From 13 to 15 April, the first Latvian Family Days took place at the Latvian Centre. With fine weather the first evening got off to a good start with dinner together in the dining area in the nursery rooms and games to get to know each other. Later on, there was singing and music making with the Latvian kokle. In total, 45 children and adults participated in the weekend’s activities, with many staying over in the centre itself. The event was supported by the Lettische Gemeinschaft in Deutschland (Latvian Community in Germany).
Saturday got off to an energetic start with morning exercise, followed by breakfast and the day’s activities: ballroom dancing, Zumba, hip-hop, singing, folklore, theatre and candle pouring. In addition, special guest linguistics PhD student Laura Ritenberga-Kindere, researching how Latvian is maintained within the German diaspora, led a discussion about the challenges of raising multi-lingual children and gave parents good advice as to how they can promote speaking Latvian at home. This lead to a lively and humorous discussion between parents afterwards, as they exchanged their respective experiences. The evening was rounded off in convivial style with an open-air barbecue complete with marshmallows, as well as traditional folk dancing to the lively tunes of the scratch band late into the evening.
The last day passed with more singing, dancing and acting before everyone gathered in the main hall for an informal concert, putting together what had been learnt over the last two days. This was even recorded live on Facebook and liked over 300 times. This was followed by the film “My grandfather more dangerous than a computer”, with financial support from the Latvian Foreign Office. The director and scriptwriter Varis Brasla and Alvis Lapiņš made a special appearance and led a Q&A session at the end of the film, discussing the film’s themes as well as the film-making process, which included hilarious casting interviews.
Author: Daina Auzins