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  2. 2. DID YOU KNOW? Riga was the biggest city in Swedish Kingdom in 17th century?
  3. 3. DID YOU KNOW? Nevertheless Latvian and Lithuanian languages are of the same language branch, some of the words have quite different meaning (e.g.“ir”(and) in Lithuanian means “is” in Latvian. So in Lithuanian “Romeo ir Džuljeta” (Romeo and Juliet), read in Latvian means “Romeo is Juliet” – quite confusing!
  4. 4. DID YOU KNOW? Latvians probably have been living in Turkey? Which is justified by having the similar names of towns in Latvia and Turkey  (Kemer – Ķemeri/ Kekova – Ķekava) and that Turkish people have been living in Latvia? We have 2 villages called Turki (translated “Turkish”)
  5. 5. DID YOU KNOW? Both Riga and Bucharest are sometimes called “Little Paris” because of their architecture RIGA BUCHAREST
  6. 6. DID YOU KNOW? That several of “traditional” Latvian food items are the same as traditional German food – Sauerkraut, pork, sausages etc.
  7. 7. DID YOU KNOW? Latvians must be ancient Italians, otherwise why we would greet each other with “Čau” (ciao)
  8. 8. DID YOU KNOW? Like Bulgaria has Golden sands resort, Latvia has a lot of sand in Jurmala resort. And by the way - houses here are as expensive as in Monaco
  9. 9. DID YOU KNOW? Latvia like Spain was a colonial country. Part of Latvia –Duchy of Courland – had colonies in South America - Tobago Island and in Africa – an island in the delta of river Gambia
  10. 10. DID YOU KNOW? About 90% of Slovenian territory is about 300 metres above the sea level unlikely 90% of Latvia’s territory is lower than 300 metres above the sea level GAIZIŅŠ TRIGLAV
  11. 11. DID YOU KNOW? Latvians have some crazy traditions:  We go crazy on summer solstice on June 24. Towns get empty. Everyone jumps into car and disappears into country side where we drink a lot of beer, jump over fireplace, sing, go swimming naked and “look for the flower of fern”
  12. 12. DID YOU KNOW? We are passionate to pick up wild mushrooms. On a sunny autumn weekend you could find more people in the forest than on the main street of town. We even have championships on “mushrooming” at night
  13. 13. DID YOU KNOW?  Maybe the craziest tradition by it’s name is “Cemetery festivities”, events that gather relatives from all over country at the graves of their parents, relatives.  Latvians perhaps are the only nation on earth who finish phone conversation in 3 languages: Labi – davai – čau (labi – давай – ciao)
  14. 14. DID YOU KNOW?  We are pagans in our hearts. We do not celebrate Christmas but Winter festivity (Ziemassvētki), no Easter instead - Bigdays (Lieldienas). Our holy animals are adder and toad and on autumn nights we used to lay tables for the spirits of our ancestors
  15. 15. Do’s in communication with Latvian  We love signed papers.  Most of Latvians speak Russian and English, some also speak German, French and Spanish  We are peaceful nation. We had “Singing revolution” and “Umbrella revolution”
  16. 16. Do’s in communication with Latvian  Using email is quite common with us, and we even respond to emails   We are serious about food. Let us eat in quite. It’s been thought to us since childhood: “When I am eating, I am deaf and mute”. By the way - food left on a dish might be perceived as disrespect to the hostess  Be patient. It takes time to become friends with us.
  17. 17. Do’s in communication with Latvian  Latvia is a very small nation, it usually takes only 2 persons to know to arrange a meeting with a President  Don’t be surprised facing a young blonde women leading a large company or ministry, you should take her seriously and communicate as equal.
  18. 18. Don’ts in communication with a Latvian Do not expect wild emotions in a public event. To your question: “Do you have any questions”, you might hear a total silence. But absolute opposite you will see on a hockey game – Latvian fans are the loudest and numerous on any play with our team participation (at the same time – no hooligans!)
  19. 19. Don’ts in communication with a Latvian  Even at the best event, meal etc. we will find some “BUT ...” It’s because we love to be so critical.  Don’t be surprised that not so many Latvians use Facebook, we have our own (and typically for us - it is accessible only with invitations)
  20. 20. Don’ts in communication with a Latvian  Don’t try to speak with us Russian when we are abroad, many Latvians might act like they don’t understand you  It is a mistake to perceive Baltic countries as one entity. We are all very different from each other.
  21. 21. Don’ts in communication with a Latvian  When speaking to a Latvian, don’t come too close. We need private large space. It comes from our traditional lifestyle – living in homesteads not in villages.  Don’t be surprised that a typical Latvian would not know its neighbour in multi-storey house.