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Happy 94th Birthday Latvia!

On November 18th, 1918, the Republic of Latvia was officially proclaimed by the Latvian Provisional Government in the space that is now the National Theatre in Rīga.

There was still a fight to retain the independence of this new republic, and it is important that we do not forget that. I only learned about the Latvian War of Independence that came afterwards when I started researching and learning about Latvian history on my own – the way my diaspora Latvian school had always taught it, after November 18, 1918, everything was sunshine and roses. We knew that there was a war of independence, but they weren’t specific about when it took place, so that led me to think it was before November 18, 1918, when it was in fact afterwards.

As my post last week on November 11, Lāčplēsis Day, described, the Latvian War of Independence took place through 1919 and part of 1920. Independence was recognized internationally in 1921, with Latvia joining the League of Nations on September 22, 1921.

Here is the text of the Latvian national anthem, written by Kārlis Baumanis in 1873. It was selected as the anthem on June 7, 1920, by the Constitutional Assembly.

Dievs, svētī Latviju,

Mūs’ dārgo tēviju,

Svētī jel Latviju,

Ak, svētī jel to!

Kur latvju meitas zied,

Kur latvju dēli dzied,

Laid mums tur laimē diet,

Mūs’ Latvijā!

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