Why the Baltic States – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia?
Geographical center of Europe
Lithuania is a Northern European country and the geographical center of Europe. It might be a mere speck on the world map to an outsider, but it is much more to a Lithuanian – a country that was built over thousands of years. It is a place that intertwines the experiences of the ancestors, the battles that were fought, and the love that was shared.
Lithuania is mostly about its people. The people who built the state and the cities, who engendered cultural enrichment and knowledge, and who searched for their true identity. Lithuanians are proud to have been brought up in a country with a rich historical past, and they try to accentuate their national heritage by doing their best on stages and in sports arenas, by being great painters and authors, by singing their hearts out to thousands of people, and by making their presence known with the tricolor flag.
Crossroads between Western and Eastern cultures
With Latvia being located on the crossroads between Western and Eastern cultures, and having a history of tumultuous developments, it is clear that foreign nations have left significant footprints in Latvia. However, Latvians continue to observe the traditions of their ancestors – culture embedded in Latvian folklore that is best experienced during the Summer Solstice or “Jani” holiday, and the massive Song and Dance festivals, as well as through traditional crafts and handiwork, events organised by museums, and a lot of other activities.
The cultural and historic heritage of Latvian architecture spans many centuries, from authentic rural homesteads to unique samples of wooden architecture, to luxurious palaces and manors, churches, and impressive Art Nouveau buildings.
Connects the dots between Scandinavia, and Central Europe
Estonia connects the dots between Scandinavia, Central Europe and what lies to the east. The country‘s history extends across a long and winding road through time, telling the tales of many nations from Vikings to the kings, queens and medieval merchants of German, Swedish, Danish and Russian descent. Estonians are often referred to as the “singing nation” due to their Estonian Song and Dance Celebration which is the local signature event and intangible cultural heritage.
Today’s Estonia is a thriving, forward-looking and digital society with a growing reputation for innovation where you can vote online and start your own business in less than half an hour. Many have done so already, including the founders of Skype and TransferWise.