Photos and video: The Singing Picnic brought together more than 3,000 people

On Sunday, 20 August, nearly 200 singers and dancers and more than three thousand spectators gathered at the Singing Picnic in the Joaorg area of Narva to celebrate the day of the restoration of Estonian independence together. The big sing-along was organised by the Estonian Language House in Narva of the Integration Foundation.

The first big sing-along took place in Joaorg, Narva in 1937 and this tradition was restored on the initiative of the Estonian Language House in Narva on 20 August 2021.

‘The sing-along received a very warm welcome two years ago, so we decided to continue it. This year’s Singing Picnic once again confirmed that singing together unites people – residents of Narva and Ida-Viru County really enjoy celebrating, singing, and dancing shoulder to shoulder,’ said Anna Farafonova, Head of the Estonian Language House in Narva.

Several choirs and folk dance ensembles from Ida-Viru County performed at the Singing Picnic: the tandem choir of the Estonian Language House in Narva, choirs of the Narva Music School, choir of the Narva Rahvaste Maja, Narva folklore ensemble Suprjadki, and the runic singing ensemble Silmaline from Iisaku. Dancers included the folk dance group Jun-Ost and the dance group Värtnad of the Estonian Society of Narva. In addition to local singing and dancing groups, singers and dancers from Paldiski and Tartu joined the party, too.

At the Singing Picnic, spirited songs were sung in Estonian, Ukrainian, Russian, and Votian. Several songs from programme of the 13th Youth Song Celebration were also performed. ‘The aim of singing together is to bring together people of different nationalities who speak different mother tongues and live in different regions,’ said Anna Farafonova.

In addition to the choirs, the Singing Picnic also featured performances by Kelli Uustani and Atlan Karp, soloists of the community rap opera Karma created by the Estonian Language House in Narva, and Anne Kalinen, a singer from Narva. Uku Suviste performed as the special guest.

The Singing Picnic was organised by the Estonian Language House in Narva of the Integration Foundation. The creative director was Anna Farafonova, the head of the Language House; the script was created by Pille Maffucci, Julia Viirsalu, and Signe Viilop, teachers of the language school; and Alo Puustak provided consultation to the creative team.

The Singing Picnic was supported by Narva Linna Arendus, Live Agentuur, Narva City Government, Narva Museum, Event Media, Rahvaste Maja, Narva Music School, folk ensemble Suprjadki, and Alex Kohvik & Catering.

Photos: Singing Picnic in Joaorg, Narva (author: Integration Foundation/Anastassia Volkova) – link to photos.

Live broadcast of the Singing Picnic: link to the recording.