Art Nouveau architecture, vivid culture life, singing, amber and ice-hockey are probably the main things you could imagine when thinking about Latvia. Without a doubt, it’s all true. And here are some more facts you can spare for your next small talk with Latvian or anybody interested in the topic. Latvians love gardening and has very close bond with nature. If you can go around all the country within 24 hours (tested by myself), then you can imagine, how close everything is. Working in a city centre during days and lying in the evening sun on your country house porch is a common thing. Majority have summer cottage, country house or at least relatives living in farm. So we grow our vegetables there or in the worst case scenario on the windowsill of city’s apartment. Latvians also pick mushrooms and berries in the woods, gather herbal teas in meadows or grow them by themselves.
Latvia has one of the fastest internet connections in the world; you can access free Wi-Fi almost wherever you go. Latvians love black bread. From ancient times we have baked it at home and now many of us are getting back to their roots and baking the bread again.
When visiting somebody’s home, it is common to take of your shoes (even if the host says you shouldn’t do that). And most probably you will receive a pair of guest slippers. It was strong tradition several decades ago and still lives in some houses – you have a big basket of slippers for guests.
Latvia is the nation that things, says almost every brochure about the country and it is true indeed. Every 4th year people of all ages gather together in Song and dance festival, almost everybody sings or have at some point sung in a choir, danced in folk dance group. Only some cultures in the world celebrate name day and we are one of them. Name day is a big celebration, as far as everybody knows you have it by just looking at the calendar. If it is a work day, colleagues and partners bring you flowers and guests can come uninvited to your house for a celebration.
Latvians love cats and dogs. Many of us have several pets at home; some take them to offices and everywhere around.
Stork is almost like a national bird. We have lots of them. Almost in every country house, there is a stork nest on the power poles and National Energy Company has a CSR program dedicated to saving storks’ nests. Also there are many proverbs connected with storks as they are believed to be connected with fertility and are nominated as birds, which bring babies.
Latvians love sand thorns and cranberries. Both are top used in dairy products, cakes and other edible wonders.
National sport is ice-hockey. Once hosted a World championship, Latvians are eager to do it again and meanwhile – nothing is more important on those two weeks of May. Homemade and handmade is absolutely on the top of all. Latvians make and sell beer, wine, moonshine, cheese, bread, cookies, cosmetics. You name it.
Although foreigners say that traffic here is calm and organized, locals complain about it all the time. And indeed, there are traffic jams each year when the winter comes with the first snow (surprisingly!), when it’s raining heavily and of course on Fridays, when all are leaving to their country houses. It’s never have been weird in Latvia, but some say it is – we have a special feeling for such products as cottage-cheese, curd, curd cheese, coffee chicory, lard.
Author: Antra Savlevica, Baltic Communication Partners
GlobalCom PR Network Member Latvia