Start page / Events / 2020

Livonian Language Week — A Great Success!

Gundega Blumberga, director “Līvõ kultūr sidām” (Livonian Culture Institute)


A Livonian language lesson organised by the University of Latvia Livonian Institute turned out to be only one part of a rich, diverse, and abundant series of Livonian language events, which took place this week in honour of International Mother Language Day.

This week appealed to different facets of language popularisation: science, leisure, and the practical. Livonian could be heard all week long on the Radio Latvia programme “Kultūras rondo” (Culture rondeau) thanks to the cooperation between journalist and poet Toms Treibergs and poet and linguist Valts Ernštreits. This included a poem dedicated to the Rīga Livonians read by Valts Ernštreits in Livonian, a recording of Pētõr Kīnkamäg’s poem “Sindi rānda” (Native shore), Pētõr Damberg singing the song “Tšītšōrlinkizt” (Tweeting birds), and a song composed by Ulla Fraser about the Livonian Coast as well as stories about the Livonian flag, the bird-waking ritual, and other matters important to the Livonians.

The conference “Valoda sabiedrībā” (Language in Society), which commemorated the 147th anniversary of the birth of linguist Jānis Endzelīns and took place on February 20th and 21st, provided an opportunity to learn about the most recent scientific research on the Livonians. The UL Livonian Institute researchers gave the following presentations: Valts Ernštreits and Gunta Kļava “Lībiešu valoda lībiešu vēsturiskajā teritorijā: problēmas un iespējas” (The Livonian language in the historically Livonian-inhabited territories: Problems and opportunities), Uldis Balodis “Lībiešu valodas mācīšana: apsvērumi pedagoģisku materiālu izveidē” (Teaching Livonian: Considerations in creating new pedagogical materials), and Milda Dailidenaite “Trešās personas pavēles lībiešu un latviešu valodā” (Third-Person Imperative Forms in Livonian and Latvian).

On International Mother Language Day (21 February), it was possible to participate in a Livonian language lesson, which was broadcast live and organised by the University of Latvia Livonian Institute and included children from the Livonian Children’s and Youth Summer School “Mierlinkizt” and singers from the Salaspils mixed choir “Lōja”. This week-long celebration of Livonian language concluded on 23 February with the “Livonian Children’s and Youth Summer School Mierlinkizt Spring Activity”, which was organised by the UL Livonian Institute.

Livonian language week demonstrated the vitality of modern Livonian culture: a minimum of financial resources, while involving and utilising all available resources to the maximum extent possible along with a precise strategy and great success in achieving the intended goals.