History Latvia proclaimed independence shortly after the end of World War I – on November 18, 1918 Soviet troops occupied the country on June 17, 1940 Nazi Germany occupied Latvia on July 7, 1941 Occupation of Latvia by Soviet Union 1944- 1945 On September 6, 1991 Latvian independence was once again recognised by the Soviet Union
Landmarks The Daugava – one of the most beautiful and symbolical rivers Freedom Monument – the symbol of Latvias independence and nationhood.
Old Riga – the heart of Riga The Latvian Song and Dance Festival is an important event in Latvian cultural and social life that takes place every 5 years in Riga. Includes about 30 000 participants..
Nature Latvia is located near the Baltic Sea The average temperature is 5.2 degrees The area of protected land is 19% There are 2 256 lakes larger than 1 ha
Traditions Easter - celebrating the day when Jesus resurrected from being dead Jāņi - the biggest national holiday, Midsummer`s Day. The celebration consists of a lot of traditional elements - eating Jāņu cheese, drinking beer, singing special Līgo songs.
Miķeļi - the holiday associated with the gods Miķelis and Jumis (September 22–September 24) Mārtiņi – celebrated on November 10, marking the end of the fall and the beginning of winter.
CELEBRITIES Raimonds Pauls - composer Laima Vaikule – singer Jānis Streičs – film director
Band Prāta Vētra(Brainstorm) In Eurovision 2000 got 3rd place http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekoI2dM8b5s Rēzija Kalniņa - actress Vija Artmane – actress
Sport Hockey:Dynamo Riga – the best and most popular hockey club in Latvia BMX cycling: Māris Štrombergs – the Olympic (2008) and the world champion (2008 and 2010)
Track and field: Ineta Radeviča – European champion in long jump (2010) Vadims Vasiļevskis - silver medalist of 2004 Summer Olympics in javelin throwing Ainars Kovals - silver medalist of 2008 Summer Olympics in javelin throwing Skeleton: Martins Dukurs – finished second at 2010 Winter Olympics, won the gold medal at the World Championship (2011) and the World Cup two times (2010 and 2011)
Luge: Mārtiņš Rubenis - won the bronze medal at 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin Juris Šics and Andris Šics - won the silver medal in the men's doubles event in Vancouver in 2010
Music Marija Naumova – Latvian pop singer, won 2002 Eurovision Song Contest http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4GOSw7v0N0 Vestards Šimkus – pianist, won many important awards in international piano competitions
Elīna Garanča - Latvian opera megastar (mezzo- soprano) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXs2VAfy4ew&feature=related
Problems Bad quality of roads Urbanization Unarranged system of eduacation