Before you travel to Latvia, you need to learn Latvian culture and people. First, where is Latvia? Latvia is a country in Eastern Europe. It borders Baltic Sea in between Estonia and Lithuania. Its capital is Riga. The climate of the country is maritime and moderate winters. According to 2014 census, it had a population of 2,165,165 people. The ethnic makeup of the country include Russian 29.6%, Latvian 57.7% Belarusian 4.1%, polish 2.5%, Ukrainian 2.7% and Lothian from 1.4% . The religions in the country include Lutheran, Russian orthodox and roman catholic. The form of government in the country is parliamentary democracy.
Language in Latvia
The official language of the country is Latvian. The language belongs to the Baltic language group of the Indo European language family. Another language in Latvia which is about to get extinct is the Livonian language which is of the Baltic sub branch. The Livonia language enjoys protection by the law. The Latvalian language is also protected by law and is considered an historical variation of Latvian. Russian is the minority language spoken.
The Latvian once ascribed as naturalists. They believed in natural deities. The pagan religion is no longer considered. It can be manifested in legends, folk songs and festivals. Christianity arrived in Latvia in the 12th century. The Russian orthodox religion took hold in the 18the century. The effect of the religion on the population decreased due to discrimination and harassment during the Russian communist occupation. In today’s Latvia, the constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Majority of the population belong to the Lutheran church.
A Nation of Singers
The country is referred to as a singing nation. Most of the citizens have sung in different occasions in their lives. The country has song festivals where people gather and sing in a given period of time where they compete. There are several thousand singers who compete in the festival. Folk songs are highly treasured in the country. They are used to distinguish the Latvian culture. Dating back to 1.2 million years, more than 30,000 texts of melodies have been identified.
Family is a form of social center. Even when living in urban settings, you will find Latvians living in a group of extended family in an apartment. Most families in the country have one or two children. Family members get both emotional and financial support from the family. Parents offer financial assistance to children even if they are grownups. The children are expected to take care of the elderly. Hierarchical Society
People are respected due to their age ad position. Older people are granted respect because they are viewed as wise. Senior members are expected to make decisions which are at the best interest of the group. Latvians are private people. Family life is kept secret from business life. They are formal and reserved when dealing with outsiders.
Meeting and Greeting
A quick handshake with direct eye contact is a traditional form of greetings in Latvia. They are not quick to smile; they will warm up after they get to know you more. Tittles are mostly used to denote s. They give gifts during different occasions such as Christmas and other important events. Flowers are used when someone is mourning.
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