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The President of the Republic opened the seminar ''The Present and Future of Estonian Rural Cultural Heritage''

The President of the Republic today opened the seminar ''The Present and Future of Estonian Rural Cultural Heritage'' at Agricultural University in Tartu.

In his opening address, President Rüütel noted that the richest and the most time-honoured part of natural, material and spiritual heritage of the people of Estonia was connected with land. ''We have inherited from our forbears multifarious cultural property created by hands as well as passed from mouth to mouth. As valuable as any other parts of that property are farming tools and methods of work, farm architecture and customs, folklore and folk beliefs. All those things explain the story of development and shaping of the Estonian people, and not knowing that story it is not possible to understand the aspirations of our people neither today nor in the future,'' the President of the Republic said.

''Talking about the future of Estonian cultural heritage, we should not forget the draft resolution on the state strategy of sustainable development, the legislative proceeding of which was recently started by the Riigikogu. This document deals with Estonian long-term development goals, among which the vitality of cultural space, enhanced wellbeing of people, socially cohesive society and ecological balance are equally highlighted,'' the Head of State said.

President Rüütel emphasised that it was the obligation of every generation, hence also our obligation, to take care of the vitality of our cultural heritage and do our best in order to strengthen it. ''Cultural heritage consists of thousands of fragments and we should not cast aside or throw away any of them,'' the Head of State stressed.

Public Relations Unit of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, April 21, 2005

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