Our Dear Latvia! Happy birthday!
The history of our country began even 9000 BC, ancient Baltic people arrived in the area during the second millennium BC. Our capital city Riga was founded in 1201 by Germans. It became a strategic trading centre and due to that Latvia was a point for conflict and conquest between huge powers like Teutonic Order, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Sweden, and Russian Empire.
By the end of the 19th century, Latvia had become one of the most developed parts of the Russian Empire. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Latvian National Political Conference of Riga asked for complete political autonomy. Latvia proclaimed independence on November 18, 1918, under the leadership of Kārlis Ulmanis. And now it`s been 100 years! Happy birthday, Latvia!
Latvia experienced a period of economic growth. One of the most significant achievements was the passage of an agrarian reform bill. But when World War II started in 1939, the fate of Latvia had already been decided. In 1940, Latvia was invaded and occupied by the Red Army, the formation of a new government was announced. More than 30 thousand Latvians, especially the intelligentsia, were sent to prison camps in Siberia.
During the German invasion of the USSR from 1941 to 1944, Latvia was a province of a larger Ostland, many Latvians were recruited into German military units, while about two-thirds of the country was still occupied by the Red Army.
An opposition emerged in 1988 and won the 1990 elections, a declaration to renew independence had passed. Soviet efforts to restore the earlier situation culminated in violent incidents in Riga in 1991, Latvian legislature declared full independence which was then recognized by the Soviet Union. Following independence, Latvia had quickly reoriented itself towards Western Europe and joined European Union in 2004. (Sources: Britannica.com, mfa.gov.lv)
Sea, pine-covered dunes, blue lakes, and vast forests. Ancient fortresses, magical architecture, and small villages that reveal Latvian deepest traditions and warm-hearted people. This is our country!
Thank you, our dear friends, for being a part of our greeting! Thank you all for being a part of our journey! You are the ones who give us that positive energy to go further, to reach higher, and to share our adventure with all the world! Thank you!