Overview of Latvia

  • Latvian music is represented, e.g., in the works of the folk-song compiler Krišjānis Barons (1835-1923), the nationalist romantic composer Jāzeps Vītols (1863-1948), classical music composer Andrejs Jurjāns (1856-1922), composer and music critic Emīls Dārziņš (1875-1910), the influential contemporary composer Pēteris Vasks (1946- ), the violinist Gidon Kremer (1947- ), the pianist and composer Raimonds Pauls (1936- ), and the contemporary mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča (1976- ).
  • Latvian civil law is again discussed in German in a work by Carl von Schilling and Herbert Ehlers entitled Lettlands Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch: Teil III des Provinzialrechts der Ostseegouvernements (Liv- und Kurländisches Privatrecht) nebst den russischen “Fortsetzungen” der Jahre 1890, 1912, 1913 und 1914, sowie den Abänderungen und Ergänzungen von Lettlands Begründung an bis zum 1 Oktober 1928.
  • Latvian diaspora literature includes figures which include Anšlavs Eglītis, Veronika Strēlerte, Gunārs Saliņš (1924-2010), Linards Tauns (1922-63), Ilze Šķipsna (1928-81), Guntis Zariņš (1926-65), Alfreds Dziļums (1907-76), Gunars Anatolijs Janovskis (1916-2000), and the publisher of the newspaper Laiks [Time] in Brooklyn, Helmārs Rudzītis (1903-2001).
  • Latvian’ (Latviešu valoda) is the only official language and belongs to the Baltic language group of Indo-European languages and its closest relative is Lithuanian, but it’s very alternative anyway, so most likely Latvian will sound completely foreign for you and it’s hard to guess what written words mean, even if Latvian uses Latin alphabet, just like English.
  • Latvia’s ethnic Russians are in fact far from a homogeneous group, he says, and can be categorized into three groups: “loyal citizens,” who are happy to be citizens of Latvia and the European Union, “neutral” Russians, who neither support their own government nor the Kremlin and “Russian compatriots,” who look to Moscow for their worldview.
  • Latvia, a country that previously had the largest prison population per capita in Europe, has significantly reduced that population through the use of these measures for personal drug possession and crimes which include property crimes not involving threats to life or injury.
  • Latvia sunk deeper into a financial morass in 2009, with soaring unemployment that reached 22.3% in November?the highest rate in the EU?and heavy debt that prompted the government to implement steep budget cuts and turn to the IMF and the EU for a bailout.
  • Latvia gained its independence from Russia in 1918 (although it was later occupied by Soviet Forces during the Second World War after which it gained full independence in 1991), and this victory is celebrated by the Freedom Monument in Bastekjalns Park.
  • Latvia participates in the visa waiver program, which allows nationals of participating countries to travel to the United States for certain business or tourism purposes for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.
  • Latvian also has 10 diphthongs, four of which are only found in loanwords (/ai ui ɛi au iɛ uɔ iu (ɔi) ɛu (ɔu)/), although a few diphthongs are mostly limited to proper names and interjections.
  • Continent

    Continental glaciers formed the Latvian landscape during the Quartenary
    period and the Pleistocene ice age.


    Britain ramps up preparations for a no-deal Brexit – Boris Johnson tours Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – Latvia’s shrinking population – Rebranding North Macedonia – Berlin rents go through the roof – ‘Burqa ban’ in the Netherlands – Mass graves spark protests in Belarus – Science, art and climate change in Venice


    Besides Latvian, Russian is spoken fluently by most since Latvia was a part of the Soviet Union and there is a very sizeable ethnic Russian minority.In some places in south-eastern Latvia, such as in Daugavpils, Russian is still the majority language.

    From US?

    Go to: http://travel.state.

    Is NATO still relevant?

    Divisions threaten to overshadow 70th birthday celebrations of world’s largest military alliance.

    Are credit cards accepted widely in Latvia?

