Things you probably didn’t know about Latvia

by AG

It’s Sunday, which means it’s a post-whatever-you-like day, and it’s also November 18th, which means it’s the 94th anniversary of the Proclamation of Latvia’s independence. Since I’m Latvian, I will share some things about my country with you; just the most non-boring basics.

  1. For those of you who didn’t know where the hell Latvia is… (yes, it’s quite small):

Latvia

  1. In the WW2 Latvia (along with our neighboring countries) was occupied three times – by Russians, by Germans, then by Russians again.
  2. We have some towns whose names sound very interesting in English: Ape, Code, and Ogre, for example.
  3. We have the widest waterfall in Europe (249 m). It’s just a meter or two high, though.
  4. DJ Lethal from Limp Bizkit was born in Latvia.
  5. Tobago island was colonized by Latvians in the 17th century (it’s weird).
  6. Latvians are a self-proclaimed singing nation; we have an All-Latvian Song and Dance Festival, after all. Still, though – don’t people in other countries sing? According to our authorities, not as much as we do.
  7. Women are expected to look very feminine – heels, makeup, long, colored nails, a handbag, and all that. That’s probably why I’m almost always asked to show my passport when buying cigarettes. Cuz here, apparently, only unfeminine teenage girls wear backpacks and don’t use makeup.
  8. The most popular Latvian metal band is Skyforger, and they rock. In 2010 they got signed with Metal Blade Records! Listen to this pagan craziness here: http://www.myspace.com/skyforgerofficial
  9. Our Midsummer festival, Jāņi, has a lot of Pagan elements in it, like burning bonfires and jumping over them, drinking beer, eating special Jāņi cheese, wearing wreaths of flowers and oak leaves. It’s a nice festival, indeed. They say, if you find a magical fern flower in the Midsummer night, you’ll be healthy, rich, and happy. Meanwhile, when others say “find a fern flower”, they actually mean “get laid”.

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5 Comments to “Things you probably didn’t know about Latvia”

  1. Thanks for sharing this information–I learned a lot about Latvia that I didn’t know before….in fact, if truth-be-told, I didn’t know anything about Latvia before except where it is located (approximately). I like the idea of wearing wreaths of flowers although I would worry that wasps and bees would be attracted to me then even more than they are now. 🙂

  2. You’re welcome, Sylvia 🙂

  3. Neat.

    . . . and, about singing . . . not in public. But I hear others do.

  4. Singing feminine women? Hey, I need to go there just to be with my people! 😉

  5. Sure, the Song festival is held next summer, a week after the Midsummer festival, and you’re welcome to come 🙂

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