anniversary of their declaration of independence by planning to host a festival honoring Iceland, the first country to recognize their sovereignty.
Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the president of Estonia and currently visiting Iceland, revealed the idea at the residence of the president of Iceland yesterday.
Estonia, like other then-Soviet Baltic countries, took part in the so-called “Singing Revolution” of the late 1980s, wherein satellite states of the USSR began to experience a grassroots swelling of support for declaring independence. In 1991, Soviet tanks rolled into Estonia attempting to stop their progress to independence, but human shields held them at bay. On 22 August 1991, Iceland became the first nation to recognize Estonia as a sovereign power.
By way of gratitude, Estonia intends to hold an Iceland Days festival in the capital city, Tallinn, on 21 August 2011. There, Icelandic music, art and culture will be offered to guests. This is to coincide with Tallinn being recognized as one of Europe’s cultural capitals next year.