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Wednesday, 14 March 2018 | MYT 12:00 AM

Spotlight on Latvia‘s long history

THE Rotary Club of Petaling Jaya celebrated the 100th anniversary of The Republic of Latvia at its International Night held in conjunction with Rotary’s World Understanding Month.

The event at Dorsett Grand Subang in Subang Jaya, was launched by Latvian ambassa-dor Peteris Vaivars, who flew in for the celebration. He was accompanied by deputy head of mission Olegs Ilgis.

Also present to show their support for the Baltic’s state’s centenary celebrations were the ambassadors from Cuba, Finland and Georgia, as well as Rotary Club of Petaling Jaya president Alice Teoh

The event kicked off with the national anthems of Malaysia and Latvia followed by a speech by Vaivars, who highlighted his country’s booming and highly-skilled information technology industry.

Latvia’s centenary celebrations will take place for five years until 2021.

Official celebrations started on May 4, 2017 with the Embrace Latvia initiative, where people around the country planted one hundred oaks along Latvia’s outer border, symbolically laying the foundation of strength for the next 100 years.

A variety of cultural, educational, diplomatic and multi-disciplinary events will take place at home and abroad over the next few years.

Vaivars also had a special dish of grey peas, which is unique to Latvia, flown in for guests to sample.

The celebration continued with a video presentation showcasing Latvia’s culture and key tourism spots followed by a screening of a folk dance performance.

Only two Latvians currently reside in Malaysia and one of the highlights of the evening was a talk by these individuals – Elina Stepina and Peteris Viksnins – who shared their experiences living here.

The evening was filled with exciting exchanges of knowledge on Malaysia and Latvia, in line with the spirit of Rotary’s quest to enhance world peace through the understanding of different nations and their cultures.