An interview with Valts Ernštreits in the newspaper “NRA”.
The UL Livonian Institute director spoke with the newspaper “NRA” about the Livonians and Latvians as well as about various historical events, which brought about changes in the traditional Livonian way of life, about the Livonian identity, and about the opportunities available to every nation and language in the world today.
The interview is available here.
The international conference “Livonica 2019. Livonian language, history, and culture” took place at the University of Latvia Livonian Institute on August 26–27, 2019. This is the first time it has been organised at the University of Latvia. The conference was opened by the University of Latvia rector Indriķis Muižnieks and its participants included specialists in Finno-Ugrian and Livonian studies from around the world with their work focusing on a wide range of different fields: linguistics, history, archaeology, ethnology, culture, etc. A Livonian cultural programme focusing on Livonian poetry and music, which was specially created and dedicated to this important event at the University of Latvia Livonian Institute, took place at 19:00 on the evening of August 26, the first day of the conference.
The “Livonica 2019” conference is one of the events included in the programme for the UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages (2019) and was also dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the University of Latvia and the first anniversary of the UL Livonian Institute.
The conference programme and photos from the conference can be found here.
The Institute visits Livonian Coast entrepreneurs.
Institute researcher Gunta Kļava and local historian Baiba Šuvcāne met with owners of businesses on the Livonian Coast to understand how elements of Livonian culture were being used in business for the purpose of encouraging and developing tourism.
Institute director Valts Ernštreits participated in the Kurzeme Librarians Summer School “The Library – a place for sound, harmony, and mood” (Bibliotēka – vieta skaņai, atskaņai un noskaņai) and spoke to the summer school participants about the Livonians and the Livonian heritage of Kurzeme.
The Institute director participated in the conversation about the Livonians in Irē (Mazirbe) organised by the Saturday History School in the Professor Dreifelds Conference Room.
The Estonian culture newspaper “Sirp” on the Livonians and the Livonian Institute.
The Estonian newspaper “Sirp” publishes an article about the major events in Livonian life during the last year and also about the UL Livonian Institute.
The Livonian Festival in Irē (Mazirbe).
In 2019, the annual Livonian Festival took place over the course of two days. The president of the Republic of Latvia, Egils Levits, affirmed the important place of the Livonians in Latvia by speaking to festival attendees as well as meeting with representatives from the Livonian Union, local governments, and the UL Livonian Institute. For more information on this event click here.
The newspaper “Sestdiena” published a conversation with UL Livonian Institute researcher Uldis Balodis about the reasons the Livonians are interesting, why Livonian language and culture is important for Latvia and the world, what factors are significant for every person’s identity, and other topics.
The UL Livonian Institute participated in Livonian Culture Day, which took place on the first day (August 2nd) of the Livonian Festival. The programme included presentations and discussions about recent events in the Livonian cultural space relating to language, literature, art, and music.
The Minister of Culture of the Republic of Estonia Tõnis Lukas also was present at Livonian Culture Day and distributed certificates of appreciation from the ministry, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Livonian Community House, to thanks those who have worked for many years in support of Livonian language, history, and culture. More about this here.
The UL Livonian Institute director participated and led a field trip for the participants of the Livonian children’s and youth camp “Mierlinkizt” through the Livonian villages visiting individuals and locations of historical but also present significance in the Livonian cultural space in Irē (Mazirbe), Slītere, Vaid (Vaide), Kūolka (Kolka), and Pitrõg (Pitrags).
The Institute teaches participants of the Livonian children’s and youth summer camp “Mierlinkizt” about Livonian heritage.
The UL Livonian Institute led a four-hour long programme at the Livonian Community House where the Livonian children’s and youth summer camp participants learned about Livonian heritage (culture, history, language) and its significance, participated in a panel game about various topics relating to the Livonians, tried to identify evidence of Livonian influence in Latvian, and created their own Livonian CVs.
A conversation with Valts Ernštreits on “Kultūras Rondo” about the Livonian Festival and the UL Livonian Institute.
Institute director Valts Ernštreits spoke on the Latvian Radio 1 programme “Kultūras Rondo” about the Livonian Festival as well as the work that the UL Livonian Institute has already done and also hopes to do in the future.
This conversation can be heard here.
A lecture about Livonian culture, language, and heritage at the programme organised by the Latvian Language Agency for teachers from the Latvian diaspora community.
Institute director Valts Ernštreits spoke about Livonian language, history, and heritage in Latvia as part of the courses organised by the Latvian Language Agency for teachers from schools in the Latvian diaspora community as well as Latvian language instructors from universities around the world.
The director of the UL Livonian Institute Valts Ernštreits participated in and led a trip to the Livonian Coast, which included representatives from the three local governments comprising the Livonian Coast as well as tourism agencies from this region. The purpose of this trip was to explore and understand the presence and role of Livonian heritage on the Livonian Coast.
Valts Ernštreits spoke about the Livonians as part of the conversation entitled “National Identity in Europe and Latvia” organised by the Saturday History School, which took place during the Lampa Conversation Festival.
The UL Livonian Institute visits its Nordic colleagues.
