Culture and Arts Latvia

Culture and Arts Latvia

Very early on, the land of tranny saw foreigners venturing into its territory. The workers from all over the USSR, unintentional factors of the Russification undertaken by Moscow, remained in number after independence and today form the main minorities of the country, totaling 41% of the population.
A major concern: in 1989, 4 out of 5 people did not speak Latvian, not even in a second language ... It is for this reason that after independence, the government imposed a very strict framework for acquiring Latvian nationality : residents settled after 1940 had to demonstrate their knowledge of the language, culture and history of the country.
Unable to respond to these requests or simply reluctant to change nationality, many gave up. The criteria, deemed discriminatory, have been largely relaxed under international pressure, and nearly half of Russians in Latvia have now become citizens.

Before 1940 Latvians made up 75% of the population; with the Second World War and the Russian and German occupations, they now represent only 59% of the total population of their country.


Their number is worth Latvia to be the most unstable Baltic country ethnically and politically: close to 29% of its inhabitants are Russian. The bridgehead of Soviet power in the region, Latvia was colonized even more massively than its two neighbors. In Riga, the main home port of the Baltic fleet, and in 2 of the 6 major cities of the country, Russians are as numerous as Latvians.

Before World War II, only 10% of the population of Latvia was of Russian origin (mostly peasants). The "Russian problem" is at the origin of sometimes sharp tensions, both with Moscow and the European Union. Russian schools are now required to introduce Latvian as a second language of instruction.

The other Slavs

Apart from the Russians, official statistics show around 100 Belarusians (4%), 70 Ukrainians (2,5%) and over 60 Polonais (2,5%). If the first 2 arrived as workers from the USSR, the third have been installed since the XNUMXth century, when Livonia, threatened by Russia, called on the kingdom of Poland to protect it.

The community, particularly well anchored in the Latgale, supplied a large number of recruits to the anti-Soviet guerrillas after the annexation of Latvia by the USSR.

Today, these 3 minorities have their own schools. Ukrainians and Belarusians are among those who have applied the least for Latvian citizenship (even less so than the Russians).

The Germans

Settled in Livonia from the XNUMXth century, the Germans have long trained the most active minority : landowners, nobles and members of the clergy, they pulled the strings of the country.

Over the centuries, their number has constantly fluctuated between 5 and 8% of the population, to decline from 1919, when the large estates were dismantled by the young Latvian republic. In 1939, on the eve of the Soviet occupation, they were still 62 ... and they are less than 000 today.

We call them German-Baltic.

The Lives

Installedougrians, culturally close to Estonians. Almost completely assimilated to the Soviet era, they saw their language vanish: the last man speaking live (mother tongue) died in 2009.

Today, there are less than 200 Lives in Latvia.

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