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Welcome to Latvia Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport.

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Presentation on theme: "Welcome to Latvia Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport."— Presentation transcript:

1 Welcome to Latvia Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

2 Latvia is located on the East coast of the Baltic Sea. It is the central country of the Baltic States. >< Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

3 >< Area 64,589 sq. km (twice the size of Belgium) Time zone: EET (UTC+2), EEST (UTC+3) Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

4 >< The name Latvia comes from the ancient Latgallians, one of four Indo – European Baltic tribes who formed the ethnic core of todays Latvian people. Latvia has one of the oldest flags in the world that dates back to the 13th century. Freedom Monument Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

5 >< The Republic of Latvia was founded on November 18, After a 50 years presence of Soviet and Nazi occupational powers ( ), Latvia declared independence in 1990 and regained full sovereignty in A mass demonstration for independence in 1991 Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

6 >< Latvia joined the United Nations in Latvia joined NATO and the European Union in President Andris Bērziņš and General Secretary of NATO Anders Fog Rasmusen Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

7 >< The State President is elected by the parliament (Saeima) for a four year term to be re-elected once. President of Latvia Andris Bērziņš Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

8 >< Presidents of Latvia Jānis Čakste (1922 – 1927) Gustavs Zemgals (1927 – 1930) Alberts Kviesis (1930 – 1936) Kārlis Ulmanis (1936 – 1940) Guntis Ulmanis (1993 – 1999) Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga (1999 – 2007) Valdis Zatlers (2007 – 2011) Andris Bērziņš (2011) Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

9 >< Constitution of 1922 (Satversme). Parliamentary democracy: One chamber parliament (Saeima) of 100 members; Proportional general elections for a four year term; General suffrage from 18 years, to be elected from 21 years. Saeima (The Parliament) Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

10 >< The official language is Latvian. Latvian is: A baltic language; A member of the Indo-European family of languages; A non-slavic and non-germanic language. Most common foreign languages are English, Russian and German. Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

11 >< National Economy and Export: Farming and Agricultural Production; Forestry, Woodworking; Logistics - Ports and Railways; Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industries; Culture, Creative Industries; Information and Communication Technologies; Electronical Engineering; Design and Fashion Industries. Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

12 >< 2003 – 2007Rapid economic growth, causing overheating of the economy. 2008Financial crisis, considerable drop in economy (25%) – 2011Stabilisation and revival of the financial system, return to growth. Riga Commercial Port Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

13 >< % drop of GDP; 18% unemployment; 30% cuts in salaries and staff % growth of GDP; 30% increase in exports; 11% unemployment; 9% growth of production; 20% increase of tourism. Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

14 >< Latvia is a busy transit corridor between Europe and Asia, at the crossroads of major East-West and North-South transport routes. Transport and transit trade account for 16 % of GDP. Main trade partners - Lithuania, Estonia, Russian Federation, Germany, Poland. Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

15 >< Rīga is the capital of Latvia: Founded in 1201; Home to residents – one third of Latvias population; Centre of finance and economy; Popular tourist destination well connected with other European cities; Diverse cultural and entertainment scene. Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

16 >< Rīga is the largest city in the Baltic States: Listed on UNESCO World Cultural Sites; Rigass Old town silhouette is a European Heritage Label site; Art Nouveau (Jugendstill) architectural capital of the world. House of Blackheads and St. Peters church Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

17 >< Daugavpils – population – 102, 870 (2011): The second largest city in Latvia; Centres in the thousand lake region of Latgale; American abstract expressionist Mark Rothko ( ) was born in Daugavpils. Daugavpils from above Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

18 >< Liepāja – population – 83, 061 (2011): The third largest city in Latvia (after Rīga and Daugavpils) and an important ice-free port; Known as the city where the wind is born; Latvias rock and roll capital; Site of a sprawling 18th century Tsarist naval port. The Square of Roses and University of Liepāja Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