In June 2019, UL Livonian Institute director Valts Ernštreits visited the Institute’s Nordic cooperation partners – primarily Sámi and Kven culture activists and researchers – acquainting them with current work being done in researching, maintaining, and developing Livonian intangible cultural heritage, learning about their own experience in maintaining and developing elements of their cultural heritage as well as discussing shared hopes for the future.
More about this here.
Over the course of several weeks, the commission evaluating the final projects of the students graduating from the Art Academy of Latvia worked at the offices of the UL Livonian Institute. We are delighted that in addition to their active and careful work, the commission also had an opportunity to learn about Livonian research and art.
The museums of the University of Latvia as well as the UL Livonian Institute welcomed visitors on Museum Night. At the Institute, visitors had a chance to learn about Livonian history and culture and find answers to questions about the Livonian flag. Those who were most successful at finding the answers to these questions were rewarded with real Livonian money. More than 300 people visited the Institute on Museum Night.
The University of Latvia’s New Technologies and Innovations Day took place on May 17. The Livonian Institute participated in the “Knowledge agora” (Zināšanu agora) at the Research Ideas Marketplace. Valts Ernštreits talked about the use of technologies designed by the Livonian Institute for the study and development of so-called smaller languages.
On May 16, Valts Ernštreits brought colleagues from Estonia’s Kihnu Institute and Seto Institute to the Livonian Coast, in order to acquaint them with the Livonian cultural space.
The family festival “Forest Tales in Kangari” (Meža stāsti Kangaros) took place on May 11 in the Ropaži municipality nature preserve “Lielie Kangari”. UL Livonian Institute director Valts Ernštreits spoke about the Livonian linguistic heritage of Ropaži municipality at the festival.
Click here to read more.
University of Tartu students visit the Livonian Institute.
Students studying Livonian at the University of Tartu visited the Livonian Institute. The students got to know the Livonian Institute and then went on a walk to see the Livonian monuments and places of note in the centre of Rīga.
A visit to the Livonian Coast with journalists.
Livonian Institute director Valts Ernštreits participated in a trip with representatives of the media to the Livonian Coast, serving as a guide and telling all those in attendance about the Livonian Coast and Livonian cultural heritage.
Click here to read more.
“Language Day” at Edgars Kauliņš High School in Lielvārde.
“Language Day” took place on 17 April 2019 at Edgars Kauliņš High School in Lielvārde. Participants included Grade 5-8 and Grade 10-11 students. The UL Livonian Institute researchers gave an informative presentation and organised a contest for the students at the school.
Click here to read more.
The seminar “Why do the Livonians have their own institute?” presented as part of the UL Literature, Art, and Folklore Institute seminar series “The Poetry of Research” (Pētījuma poētika)
Livonian Institute director Valts Ernštreits presented the seminar “Why do the Livonians have their own institute?” (Kāpēc lībiešiem savs institūts?) at the UL Literature, Art, and Folklore Institute on 10 April 2019. He discussed the reasons the Livonian Institute was established, its work and plans for the future as well as the role of Livonian research in the advancement of scientific work in Latvia.
Click here to read more.
The Cibla folklore group “Ilža” releases a CD with songs in the Lutsi language.
The Cibla folklore group “Ilža” released a new CD with songs in the Lutsi (also called the Ludza Estonian) language. The text about the Lutsis included with the CD was written by UL Livonian Institute researcher Uldis Balodis.
The waking of the birds flash mob takes place for a second year in a row.
On March 23, the waking of the birds flash mob – Waking of the Birds Day (Lielā putnu modināšanas diena) – was organised by the Livonian Culture Centre for already the second year in a row.
The students of the UL Baltic Sea Region Studies Master’s degree programme visit the Livonian Institute.
The students of the UL Baltic Sea Region Studies Master’s degree programme visited the Livonian Institute on 20 March 2019 and listened to Institute director Valts Ernštreits give a lecture on Livonian history, culture, and language.
A professional development conference in Kuldīga for teachers of history, Latvian language and literature from Latvian state educational institutions.
On 15 March 2019 at the Kuldīga Technology and Tourism Technical School, Livonian Institute director Valts Ernštreits spoke about Livonian history, language, and culture at a professional development conference for teachers of history, Latvian language and literature from Latvian state educational institutions.
Click here to read more.
An exhibit of the art of Baiba Damberga at the Livonian Institute.
On 8 March 2019, an exhibit of the art of Baiba Damberga entitled “me and other me’s” (es un citi es) was unveiled at the Livonian Institute. The exhibit can be viewed at the Institute’s offices, which are located at Kronvalda bulvāris 4-220.
Click here to read more about the exhibit.
The Livonian Institute commemorates the 110th anniversary of Pētõr Damberg’s birth.
On 8 March 2019, a commemoration – “We have our course” (Mums ir savs gājums) – of the 110th anniversary of the birth of the excellent Livonian culture worker, language teacher, poet, and language consultant Pētõr Damberg (Pēteris Dambergs). Those who had known Damberg in life shared their memories of him and an exhibit of artist Baiba Damberga’s work was unveiled. This work included a portrait of Pētõr Damberg and its permanent home will now be the Livonian Institute. Poetry written by Damberg, which included works in both Livonian and Latvian, as well as works written by others in tribute to Damberg were also read. Songs using Pētõr Damberg’s lyrics were performed by the Salaspils mixed choir “Lōja” led by its director Ģirts Gailītis.
