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social life in Latvia

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Social Life in Latvia

Language in Latvia

Latvian or Lettish is the official language, but English is also understood in Riga and other tourist locations. Russian and German are also spoken, and at times Russian may appear to be predominant. If you intend to live in a rural area, you should try to learn a little Latvian at least as it will definitely help you with establishing a social life in Latvia. The great thing is that children seem able to absorb languages easily, and unless your Latvian is very good, they will soon be translating for you. Many expats send their children to an international school in Riga.

Social Life in Latvia

A small yet beautiful country, Latvia has powerful neighbours and their culture has been a way of retaining their national identity. They are particularly strong on folk music – they say there is a different song for every Latvian. Every four years there is a great national folk festival of songs and dances. Only 60% of the population are ethnic Latvians with over a quarter being of Russian origin.

The countryside has a coast, a national park (Little Switzerland) as well as castles, monuments and craft workshops where weaving and pottery are carried on. Theatre is also very popular, as are sports, especially hockey, basketball and bobsleigh. You will find many opportunities to participate in sports clubs and halls.

Family is important and many Latvians choose to spend their weekends exploring the countryside with their families. They still pick mushrooms and berries in the forests. The younger set dance, watch films or simply sit and chat. You need to take part in the midsummer celebrations on 23 and 24 June – everyone does. Although you may think Latvians are rather reserved, they are generous and just need time to get to know you. You might find a surprising bunch of flowers, just for you.

Riga is the cultural centre of Latvia – and there you will find entertainment of all kinds, although many of the bars and nightclubs close at midnight, even at weekends. You will find a list of places at In Your Pocket and there do seem to be a great number of dating sites – take care!

National Holidays

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Published By VanOne
Last updated on 12th August 2019

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