19 >< Ventspils – population – 42, 734 (2010): Latviass largest and busiest ice-free port; Major transit point for oil products, liquid chemicals and mineral resources from Russia, Khazakstan, Ukraine and other Eurasian countries. Ventspils port Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

20 >< Kuldīga – population – 12, 706 (2011): The widest waterfall in Europe Ventas rumba and one of the longest brick bridges in Europe are the treasures of this city. Cēsis – population – 17, 873 (2011): One of Latvias oldest cities (1206) The Cēsis castle ruins is also used as an amphitheatre. Jūrmala – population – 55, 767 (2011): The largest resort city in the Baltic States, that is also well- known for its sand beaches and spas. Cēsis castle Roofs of Kuldīga Beach of Jūrmala Cēsis castle Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

21 >< Latvias population in 2011 was 2,229,641 people: Urban 68%, rural 32%; Latvians are the historical people of Latvia; Livs are the indigenous minority of Latvia. Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

22 >< The Latvian State guarantees free primary and secondary (high school) education. More than 90% of children attend state schools. The State finances ethnic minority schools or classes for Belorussian, Estonian, Hebrew, Lithuanian, Polish, Roma, Russian and Ukraininan children. Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

23 >< Latvia has 466 students for every inhabitants, one of the highest ratio in the world. Latvia has a long history of a vibrant academic life and about 60 higher education institutions. Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

24 >< 37 % of Latvians associate themselves with an organised religion. Latvias prevalent religion is Christianity. The largest groups in 2011 were: Roman Catholic, 37 %; Lutheran, 34 %; Eastern Orthodox, 27 %. Strong pre-Christian traditions prevail when celebrating Latvian seasonal holidays. Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

25 >< Latvian cultural heritage dates back well over a thousand years. Latvian traditions, costumes, decorative designs and world views are closely tied to the land and nature and are passed down from generation to generation. Alsunga dress from Kurzeme, 19th century Ancient Latgallian dresses of the 11th-12th centuries Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

26 >< For Latvians, the four most popular holidays are Christmas, New Years Eve, Easter and Jāņi. The celebration of the summer solstice, or Jāņi, is one of the oldest and most popular pre-Christian traditions in Latvia. The celebration of the summer solstice Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

27 >< For Latvians, singing is something that unifies: It has brought Latvians together as a nation, and led to the creation of the state; A singing revolution was instrumental in restoring independence in Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

28 >< The Song and Dance Celebration is a unique cultural phenomenon that has thrieved for 135 years: Included in UNESCO Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity list; More than 30,000 singers, dancers and musicians participated in the 2008 Song and Dance Celebration. Mežparks open-air stage with singers Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

29 >< Contemporary culture embraces a full spectrum of arts from classical to modern. Latvian creativity and talent manifests itself in all the arts: literature, painting, theatre, symphonic music, architecture, opera, ballet and film. Notable personalities: Pēteris Vasks, Ēriks Ešenvalds – composers; Mariss Jansons, Andris Nelsons, Ainārs Rubiķis – conductors; Inese Galante, Elīna Garanča, Maija Kovaļevska, Egils Siliņš, Sergejs Antoņenko, Inga Kalna – opera singers; Gidons Krēmers, Baiba Skride – violinists; Vestards Šimkus, Reinis Zariņš – pianists. The Latvian National Opera Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

30 >< The Latvian National Opera is recognised as one of the finest in Europe. The New Riga Theatre artistic director, Alvis Hermanis, has won global acclaim for his innovative productions. The pop group Brainstorm received the first ever MTV Europe Music award for the Best Baltic Act in Co-production animation film Les Triplettes de Belleville was nominated for two Oscar awards Oscar nominated film Chico & Rita, was animated in Latvia. E.Garanča in the opera Carmen The pop group Brainstorm E.Siliņš in the opera Carmen Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

31 >< Latvias rich architectural traditions thrive on imagination and innovation: Exquisite, centuries-old wooden buildings are complemented by examples of European Gothic, Baroque, Classicism and Art Nouveau architecture; More than 8500 objects have been listed as protected monuments. Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