A seminar in Ventspils and Kūolka on future steps for UNESCO recognition of the Livonian cultural space
A seminar took place on March 7th in Ventspils and March 9th in Kūolka (Kolka), on the inclusion of the Livonian cultural space into the Latvian National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage and the further steps towards its inclusion in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. UL Livonian Institute director Valts Ernštreits gave a presentation on the journey of the “Livonian Cultural Space” (Lībiešu kultūrtelpa) application from its inception to its acceptance as well as future plans.
Click here to read more.
The opening conference of the state research programme “Latvian language”.
The opening conference of the Latvian state research programme “Latvian language” (Latviešu valoda) took place on 7 March 2019 in the Small Hall of the University of Latvia. The UL Livonian Institute participated in this conference and spoke about its sub-project “Livonian language” (Lībiešu valoda) and associated plans and events. The programme director is Prof. Ina Druviete.
Click here to read more.
A celebration at the University of Tartu for the release of the special issue of the journal ESUKA/JEFUL devoted to the Livonians.
The celebration for the release at the end of 2018 of the special issue of the international Estonian and Finno-Ugrian linguistics journal ESUKA/JEFUL devoted to the Livonians occurred on March 4 at the University of Tartu on the birthday of University of Tartu professor emeritus and esteemed Livonian language researcher Tiit-Rein Viitso. This issue is dedicated to Prof. Viitso in honour of his birthday.
This journal issue was published with the support of the University of Latvia and contains articles authored by the researchers of the Livonian Institute.
Students at Rūjiena High School learn about the Livonians and the Livonian language.
On 28 February 2019, Livonian Institute director Valts Ernštreits gave an informational presentation about Livonian language, culture, and history to students at Rūjiena High School (grades 8, 10, 11).
For more information on this event and also student comments click here.
“The Livonians today and tomorrow” – a seminar presented by the Fenno-Ugria Association in Tallinn.
On 27 February 2019 at the Institute of the Estonian Language in Tallinn, the Fenno-Ugria Association organised a seminar about new developments relating to the Livonian language and the UL Livonian Institute. Livonian Institute director Valts Ernštreits spoke during the seminar.
International Mother Language Day at the Ādaži Waldorf School.
On 26 February 2019, the Ādaži Waldorf School commemorated International Mother Language Day with a focus on Livonian language and culture. At the event, researchers from the UL Livonian Institute told the participants – students from the Ādaži Waldorf School, Brocēni High School, Zvejniekciems High School, Saulkrasti High School, and the Rīga State German Grammar School – about Livonian language and culture, while also organising several competitions and helping to select winners.
Photographs from the event. Photo: U. Krūmiņa.
The University of Latvia 77th International Scientific Conference “Grammar and language standardisation”.
On 14 February 2019, the general linguistics conference “Grammar and language standardisation” (Gramatika un valodas normēšana) organised by the Department of Latvian and Baltic Studies took place at the University of Latvia Faculty of Humanities. UL Livonian Institute director Valts Ernštreits gave an address at the conference entitled “The use of information technology for the dynamic standardisation of Livonian during the grammar-writing process” (Informācijas tehnoloģiju izmantošana lībiešu valodas dinamiskai normēšanai gramatikas tapšanas procesā). The conference was organised as part of the Latvian state research programme “Latvian language”.
A special issue of the journal ESUKA/JEFUL entitled “Livonian studies III” is published.
February saw the publication of the third special issue published by the Estonian and Finno-Ugrian linguistics journal ESUKA/JEFUL devoted specifically to Livonian topics. Its editors were University of Latvia Livonian Institute director Valts Ernštreits and University of Tartu professor Karl Pajusalu. This journal issue was published thanks to the financial support of the University of Latvia and contains 12 articles in English with summaries in Estonian and Livonian. It is included in the Scopus, DOAJ, and other databases. Researchers from Latvia published in this issue include Uldis Balodis, Renāte Blumberga, Ina Druviete, Valts Ernštreits, Gunta Kļava, and Baiba Šuvcāne.
The journal can be accessed for free here.
The International Workshop on Computational Linguistics for Uralic Languages 2019 at the University of Tartu.
On 7–8 January 2019, the Fifth International Workshop on Computational Linguistics for Uralic Languages (IWCLUL) 2019 took place at the University of Tartu. In his presentation “Electronical Resources for Livonian”, UL Livonian Institute director Valts Ernštreits talked about the resources that exist for Livonian in this domain.
The conference materials are available here.
UNESCO declares 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages.
On 8 January 2019, the UNESCO Latvian National Commission announced the United Nations decision to declare 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL). UNESCO in Latvia invites everyone to participate in commemorating this year by organising events and activities relating to Livonian and the indigenous languages of other nations. The IYIL was officially opened at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 28 January 2019.