March 14 is Native Language Day, and an all-day reading marathon is currently underway in front of the Office of the President in Tallinn. President Alar Karis kicked off the marathon at sunrise at 6:41 a.m., and more than 70 people will take turns reading their chosen texts through sunset at 6:21 p.m.
Culture Adviser to the President Rasmus Puur explained that each reader has chosen texts that they like or are personally significant to them to read in ten-minute shifts in order to draw attention to how wide and mighty the Estonian-language world is.
"Some may choose some poetry, some, fiction, some, translated literature," Puur said. "Some may read a newspaper article, research, or a Facebook post."
Among the readers slated to read live on Monday are well-known members of Estonian society, people from the cultural and educational fields, authors, actors, musicians, artists, filmmakers, athletes and more.
Participants include President Alar Karis, Lagle Parek, Peep Talving, Viivi Luik, Helena Tulve, Kaja Kallas, Andrei Hvostov, Kadri Keiu Ilves, Kert Tšaban, Jaan Pehk, Aigar Vaigu, Meelis Oidsalu, Tõnu Kaljuste, Jakob Niin, Riina Roose, Jelena Skulskaja, Tiit Aleksejev, Anna and Allar Levandi, Grete Arro, Doris Kareva, Priit Pärn, Marko Mäetamm, Lauri Leesi, Stella Soomlais, Mart Poom, Annika Laats, Mari Jürjens, Triin Ruumet, Jüri Ratas, Heili Sepp, Ignar Fjuk, Tanel Veenre, Jaan Tootsen, Jaak Sooäär, Raul Rebane, Tõnu Õnnepalu, Elmo Nüganen, Siiri Sisask, Peeter Laurits, Jaak Prints, Katrina Lehis, Aleksei Turovski, Joonas Hellerma, Rein Veidemann, Tarmo Soomere, Kersti Kreismann, David Vseviov, Tõnu Kõrvits, Leelo Tungal, Tiit Maran, Laura Sohvie Tohver, Karl Martin Sinijärv, Urmas Viilma, Jarek Kasar, Roosi Põllu, Anu Raud, Liia Hänni, Kairit Kolk, Andrus Kivirähk, Anu Lamp, Ene-Liis Semper, Kasper Sebastian Silla, Josemaria Camean Ariza, Vladislav Koržets, Henrik Kalmet, Teele Pärn, Daniel Levi Viinalass, Ülle Madise and Mikael Raihhelgauz.
ERR's Estonian-language online news portal is broadcasting the reading marathon live all day here.
Editor: Aili Vahtla