General / The Friendship Municipalities

Eesti Vabariik 100
Georg Lurich
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Our friendship municipalities

The Municipality of Väike-Maarja has got friendly relations with Hausjärvi and Sonkajärvi Municipalities in Finland, with Sirdal Commune in Norway, Tommerup Commune in Denmark and with Kaarma Municipality in Saaremaa.

The Municipality of Hausjärvi
The Municipality of Hausjärvi is in Finland, it's about 85 km to the north of Helsinki. The area of the municipality is 360 km2, the population is 7800. The friendship contract between the two municipalities was made in 1989. In 1995 it was changed. According to the contract there has been many visits from both sides in different areas of life (social work, healthcare, education, culture, environment, farming, communal economy). During the years different schooling sessions has taken place for the parish council, administration and workers of Väike-Maarja taught by the administration of Hausjärvi Municipality. Several visitors and guest performers have taken part of The Days of Pandivere. Our hobby groups have also been to Hausjärvi. For a long time Kiltsi Middle School has had good relations with Monni School.
In April 1999 the brass band of Väike-Maarja was on a successful concert trip in the municipalities of Hausjärvi and Sonkajärvi. In the summer of 2001 the representatives of Väike-Maarja took part in a rowing competition on Lake Mommila.

The Municipality of Hausjärvi on the internet:

The Municipality of Sonkajärvi
The Municipality of Sonkajärvi is situated in the middle of Finland, about 25 km from Iisalmi. The area is 1600 km2, the population is 5400. The friendship started in 1989, the official contract was made in 1997.
The contacts started through Väike-Maarja High School and during the time they spread. After the official contract was made in January 1997 the relations have been active from both sides. There have been several visits from both sides in different fields of life (informational technology, communal economy, culture, and education). Väike-Maarja High School still keeps the relations with the high school there, the teachers from both schools go to visits. Relying on the rights and experiences of Sonkajärvi the people of Väike-Maarja organise the competitions in wife carrying which has found its specific place in the cultural summer life in Estonia. The hobby groups from Sonkajärvi have taken part of The Days of Pandivere; their folk music group took part in the celebrations dedicated to the 100th birthday of our brass band. The brass band of Väike-Maarja was on a successful concert trip to Sonkajärvi in the spring of 1999; they also took part in the celebrations dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Finnish Community Colleges.

The Municipality of Sonkajärvi on the internet:

The Commune of Sirdal
The Commune of Sirdal is situated in the south-west of Norway, in the county of West-Agder, about 100 km from Stavanger. The area is 1541 km2, the population is 1740. The friendship started in 1993, the contract was made in 1994.
The relations with Sirdal Commune grew out of the relationships between Avispea Free Congregation and Sirdali Church Congregation. The official contract was made in February 1994. The co-operation has been substantial and active on both sides in different fields of life (communal economy, farming, social work, healthcare, and culture). The folk dancers, chamber choir, music group Ma&W from Väike-Maarja and an opera singer Vello Jürna who's also from Väike-Maarja have given concerts in Sirdal. The teachers and headmasters of kindergartens from both sides have exchanged their experiences and the high schools of Väike-Maarja and Sinnese have a good co-operation. The projects made together with the Commune of Sirdal and presented to the government of Norway have given us a lot of technical help in different fields (environment, communal economy and education).

The Commune of Sirdal on the internet:

The Commune of Tommerup
The Commune of Tommerup is in Denmark on Füni Island. The area is 73 km2, the population is 7500. The friendship started in 1993, the contract was made in 1995.
There has been active co-operation with the Commune of Tommerup especially in the field of farming. A big schooling for farmers from Väike-Maarja took place in Tommerup; the farmers here were sent some used agricultural machines (Balticon project) and the municipality got some basic humanitarian help. There have been several visits from both sides and schooling days for parish council and administration.

The Commune of Tommerup on the internet:

The Municipality of Kaarma
The friendship with the Municipality of Kaarma has existed since 1993. We have visited each other and found out the differences in our ways of living, in the structure of the parish administration, learned about the most important events. We both have things to learn from the other. Our brass band has taken part in The Days of Kaarma Municipality; their hobby groups have been to The Days of Pandivere. They have also taken part in the wife carrying competition.

In several times we have had events with all the friendship municipalities together. During the Big Singing and Dancing Festival in 1999 we had a cultural conference to introduce our friends our cultural history, the cultural life nowadays and the tradition of Estonian Singing and Dancing Festivals. With the hobby groups from Väike-Maarja our guests had a chance to take part in the parade of the festival which was a fantastic experience for everybody.

The other really big thing we have done together was the co-operation to work out the development strategy and to put together the development plan for years 1999 - 2000 for the municipalities of Väike-Maarja and Kaarma. This all happened with the support of the EU and with the funding from the Phare Project and all our friendship municipalities took part in it.