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Tartu Hanseatic Days 2009 - Wisdom is more than riches!
1. aprillil 2009
Dear visitors to the Hanseatic Days!

It is my great pleasure to welcome you to historic Tartu!

Together with a fruitful intellectual life in our university and cultural town there has also been lively trading throughout the centuries, of which Tartu’s Hanseatic history speaks. Thus for several years the Hanseatic Days have given color to the summer cultural life of Tartu with their diverse programme.

For three days the Hanseatic times will come to life in the heart of Tartu, bringing to our streets artisans and merchants, exciting exhibitions and workshops.

It is great that the big midsummer party does not only offer the joy of being an audience member, but more and more possibilities to participate in the making of things for participants of all ages. The Hanseatic Days this year will give all of us a chance to test our skills and creativity.

The slogan of this year’s Hanseatic Days – „Wisdom is more than richness!“ – fits well with the spirit of Tartu. Knowledge and skills have always been valued in Tartu as the greatest wealth and people have for centuries valued creativity and artistry. Tartu has a unique importance in Estonian cultural history. Here several traditions important to the Estonian people have started, such as our famous tradition of song festivals, the 140th anniversary of which we are celebrating this year.

Regardless of economic boom and bust, people need the cultural entertainment that the Tartu Hanseatic Days have offered for years in the most diverse and best form. Both people of Tartu and tens of thousands of visitors who come to Tartu from near and far enjoy the medieval party.

I wish you great fun and happy discoveries at the Tartu Hansa party!

Urmas Kruuse,
Mayor of Tartu
Among those who seven hundred years ago started the Hanseatic League, traded both goods and life cultures, were our ancestors. Even if they did not use the language of the people here today. The grain grown on the fields here and the handicrafts made by our masters have for long travelled thousands of miles and in exchange we have received the goods and cultures of other countries. The River Emajõgi has been measured by hundreds of fully loaded barges, the roads have had the dust turned up and down by thousands of hooves and wheels. Tartu has heard discussions and lectures, war cries, secret whispers and songs in very different languages and dialects.

All this is around us today – see and hear this passage of time when you look at the tower of Jaani Church, hear the bells of the Town Hall, notice hand-holding students, watch „Jõmmu“ slide by on the river, go to the song festival, taste local strawberries or admire sculptures made by the hands of a master.

There is wisdom in Tartu – both wisdom from school as well as from peasants, local and global culture. This is our real riches!

See you in Tartu!

Ants Johanson,
Project manager of Tartu Hanseatic Days 2009

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