Language & Culture in Latvia

Up to and into the Middle Ages amber was more valuable than gold in lots of places. Latvian amber was identified in places as far away as Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. During the crusading interval, German–or, more precisely, Saxon–abroad expansion reached the japanese shores of the Baltic.

One of Europe’s greenest nations, around 50% of Latvia is wilderness. Add to this 330mi (530km) of woods bordering the Baltic shoreline, Latvia is an ideal hiking and camping vacation spot. I additionally skilled the hospitality of a young Latvian man I met at a meals festival. Appalled I hadn’t tried Latvia’s nationwide drink black bablsam (a natural liqueur produced since 1700), he left his party of pals to escort me to buy a small bottle.

Dievturība is a neopagan motion which claims to be a modern revival of the ethnic faith of the Latvians earlier than Christianization within the 13th century. South-Eastern Latvia (Latgale), due to having a relatively giant ethnic Russian population, has maintained a big Russian influence. The tradition in Latvia is a gorgeous prospect for college kids who want to expertise numerous kinds of European influences. While coastal mountaineering is one of the greatest things to do in Latvia, a great day journey from Riga is the Great Kameri Bog within the Kameri National Park. Bogs are certainly one of Latvia’s most significant natural assets, and lots of are protected areas of EU importance.


The oldest identified examples of written Latvian are from a 1585 catechism. The Latvian language is spoken by 1.5 million individuals primarily by the Latvian population in Latvia, where it is the official language, and secondarily by the non-Latvian population in the identical nation.

How a tiny Baltic nation turned a high vacation spot for US officials

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But on October eight Bermondt-Avalov attacked the Latvian troops and occupied the suburbs of Riga south of the river. By November 10, however, the Latvians, aided by the artillery of an Anglo-French naval squadron cooperating with Estonian forces, defeated von der Goltz’s and Bermondt-Avalov’s troops, attacked finally also by the Lithuanians. By December 1919 all German troops had deserted Latvia and Lithuania.

As a part of the independence process within the early Nineties, Latvia (as well as Estonia) launched language legal guidelines to protect the language from extinction. It belongs to the Indo-European household of languages, and shares a distinct trait with Lithuanian dialect, in the sense that it is also non-Slavic and non-Germanic. Due to its past association with the Soviet era women of latvia, Russian is probably the most-broadly used minority language. The idea of an independent Latvia turned a actuality firstly of the 1900s. As the First World War unfold to Latvian territory and instantly engaged the whole Latvian population, a strong pro-independence movement developed.

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At the turn of the century, armed Germanic Crusaders had been employed to assist the Christian missionaries and knights in a brutal marketing campaign to forcibly convert the people of the region. When World War II began in September 1939, the fate of Latvia had been already decided in the secret protocol of the so-called German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact of August 23. In October Latvia needed to sign a dictated treaty of mutual help by which the usS.R. obtained army, naval, and air bases on Latvian territory. On June 20 the formation of a brand new authorities was announced; on July 21 the new Saeima voted for the incorporation of Latvia into the usS.R.; and on August 5 the usS.R. accepted this incorporation.

Both Latvian and particularly Lithuanian languages are thought-about to be the most archaic of nonetheless-spoken Indo-European languages. After the October Revolution in Russia , Latvia and Estonia proclaimed their independence; they have been incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1940, although beneath German occupation from 1941 to 1944. Rye bread (rudzu maize) has been a national meals staple for centuries and is included in the Latvian Culture Canon. The bread is similar to a Russian or German black bread and is made from coarse rye flour, malt and caraway seeds and historically baked in a wood-fired oven. Another popular type of bread is the candy and bitter bread (saldskābmaize) created from finely floor rye flour and caraway seeds.

About two-thirds of the nation was occupied by the Red Army in 1944. About 100,000 fled to Sweden and Germany before the arrival of Soviet forces. A Latvian constituent meeting, elected in April 1920, met in Riga on May 1; and on August 11 a Latvian-Soviet peace treaty was signed in Riga, the Soviet authorities renouncing all claims to Latvia.

People on this country favor living in a marriage, according to their outdated customs and traditions. However, a lot of couples in Latvia additionally live in civil marriages and very steady robust relationships. The dress of Kurzeme displays not only the traditions of Latvians and Livs (the indigenous folks) but also of closest neighbors – Lithuanians, Estonians and Poles. Folk gown in Latvia has played and still plays an important symbolic function within the preservation of national values and cultural heritage and within the creation of a typical social awareness amongst individuals.

Riga Black Balsam

Meinhard, a monk from Holstein, landed there in 1180 and was named bishop of Üxküll (Ikskile) in 1186. The third bishop, Albert of Buxhoevden, with Pope Innocent III’s permission, founded the Order of the Brothers of the Sword in 1202. Before they merged in 1237 with the Knights of the Teutonic Order, they’d conquered all the Latvian tribal kingdoms. Latvian is one of two extant Baltic languages, a group of its personal throughout the household of Indo-European languages.