Latvia: History, Culture, People, Perspectives

Sveiks! Sveikas! Terviseks! Welcome!

My Gold is My People,
My Honor is Their Honor

Rudolfs Blaumanis (1863-1908)

Share our love for Latvia and our heritage through our photos and travel­ogues.

Explore the post-WWII "Exile Ex­pe­ri­ence" and the mission to preserve Latvian culture and identity in the post-war diaspora, whether the West or the GULAG.

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Center for Baltic Heritage

The Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians have lived along the Baltic at least four millennia. The Baltics were well known until they were lost behind the Iron Curtain. Now they still strug­gle to shed half a century of Soviet-era obscurity. Our CfBH reference project digitizes accounts and images of Baltic culture and history contemporaneous to their times.

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Our browser icon is "Zalkša zīme", the sign of Zalktis—the Latvian deity of knowledge. And a snake—reminiscent of the Garden of Eden, and common to ancient mytho­lo­gies. Pagans believed if they caught, cooked, and ate a red or white zalktis, they would gain knowledge to commune with their ancestors and understand the languages they spoke.

More about signs, alleged controversies — and thousands of mittens.

Our Latest

Latvian SignsWe discuss our web icon, the sign of Zalktis--signifying knowledge, other pagan deity signs, the 2006 NATO summit mittens fire-cross (swastika) controversy and ultimate ban, and conclude with photographs of all 5,236 pairs of souvenir mittens knitted--by hand--for delegates and the press.2018 Jun 11
1947 Exile's Calendar, poetry translationsAfter an eleven-year hiatus, we returned to "Trimdinieka" (Exiles') Calendar 1947 to complete translating its poetry collection and add an album of its photos, restored to the best of our ability. Most of the DP generation is gone—but their pain of loss as well as their hopes and dreams are still palpable through their artifacts.2018 May 25
Zedelgem POW Camp 2227At long last we finished transcribing and translating the last few Latvian Legion songs/poems recorded in a pocket notebook during WWII and after, including while imprisoned in the Zedelgem POW camp. (We also reorganized by individual pages for easier navigation.)2018 May 20
Junkers DP Camp Situation PlanWe are working our way through the rest of the Junker's UNRRA DP Camp report. Thanks to the U.N. Archives, we've been able to add page 3 missing in our original as well as the first of a number of enclosures. Added are: a plan of the camp, and the 1st semester curriculum of the "Latvian People's University."2018 May 10
Kotletes, Latvian ground meat patties recipeWorking on our "LATVISKĀ UN MODERNĀ VIRTUVE" (kitchen), we've gotten to pages 90-91, featuring a short treatise on the proper preparation of ground meat dishes and an authentic 1930's recipe for kotletes. We've added that to our section of recipes we've translated. Bon appetit!2018 Apr 12
The Lord's Prayer in Latvian and LivonianFrom "The Lord's Prayer in 500 Languages," published in 1905, Latvian, Liv, Estonian, Lithuanian, Samogitian, Finnish, and Old Prussian excerpts. Plus, Latvian Lord's Prayer, early 16th and 20th centuries and modern compared.2018 Feb 19

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