Dear and Distinguished Audience,
I would like to extend my gratitude to all of you for coming to mark the beginning of my and our joint work!
I am happy to meet familiar faces again and I am at least as delighted to meet many new faces who participate in such an event for the first time.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our venue is an exceptional place for Latvia and Latvians because the past and the future meet here in the light of strength and inspiration.
Here, the Cabinet of Folksongs or the Dainu skapis is standing less than 50 metres away, which keeps Latvian ethical principles, the cultural foundation created for hundreds and thousands of years, and which still affects our world outlook subconsciously. Yes, even nowadays in the 21st century.
Leather-covered manuscripts tell how closely Latvia was entwined in the cultural space of Europe, its historical ways, and destiny in the Middle Ages, during Reformation, and in recent times.
Scripts in Latvian that appeared here in the Cabinet of Folksongs more starting from the mid-19th century and were accumulating more and more indicate to how Latvians were filling their cultural space with content, how Latvian cultural space became Latvian slowly in the beginning and swiftly later on, how every generation multiplies the thoughts, ideas, and feelings recorded in the format of printed Latvian words.
At present, the National Library is the centre of information, science, and culture networked with all other libraries in Latvia, large libraries and other information centres throughout the world.
In this light and modern building of the 21st century created by Mr Gunnar Birkerts, the past of the people is breathing naturally together with advanced technology, communication and education opportunities, and access to the latest thoughts and ideas from all parts of the world.
In this building in Pārdaugava not far from my native home, which embodies knowledge, culture, and democracy, I feel in my natural environment mentally.
Therefore, I am grateful to Director of the National Library Mr Andris Vilks, who offered this venue for the event to mark the beginning of my presidency, but which is aimed not so much at the people meeting the new President of Latvia but is aimed more at mutual communication between ourselves, dear participants of the event.
Of course, I know that Latvians are more introvert than communicative. Hence, I think that a new literary figure, that is, an introvert Latvian writer, hit the mark; still slightly more openness and communication will do us good. I invite you to use this chance to meet exciting and active people here with whom we have not talked with before.
Dear Colleagues, Friends, Compatriots, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I wish to donate a book to the People’s Bookshelf today and ask Director of the National Library of Latvia Mr Andris Vilks to accept it.
This book is a book “Origin of the State of Latvia” by Latvian social activist, politician, and diplomat Mr Jānis Sesks published in 1938.
Biography of the author is typical for many well-known Latvian social activists of his generation: he was a participant of the Russian Revolution of 1905, a participant of the establishment process of the Republic of Latvia, he served in various positions for the Republic of Latvia later on, among other things, he was Ambassador of Latvia to the Soviet Union. After Soviet occupation, he was deported to Russia in 1941, where he was shot in prison in 1943.
This book belongs to the authentic and historically most remarkable memoirs of the founders of the Republic of Latvia.
I hope that readers would find this book exciting due to its content and its author.
Thank you and I wish you a pleasant evening!