    Credit cards are widely accepted.

    From Canada?

    Go to: https://travel.gc.

    Can I drink the water in Latvia?

    Yes, tap water is considered safe to drink.

    What is the internet access like in Latvia?

    Internet access is excellent in Latvia.Free wireless zones as well as internet cafes can be found all over the country.

    Can you handle Latvia’s winter sports?

    Fancy running from a sauna and dipping in an ice hole? Or taking a swim in the freezing Baltic? Here are some of Latvia’s most adventurous winter sports.

    Chain of Freedom: peaceful protest or “nationalist hysteria”?

    As it turned out, the Singing Revolution was only the beginning of a march towards democracy.On August 23, 1989, an estimated two million Baltic people all joined hands to physically and symbolically link their three capital cities of Vilnius, Lithuania; Riga, Latvia; and Tallinn, Estonia.This human chain—referred to as the “Baltic Way” or, more locally, “Chain of Freedom”—extended over a length that exceeded 400 miles.While this may sound like a feat straight out of the Guinness Book of World Records, the message was serious: It was an expression of joint solidarity against decades of Soviet rule.The year of the chain marked the 50th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact that annexed the Baltic States to the USSR.A growing number of activists, eager to bring the issue of illegal Soviet occupation to the world stage, organized the human chain.

    From New Zealand?

    Go to: http://www.safetravel.govt.

    AstraZeneca vaccine: Where does the world stand on suspensions?

    Several countries have paused or limited use of the shot amid concern over reports of rare blood clots in recipients.

    Do I need to purchase travel insurance before travelling in Latvia?

    Absolutely.All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip.Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip.Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

    What is ATM access like in Latvia?

    There’s good access to ATMs in nearly all towns and cities.

    What will it cost for a…?

    Can of soft drink = £1
    Cup of coffee = £2
    Beer in a bar or restaurant = £2
    Three-course meal = £15.5 
    Short taxi ride = £2.

    From UK?

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    What can I do to avoid bed bugs?

    Although bed bugs do not carry disease, they are an annoyance.See our information page about avoiding bug bites for some easy tips to avoid them.For more information on bed bugs, see Bed Bugs.

    Can I use my mobile/cell phone while in Latvia?

    Latvia has excellent mobile phone coverage.Ensure you have global roaming activated with your carrier if you wish to use your phone.

    Where to watch India vs Latvia live?

    The Billie Jean King Cup playoffs tie between India and Latvia will be telecast live on EuroSport and EuroSport HD from 4:30 PM IST on Saturday.

    How much does Latvia pay and receive?

    How much each EU country pays into the EU budget is calculated fairly, according to means.The larger your country’s economy, the more it pays – and vice versa.

    Why does CDC recommend packing these health-related items?

    It’s best to be prepared to prevent and treat common illnesses and injuries.Some supplies and medicines may be difficult to find at your destination, may have different names, or may have different ingredients than what you normally use.

    What are the toilets like in Latvia?

    Latvia has western-style flushable toilets.Keep loose change handy to pay for public toilets.

    From Australia?

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    Contact us?

    WHO Regional Office for Europe
    UN City
    Marmorvej 51
    DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø

    Is tipping customary in Latvia?

    Standard tipping in restaurants is 10% unless a service charge has been added to the bill.Round up any taxi fares.

    What public holidays are celebrated in Latvia?

    Please note these dates are for 2017.For a current list of public holidays in Latvia go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.

