About Latvian People

Latvian couple at Ligo festival

Latvian people – Modest, honorable, hypocrite

Yeah, hypocrite. But don’t think this in a bad way. I use this word with good purpose. Let me give you an example: Imagine pistachios. You may bite the shell but you can not eat it nor taste it. It is not pleasant. But when you open the shell you get somethin delicious. That is how Latvian people are. They may look like cold characters from outside. Some even may make you nervous when you talk first. But when you open that shell you will get a warm friendship. That is what i see at Latvian people.

I like Latvians cultural nature very much. Their traditions from their pagan times, these paganic patterns, sense of esthetic are wonderful. I like most of their meals also. They have delicious beers. But they always underrate themselves. My idea is that it is the feeling they have after living under control of other nations (German, Swedish, Polish and Russian) for centuries. I call this as being modest. That sounds more honorable. Because i know that Latvian people are keen on to their freedom.

You may get this feeling when you look at the monument which is at Freedom Square.  There are 3 stars on this monument which was built with the donations of Latvian people. It symbolizes 3 regions of Latvia. I guess Latvia was in 3 regions when it was built. But it is 4 now. Kurzeme, Latgale, Zemgale, Vidzeme.

Latvian mother
Latvian mother with her kid at Ligo festival

To what you must pay attention to?

Unlike as some people think Latvians are not Russian. So some of them wouldn’t like if you would start conversation in Russian like they have to know. They may know Russian language but it may be annoying for locals if you start conversation like this. So it is better to start talkin in English which is a global language. On the other hand nearly %25 of Latvia is from Russian roots. These people would like to speak Russian more.

Probably you don’t know Latvian language. But take note the following words. You may use them at market or cafe or restaurant. If you don’t look like local people then look at their eyes when you say it. Their eyes shine with happiness “Oh my god, he/she said something Latvian”. I always tought this is very naive side of Latvians. And this makes me happy.

Latvian guy with traditional dress


Sveiki veya Chau : Hello

Paldies : Thank you

Liels Paldies : Thank you very much

Ludzu : Please

And there is people of Latgale region. They have a bit different language. Maybe just dialect. As it was told to me it is a bit mix of Latvian and Russian. But normal Latvians generally don’t understand it.

In short i can guarantee you this: If you pay attention to the things which they are sensetive and if you show respect to them then you will have a hospitality which you have not met before. And this will create an addictness to you.


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