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Latvian’s Reserved Heritage
Nouveau Julkisivu (2017). Ilmainen valokuva Pixabayssa.

How one of the most visited countries in the Baltic became the cradle of artistic figures, would be understood through the historical view. Until World War II Latvia was mainly a rural society, Wars and the Soviet occupation created massively controversial changes. The German occupation caused the destruction of the Jewish population and also thousands of Latvians, the Soviet occupation led to the loss of 250,000 population. In the nineteenth century, most educated Latvians spoke German, later on, and in the early twentieth century, the educated segments became fluent in Russian. In the post-independence period, parents could have their children get an education in Latvian or in Russian.

Latvians are not homogeneous people, the Russian heritage and differences between minority and older generation, who grew up under the Soviet occupation, could be seen by the history phases. The Soviet Union left the mark, the Russians and Latvians are still having as an example different political and cultural communities. Most of the Russians inside the population don´t concrete themselves as Latvians, ethnic Latvians are inhabiting around 60 percent of the population now. Relations have been shaped by twentieth-century historical events, the beginning of independence was characterized by cultural diversity. During the period of independence the government-supported visual, literary, and performance arts, the Cultural Foundation was established in 1920 to give financial support to the arts. The independence time between 1918 to 1940 was seen through the many lenses in an art world, the folk music as one of the most distinctive art expressions in the country. After the 1870's many song collections were a tribute to the historical movement. There were lyrics of the Soviet period and metaphors for being under two reigns of terror throughout history.

Latvians are having the biggest creative labor market in the European Union at the moment and the country's government is still investing in an educational system especially in the creative field.

The country has the most impressive collections of art Nouveau buildings in the world. One-third of the buildings are created in Nouveau style in the center of Riga. The style was created in the early 19th century to express the new, rebellious touch of art compared to the traditional forms. There is a greater expression of individuality in this kind of architecture, how much it has in common with the national identity of the population, could be an interesting point of view to look at.

An Isolated Day Dream

We see the reticence complicated and even selfish sometimes, the introversion is in many atmospheres linked to creativity. The strong bond in a national self-awareness is between nature and the mindset, internal worlds have the requirements, and Latvians forested heritage has something to offer. The escapism theory is functioning at its best in the logic that goes into the wild. The national conversational manners are usually leaning on the avoidance of overall small talk and the own space is needed in various ways. One understandable factor would be that Latvian is the most sparsely populated country´s in Europe and at the same time, the country is still keeping the statistics of the highest population declines in the Baltic. At the beginning of 2021, Latvia´s population was 1 million and 893, which means the reduction of 14,5 thousand people from one year ago. Since Latvia got access to the European Union, emigration had a massive increase in 2008 after the national unemployment. According to statistics, more than 220,00 people emigrated from Latvia between 2000 and 2010, with the UK as the biggest target in a workflow. Agriculture attracted both women and men, one of the biggest industries in a construction business enabled workplaces mostly for men, and au pair positions were offered in many cases for women.

Two-third of the residents live in apartment buildings these days that lead to the longing for a former life. The countryside has a meaningful impact on the generations to continue the heritage of family life. The country´s capital city, Riga, is dominating the economic life, and 32 percent of the population is located there. The rural-urban society is raising its head by its interconnection in social values and bringing up the issue, how to bring the diversity of the urban lifestyles to embellish and make the rural environments even more remarkable. Rural environments are connecting families and in many cases, the best getaway is to arrive home from abroad. More valuable than being part of the right workforce in an international company, is to cherish the homecoming habits. Cultural unity supports the ideal of togetherness, is it celebrating in festivals or just wondering in woods, that´s how authenticity appears.

When it comes to hospitality, reserved manners are not a barrier to politeness. Some people would describe self-sufficiency as a national symbol in Latvia but generally, when you find the code in any national soul, there are many layers waiting to get gut.

In apothegm: ”If Latvian says that he/she likes you, there is no question that they really mean it.”


Ro, C. (2018). Latvia: Europe´s nation of introverts. BBC Travel, Culture and Identity

Columbus travel media Ltd. (2021). World travel guide: About Latvia, History, Language and Culture.

Latvia. Countries and their cultures. Retrieved 27.09.2021 from

Latvia's census shows sharpest population decline among Baltic states. (2021). Latvian Public Broadcasting.

Šulca, S. (2021). More rapid decline in population. Official Statistics of Latvia.

Laila Kūle (2013). Urban–Rural Interactions in Latvian Changing Policy and Practice Context, European Planning Studies.

Bulderberga, Z. (2011). Socio-Economic Differences in Rural and Urban Areas in Latvia. Bulderberga, Zane, Socio-Economic Differences in Rural and Urban Areas in Latvia. Proceedings of 8th International Conference


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Heidi Hokkanen

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