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 [...]
Today, November 11, is a day of remembrance in many parts of the world, whether it be called Remembrance Day, Veterans’ Day, or something else. This is usually a commemoration of November 11, 1918, when the Armistice was signed at the end of the First World War.
This may have been the end of the First [...]
This week’s Tombstone Tuesday is a bit different – this tombstone in Meža kapi (“Forest Cemetery”) in Rīga commemorates thousands of people – in this case, the roughly 3560 World War One refugees from Kurzeme (at the time, western and southern Latvia) who died between 1914 and 1919. I’m not sure if this figure refers [...]
(click image to enlarge)
Monument to Latvian composers at Viesturdārzs (“Viesturs Park”) in northern Rīga, also the oldest park in the city (1711). It was the site of the first Latvian Song Festival, at the end of June, 1873. The monument was built in 1973, at the 100th anniversary of the song festival, and modified in [...]
As with other years, I’m doing a commemorative post for June 14, 1941. This is the day when tens of thousands of Latvians, Estonians and Lithuanians were deported from their homelands by the Soviets to the far reaches of Siberia. Men, women, children, the elderly, the rich, the poor… people of all walks of life.
March 25 is one of several days in the Latvian calendar designated as a day of remembrance for victims of Communist terror. The others are June 14 and the first Sunday in December. As of today, I have now been in the Baltic countries for all three of these days (The December one in 2009, [...]
January 20 is a day of remembrance in Latvia, for an event in more recent memory than others – in this case, the time of the barricades, and subsequently, the end of the Soviet Union.
Latvia had already declared independence from the Soviet Union, but there was still fear that the Soviet Union might try to [...]
My apologies – this post should have been up yesterday, but my Internet provider had an outage, so thus this post comes to you today.
June 14, 1941 is a day that remains emblazoned on the Latvian psyche – this is the day when thousands of our countrymen and women were deported to Siberia, along with [...]
In Loving Memory
Marta Emīlija (Līcīte) Jakstāne
June 26, 1911 – November 2, 2010
Marta Līcīte, c. 1946
My great aunt passed away last night. She was 99 years old.
She was born on June 13 (O.S.)/June 26 (N.S.), 1911, in Krustpils, Latvia. At the time of her birth, Krustpils was a border town in Vitebsk guberniya in the Russian [...]
The title of this post may seem a bit odd to most readers – how is there a culture revolving around cemeteries?
In Latvia, cemeteries (“kapi” or “kapsētas”) are a very important part of life. Great care is taken to keep the graves of family and loved ones looking tidy and pretty. While in many Western [...]