“Nearly 3000 people visited to the Estonian parliament (Riigikogu) on Open House Day”

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On the open House Day of the Riigikogu, the Parliament of Estonia, nearly 3000 people came to Toompea to visit the Riigikogu, learn about the work of the Parliament, meet the politicians and see the rooms they work in. The most popular activities were guided tours of the Riigikogu and visits to the Tall Hermann Tower. The representative rooms and working rooms of the Riigikogu were open all day. All factions also opened their doors, and it was possible to meet the MPs.

Many visitors came from foreign countries, like Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Riigikogu Open House Day began with a welcome concert by mixed choir HUIK! on the balcony of Toompea Castle, after that, President of the Riigikogu Henn Põlluaasgreeted the visitors in the courtyard of the Castle.

At Question Time at noon, it was possible to pose questions to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, Minister of the Interior Mart Helme and Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu.

Kaido HöövelsonMarina KaljurandKai RimmelAndres Sutt and Raivo Tamm, who had been elected to the Riigikogu for the first time, exchanged ideas at a discussion in the café. They were interviewed by Member of the Parliament Enn Eesmaa.

Two teams from the Riigikogu and five school teams participated in the traditional quiz of the Open House Day. This year, the topic of the quiz was “Riigikogu 100”. The team Riigikogu I, which consisted of member of the Riigikogu Urmas Espenberg and Advisers of the Legal and Research Department Toivo Mängel and Triinu Põdramägi and Adviser, Head of Secretariat of the Constitutional Committee of the Riigikogu Kristo Varend, won the quiz. Tallinn Technical Gymnasium team was the best school team.

To celebrate the Estonian Language Year, actors of NUKU Theatre Anti Kobin and Taavi Tõnisson read stories from the treasury of the Estonian children’s literature in the Children’s Room. The National Library of Estonia and Tallinn Central Library attended with a pop-up library. There were reading nests and different workshops for children, including the workshop Priuse Piddo (Festival of Freedom) of the Estonian Theatre and Music Museum. The year of the Estonian Song and Dance Celebration was celebrated by dancing with the dancers of the Folklore Society Leigarid.

The Open House Day ended with a Good Mood Concert of the little stars from Star Stage, led by singer Sissi.

With the Open House Day, the Riigikogu celebrated its 100th anniversary.

The first representative body elected by the people in independent Estonia – the Constituent Assembly – convened in Estonia Theatre in Tallinn on 23 April 1919. The Riigikogu commemorates that event every year with the Open House Day.

In 2019, the Open House day was held on 25 May, because on that day 100 years ago, the Constituent Assembly moved from Estonia Theatre to Toompea.

The Open House Day tradition was introduced in 1999. photo Erik Peinar

Krishan Chand

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