On August 23, 1989, more than a million people from the Baltic nations — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — linked hands to form a human chain almost 400 miles long in an event called “THE BALTIC WAY” The massive hand-holding ostensibly marked the 50th anniversary of a German/Russian pact that led to the Nazi occupation of the Baltics, but it also demonstrated the unity of the people of the Baltics in demanding independence from the Soviet Union. (This may remind Americans of the 1986 “Hands Across America,” though the political context in the Baltics was much different.)
In class we celebrate the Baltic nations’ strength, bravery and pride by linking arms in class while singing Estonian choral music to revisit this important moment. In this video we mumble through the Estonian national anthem and don’t do much hand-holding, but at home feel free to enjoy any song from any Baltic nation and link arms with all your friends.
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