Sunday, November 23, 2003

Latvian Folk Songs

Here is a bit of information about Latvian folk songs.

  • Please note that Latvia's president, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, is, not only a woman, but also a serious (early) contributor to the scholarly study of Latvian folk songs. Did anyone say Latvians are backward? Unintellectual? Male chauvinists? Well ... er, ...
  • The web page linked above states that "more than 1.2 million texts and 30,000 melodies have been identified."

    Latvians Learn Brazilian Portuguese

    Flash! Latvia ties Turkey in second match and moves on to next year's playoffs for the European Cup! (We're talking soccer here. Not American-style football. And that's a good thing -- since both Yale and Ohio State lost on November 22. But watch out for next year! [My university has no U.S.-style football team. So I must root for alien teams.])

    Actually: far more exciting (as far as Latvia goes): The quadrennial folk song festival in Riga. Did you know that Lithuania has the world's largest collection of folks songs, and Latvia, the second largest? (Second-largest is good enough for me.)

    Latvian was purely a spoken language -- a peasant's spoken language -- until the 19th century. Latvian and Lithuanian are loosely -- but only loosely -- related to the Finno-Ungric (& Estonian) language group.

  • I will do some fact-checking. If I have made any errors, this page will change -- in a day or two.