There was a Lithuanian flavour to Expo 2020 Dubai on Friday as the country celebrated its national day.
Visitors to the world fair on Friday were handed the northern European country's yellow, green and red flags, while Lithuanian musicians performed at the Al Wasl stage.
To provide a home-from-home atmosphere for the estimated 1,000-strong Lithuanian community in the UAE, the country’s pavilion was in party mode.
The evening was scheduled to be wrapped up with the acclaimed Vilnius City Opera band playing on the Jubilee Stage.
“We wanted everybody to feel the vibe of Lithuania today,” said Austeja Brasiunaite, head of events and communication at the Baltic country’s pavilion.
“That’s why we were giving out flags to everyone around the Expo site.
“We’re celebrating and we want everyone to celebrate with us.”
She said the performances and flags also served an important role in making visitors to the world’s fair interested in her country.
“We want people to have a good time and come away wanting to know a little bit more about Lithuania,” she said.
“The hope is that by the end of Expo more people will be aware of what we have to offer and come to visit our country or invest.”
The country’s pavilion – which has been nicknamed an “openairium” due to its greenery – is designed to allow visitors to discover “unseen Lithuania”, with an emphasis on the country's natural landscapes and rivers.
“It’s designed to show how Lithuania merges traditions with modern values,” Ms Brasiunaite said.
“It also symbolises how our country has a huge commitment to sustainability – when you come inside the pavilion you will be greeted by images of the greenery.
“The pavilion is built with completely sustainable materials and the displays show how we blend modern technologies with our natural resources.”
She said this dichotomy in the pavilion showed that while it was important to be at the forefront of technological advances, it was equally crucial to have a work-life balance.
“We are a really creative country that has a lot to offer but it’s also vital to have that greenery on show as there’s a need for us all to get away from the big cities and spend time in the natural world,” Ms Brasiunaite said.
“We hope that more and more companies will come to invest in Lithuania and that our companies find more connections here.”