Once every five years our small nation of 2 million people living by the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe becomes the largest choir in the world. The Latvian Song and Dance Celebration has been our bonding ritual since 1873; a way to celebrate our identity and dignity. UNESCO has recognised this phenomenon as a masterpiece of humanity (List of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, 2003).
So where did this tradition rise from? How is it unique? And what are the main ingredients? All you need to know about the Latvian Song and Dance Celebration, is explained in the new brochure by Latvian Institute, available here.read_more
In 2018 Latvia celebrates 100 years of its statehood. On this occasion, the European Commission Representation in Latvia, the Latvian Institute, and Latvian Political Science Association are organizing a high-level conference “Europe. After 100 Before” which will be held on 7th May 2018 at the National Library of Latvia.
The aim of the conference is to gather representatives from the countries which emerged on the European political map at the end of the World War I: Austria, Czechoslovakia, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, and Yugoslavia. Experts and civil society representatives from the countries established 100 years ago will provide their vision of what these states and nations born at the same moment in history can offer today as a launch pad and best practice for a peaceful, democratic and prosperous future of Europe. The conference will create a platform for high-level experts and civil society representatives who would offer innovative, alternative, and forward-looking ideas based on a cross-sector approach taking stock of their historical experience and would empower policy-making on the European level.
The discussions will take place in three thematic panels: Politics, Economy, and Culture/Civil Self-Realisation/Participation. A collection of articles prepared by the participants will be published in order to make sure the views and ideas presented at the conference obtain sustainability and continuity.
The agenda of the conference here.read_more
In honour of Latvia’s Centenary, the Latvian Institute (LI) has created a new video, dedicated to the power and strength of Latvian nation and statehood. The video is available both in Latvian and English, with subtitles in Russian, German and French coming soon.
“This is the story about the source of our power. To have our very own nation, that is an important value – and each of us with our energy, thoughts and deeds creates the democratic power of the nation that guides us through all the challenges and empowers to celebrate our common accomplishments,” says Aiva Rozenberga, the director of LI.
The video versions are available in LI’s social accounts: Facebook’s If you like Latvia, Latvia likes you, Latvian Institute and Kaut kas mīļš no Latvijas; Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and, of course, Latvia.eu, the official homepage of Latvia in English.
Just as a state is built with the energy of its people, also this video would not have been possible without the energy of its creators. Many thanks to the folk-band “Rāva”, ceramicist Laima Grigone, dancers Dārta Apsīte and Mārcis Benužs, sauna expert Valdis Ķīķeris, tennis player Kristiāna Linda Zahare, forest lady Inese Pūra and winter swimmer Imants Vašķis, Gaja and her master Lauris Ivanovs, chess-player Miķelis Vingris and opera-singer Inga Šļubovska-Kancēviča, and, last but not least, the tower-builder Ričards Prikulis.
The production of the video was managed by the Latvian Institute, DDB Latvia agency, and Tritone Studio with the director Lauris Ābele in lead. Many thanks for the technical suport to BB Rental, SDG Lighting and Gigi Bloks, as well as the culture palace “Ziemeļblāzma” for providing the filming grounds.
On 17 February, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, during the Festival Baltic States at Konzerthaus Berlin, delivered opening remarks for the celebrations of Latvia’s Centenary in Germany. The series of events began with a seminar for German journalists who specialise in culture and tourism, featuring a presentation of the Centenary programme and followed by an organ recital by Iveta Apkalna, a renowned Latvian performer. The programme of Latvia’s centenary and its central events were presented by Aiva Rozenberga, Director of the Latvian Institute.
The Festival Baltic States in Berlin rings in the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Latvia in Germany. The festival showcases Latvian musicians such as Iveta Apkalna, the State Choir Latvija, the Latvian Voices vocal ensemble, the Skride sisters, and cellist Kristīne Blaumane.
Back-to-back with a Latvian Voices concert on 21 February, the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia will hold an economic seminar introducing the audiences to Latvia’s investment environment and successful Latvian businesses which seek cooperation partners in Germany.
Centenary celebrations in Berlin will begin with the first screening of a Latvian Television documentary, “Hide-and-Seek in Music. Elīna Garanča” on 20 February. The world-renowned opera singer will personally attend the premiere. The film is to be demonstrated at the Avant Première international music and media market held in parallel with the Berlinale Film Festival.
On 19 February, also within the framework of the Berlin International Film Festival, the Latvian National Film Centre jointly with its Lithuanian and Estonian partners will host a reception dedicated to the centenaries of the Baltic States.
On 18 February, the Baltic Academies Orchestra, including young talents from Jāzeps Vītols Music Academy of Latvia, are finishing their centenary concert tour in Europe with a concert at the Universität der Künste Berlin.read_more