During the Soviet era, there were few buildings so feared and dreaded in Latvia as the “Corner House” – an otherwise nondescript building on the corner of Brīvības and Stabu streets (though of course Brīvības street – meaning Freedom Street – was called Lenin Street during the Soviet era, couldn’t have any references to freedom). [...]
Happy Latvian Independence Day!
What have you done today to show your appreciation for Latvia? Sang a song, made some traditional Latvian food, attended a Latvian celebration of some kind?
Something that anyone can do to celebrate Latvia today is to tell people about our country. We may be small, but that doesn’t mean we should be [...]
Twenty-four years ago today, on August 23rd, 1989, the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian people united in a show of Baltic unity not seen in history. Millions of people joined hands from Tallinn (Estonia), through the Estonian and Latvian countryside to Rīga (Latvia), and the through the Latvian and Lithuanian countryside to Vilnius (Lithuania). This date [...]
June 14, 1941 was the day when thousands of Latvians, Estonians and Lithuanians were deported to Siberia by the occupying Soviet forces. You can see posts I’ve made in other years here, here and here.
I’ll be honest. I struggle with what to say on days like this. Part of me asks “How can something like [...]
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, [...]