    History of Latvia

  • In 1346, the Danes, who possessed northern Estonia, sold the land to the Teutonic Knights of Germany, who already possessed Livonia (southern Estonia and Latvia).
  • In 1526, the Swedes took over, and the power of the German (Balt) landowning class was reduced.
  • In 1588, the claimant to the Portuguese throne, António, Prior of Crato, sold exclusive trade rights on the Gambia River to English merchants.
  • In 1618, King James I of England granted a charter to an English company for trade with the Gambia and the Gold Coast (now Ghana).
  • In 1631 the German priest Georg Mancelius tried to systematize the writing.
  • In 1908, Latvian linguists Kārlis Mīlenbahs and Jānis Endzelīns elaborated the modern Latvian alphabet, which slowly replaced the old orthography used before.
  • In 1935, 94,000 Jews lived in Latvia, making up about 5 percent of the total population.
  • In 1943, the Germans destroyed the Vilna and Svencionys ghettos, and converted the Kovno and Siauliai ghettos into concentration camps.
  • In 1944 the Soviet army reentered Latvia, which again became a Soviet republic.
  • In 1944, Russia again took control of Latvia until 1990 when the Soviet Union started to collapse.
  • In 1944, Russia again took control.
  • In 1989, 42% of the power was exported, but this fell through the 1990s.
  • In 1991, Latvia claimed de facto independence, and international recognition followed.
  • In 1993, Latvia switched to the +371 code.
  • In 2001, Latvia manager Gary Johnson resigned after failing to beat San Marino in a World Cup qualifier.[34] The Republic of Ireland’s 2–1 win in February 2007 (due to a last-second goal) resulted in scathing press criticism.[35]
  • In 2002, Kazakhstan became a member of UEFA for better development of its football, but Uzbekistan chose to remain in the AFC.
  • In 2003 UNESCO proclaimed the song and dance festival, along with similar events in Estonia and Lithuania, to be masterpieces of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity.
  • In 2004, the foreign direct investment in Romania reached $5.1 billion (second only to the Czech Republic in Europe), while the GDP registered a whopping 8.3% increase (second only to Latvia in Europe).
  • In 2006, 10% of the population (420,000 people) were foreign nationals, while 24% of births were to mothers born outside of the country.
  • In 2009, the government commissioned an international advisory consortium, led by the Rothschild investment bank, to prepare a business model and financing plan for the Visaginas project.
  • In 2011, Latvians and Livonians, the indigenous people of the area, accounted for 62% of the population, followed by Russians (26.9%), Belarusians (3.3%), Ukrainians (2.2%), Poles (2.2%), Lithuanians (1.2%), Jews (0.2%), Romani (0.3%), Germans (0.1%), Estonians (0.1%) and other groups (1.3%).
  • In 2017, transcripts of these individuals discussing efforts to replace government officials and influence media outlets were released during the so-called Oligarch Talks scandal.
  • In 2018 the word zibmaksājums (instant payment) won the category of “Best word” and influenceris (influencer) won the category of “Worst word”.[22] The word pair of straumēt (stream) and straumēšana (streaming) were named the best words of 2017, while transporti as an unnecessary plural of the name for transport was chosen as the worst word of 2017.[23]
  • In 2020, history, to some extent, seems to be repeating itself.
  • In the 1990s, lack of software support of diacritics caused an unofficial style of orthography, often called translits, to emerge for use in situations when the user is unable to access Latvian diacritic marks (e-mail, newsgroups, web user forums, chat, SMS etc.).
  • On 1 January 2019, of the city’s population of 128,793, immigrants of the first and second generation numbered 23,995 (18.6%), increasing from 12,352 (10.4%) in 2008 and 3,106 (2.9%) in 1998.[32]
    The most common foreign citizens are Poles, Lithuanians, and Latvians.
  • On 2 September 2006, Eiður scored in a 3–0 away victory over Northern Ireland in UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying, pulling him level with Ríkharður Jónsson’s record of 17 international goals (the latter had held the record since his third goal in 1948, and totalled 17 in 33 matches from 1947 to 1965).
  • On 3 June 2011, Liechtenstein defeated Lithuania 2–0.
  • On 7 September 2010, they came within seconds of a 1–1 draw against Scotland in Glasgow, having led 1–0 earlier in the second half, but Liechtenstein lost 2–1 thanks to a goal by Stephen McManus in the 97th minute.