32 >< While renovating the old, Latvia is boldly exploring the new: Modern building incorporate hi-tech styles and avante garde approaches in commercial and private residence structures throughout the country; Major projects of the 21st century are the Latvian National Library, the new Riga Concert Hall, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. National Library of Latvia Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

33 >< Latvia can truly be viewed as one huge nature park – white sandy beaches, green forests, clean air, water and soil, and an ecosystem barely touched by civilization: A place for tourists who seek to experience a land where nature and tradition have coexisted in harmony from time immemorial. Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

34 >< Lush forests cover nearly one half of Latvias teritory: The longest beach in Europe – 500 km of sandy coastline; lakes and rivers; Latvian rivers are the largest spawning ground for salmon in the Eastern Baltics. Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

35 >< Approximately species of flora and fauna have been registered in Latvia: The Wild Boar is a typical inhabitant of Latvian forests; Latvia has one of the largest white stork populations in the world. Wild BoarWhite Stork Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

36 >< Latvia is home for variety of species, including many extinct in other parts of Europe: 10% of the worlds black stork population nests in Latvia; Although endangered elsewhere, beavers and lynxes thrive in Latvia; Yes, there really are blue cows in Latvia! European Lynx Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

37 >< Ice Hockey and basketball, as well as bobsleigh and luge are extremely popular sports. The Latvian ice hockey team regularly plays in World Championships and the Olympics. Latvian professionals play in the NHL, KHL and NBA. Other popular sports stars: Māris Štrombergs – BMX driver, first ever Olympic BMX champion; Martins Dukurs – skeleton racer, Winter Olympics silver medalist, World and European champion Ernests Gulbis and Anastasija Sevastova – professional tennis players; Ineta Radēviča – athlete, European champion, World Championships bronze medalist. Skeletonist M.Dukurs Beach Volleyball players M.Pļaviņš and J.Šmēdiņš Athlete I.Radēviča Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

38 >< Latvians have successfully competed and won medals in the Olympics since 1924: 2 Silver and 1 Bronze medal in the 1932 and 1936 Olympics; 15 Gold, 22 Silver and 9 Bronze while performing for Soviet teams from 1956 until 1988; 2 Gold, 11 Silver and 4 Bronze since 1992; Afanasijs Kuzmins (shooting) has competed in 8 Olympic games; Māris Štrombergs is the first Olympic Champion in BMX (Beijing 2008). BMX rider M.Štrombergs Luge racers A.Šics and J.Šics Weightlifter V.Ščerbatihs Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

39 >< Where proud heritage is building a better future… Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport

40 < The Latvian Institute promotes knowledge about Latvia abroad. It produces publications in several Ianguages on many aspects of Latvia Photo credits: L.Balodis; Baltijas Koks archives, J.Bērziņš – Soms (magazine Sports archives), Cēsis Town Council archives, Daugavpils Tourism Information Centre archives, J.Deinats, A.Eglītis, JSC Grindeks archives; J.Krūmiņš (Press Department of the Presidents Chancery), Kuldīga Town Council archives, Liepāja Tourism Information Centre archives, Latvian National Opera archives; M.Kudrjavcevs, A.Liepiņš (Ministry of Defence of Latvia), LIAA archives; LU Press centre, The National Library of Latvia archives, A.Meiers, Parliamentary Chancellery archives, popgroup Brainstorm archives, I.Prēdelis, FIVB archives, A.Tenas (Fotocentrs), I.Urtāns; Ventspils Tourism Information Centre archives; The New Three Brothers archives; Z.Zālmanis (Latvian Olympic Committee), I.Znotiņš (Latvian Olympic Committee). For further information please contact the Latvian Embassy or Consulate in your country, or the Latvian Institute: Pils iela 21, Rīga, LV 1050, LATVIA Phone: Fax: Internet: Welcome to LatviaGeographyThe StatePoliticsLanguageEconomyCitiesPopulationEducationReligionCultureNatureSport


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