2016Latvian Institute jointly with foreign embassies in Latvia and diplomats will take part in the Big Cleanup at animal shelter
The Latvian Institute has invited foreign embassies in Latvia to participate in the Big Cleanup on April 23, and together with colleagues from the Institute and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia to clean the surroundings of Jugla animal shelter “Labās mājas”. At the conclusion of the cleanup the participants will walk the shelter dogs in a nearby forest.
The “Big Cleanup” movement has set the goal for Latvia to become the cleanest country in the world in 2018. As we await Latvia’s centenary, we have a great opportunity to demonstrate our cooperation skills and knowledge in the area of organizing cleanup activities at a national level, and show how we can achieve this beneficial goal for the country, as well as share our knowledge with other countries, where environmental and sustainability issues are still a challenge. Many organizations from various countries have shown interest about Latvia’s experience with organizing nationwide cleanup, as Latvia manages to involve everyone into this activity, regular citizens and the President of Latvia included. The greatness of the idea does not depend on the size of the country; what matters is common agreement of the society on what is important,” stresses Aiva Rozenberga, Director of the Latvian Institute.
So far embassies of Sweden, Spain, Canada, Ukraine and Moldova have confirmed their participation in the cleanup. According to the information at Latvian Institute’s disposal the U.S. and U.K. embassies are organzing their own local cleanup activities.
The Latvian Institute in cooperation with the organizers of the Big Cleanup promote the cleanup idea throughout the world as one of the positive experiences that Latvia is proud of and that can be easily adopted in other countries.
Photo: Rojs Maizītisread_more
2016The Latvian Institute invites Latvians throughout the world to participate in the “White Tablecloth Celebration”
In support to the initiative of the Latvian Centenary Bureau, the Latvian Institute invites Latvians in and outside Latvia together with their loved ones to take part in the “White Tablecloth Celebration” on May 4, the Independence Restoration Day. To encourage people to prepare for this celebration, as the weather got warmer, the staff of the Latvian Institute organized its own “try-out” version of the “White Tablecloth Celebration” in a courtyard of Āgenskalns neighborhood in Rīga on April 7.
The “White Tablecloth Celebration” idea is simple: family, friends and neighbors from the same house or several neighboring houses get together around the same table, share a light jointly prepared meal, as well as use the chance to discuss the future plans of their courtyard, neighborhood, city, region and country. The anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of Latvia that was a deciding factor and a new beginning for Latvia in 1990 could further serve as an inspiration to many other essential initiatives.
The ideas for the “White Tablecloth Celebration” are many, for instance, neighbors could plant flowers together, decorate their house, courtyard, or paint a fence. Playing a musical instrument or singing together, as well as preparing a meal, Nordic walking, riding bikes around the block, positive competitions, or simply getting to know each other, or strengthening neighborly relations could easily be a part of the celebration as well.
The Latvian Institute invites everyone, who will celebrate this event together with their neighbors on May 4 or other dates around that time in Latvia or other countries of the world, to capture this moment on camera and share the photos on social media, adding a hashtag #mans4maijs or #BaltaisGaldauts. We encourage people to post photos with these hashtags on Draugiem.lv, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, and through other channels.
The “White Tablecloth Celebration” will also serve as a starting point for a new initiative of the Latvian Institute – the opening of the new official Facebook account in Latvian “Kaut kas mīļš no Latvijas” (“Something lovely from Latvia”). We invite everyone, who speaks Latvian in and outside of Latvia, to join this community. “With this Facebook page we would like to join all Latvians and Latvia’s friends, who know Latvian, all around the world in one joint virtual network,” says the Director of the Latvian Institute, Aiva Rozenberga.
Employees of the Latvian Institute can assure you that organizing a “White Tablecloth Celebration” does not require a lot of resources or effort, but in return it creates many positive emotions. We learned, for example, how many white tablecloths everyone owns, how many traditional Latvian things everyone has at home, and how often do we think about what Latvia means to us.
The Latvian Institute promotes knowledge about Latvia internationally. It includes preparing and disseminating print, audiovisual and interactive information materials, as well as organization of events explaining Latvia. All materials produced by the Latvian Institute are freely accessible to anyone for representational purposes.
Pictures from the “White Tablecloth Celebration” of the Latvian Institute staff in spring 2016:read_more
New presentations with essential facts about Latvia in French and Russian are created by Latvian Institute. “La Lettonie. Apprenez à la connaître !”, “Узнай Латвию!” or “Latvia. Get to know it!” is an overall presentation about Latvia, a brief summary of important social, economic and cultural aspects. The presentation is available also in English, it is free of charge and can be used to present Latvia in informative, non-commercial expositions and in international conferences within Latvia or abroad.
Soon the presentation will be available in Chinese and other languages.read_more
Honouring the 25th anniversary, the Latvian Institute has released a Facebook application “The Barricades” which allows everyone to learn more about the events that unfolded 25 years ago and get a general feel of the overall atmosphere of those tumultuous times.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Barricades – a non-violent protest campaign which took place in Riga and several other towns across Latvia in January, 1991. The events of those fateful January days are a prime example of the tremendous courage and solidarity Latvians felt as they were striving to restore their country’s independence.
After Soviet forces had brutally clamped down on protestors in Vilnius on January 13, hundreds of thousands of Latvians took to the streets protesting the aggressive and unwarranted attacks on peaceful demonstrators. Fearing a similar scenario in Riga, the Popular Front enjoined people to erect barricades around government buildings and other strategically important locations. During the next couple of days the barricades and thousands of unarmed guards proved to be an indispensable defence against the Soviet forces. Clashes, however, were not deterred and 7 people died and over 14 were injured in the days following the construction of barricades. Their sacrifice was not in vain as the soviet forces failed to undermine the independence movement and just two months later a referendum was held in which people, regardless of their ethnicity, overwhelmingly supported independence.
On August 21, Latvians made the final push and passed a Constitutional Law declaring Latvia a de facto independent democratic republic.read_more