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2014 Baltic Studies St. Martin's Fundraiser

Submitted by Caroli Leiman on December 2, 2014 - 11:29am

On August 23, 1989, one million Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians joined hands in the "Baltic Way," a 700-kilometer human chain from Tallinn, Estonia, to Riga, Latvia and Vilnius, Lithuania. On October 25, 2014, Seattle Balts met at the Latvian Hall to celebrate that historic event's twenty five year anniversary. The three communities' choirs sang songs in Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian, then joined hands in a circle around the hall to sing "Baltic Awakening," a three-language song that was popular back in 1989. A high point in the evening came when Robert Wallace, a local descendant of Lithuanian immigrants, told about his trip to Lithuania twenty five years ago. Acquaintances invited him and his father him to join hands in the Baltic Way; memories of that experience have remained with him for the rest of his life. After the formal celebration, Seattle's Latvian folkdance group, Trejdeksnitis, led off dances that continued late into the night; this was, after all, also a celebration of Saint Martin's Day (traditional Baltic equivalent of Halloween), and the annual fundraising party for the UW Baltic Studies Program. A wonderful time was had by all.