Traditional Songs and Dances Have Not Disappeared from Latvia
Art and culture have always been the avant-garde of any society (“Cultural”). The arts blaze trails in the human mind, while cultures help create new values. Both art and culture allow a society to grow and discover new horizons. However, many modern countries have forgotten their traditional cultural treasures such as music and dance. Luckily we cannot include Latvia in this group because traditional dance and music is a big part of Latvians’ lives, as shown by the popularity of the Latvian Song and Dance Festival.
Rubenis writes, “When culture has fulfilled its mission of innovation and enlightenment, when society has become five minutes, five grams or five millimeters different, it becomes heritage — a brick in the building of a nation's identity” (7). In order for you to understand how Latvians have so strongly retained their traditions, I am going to acquaint you with the Latvian Song and Dance Festival, which is in my opinion the most important Latvian cultural heritage. The Festival is a big part of all the traditions that have been created by Latvian inhabitants for hundreds of years and has proven to be stronger than time.
Latvians are very proud of their Song and Dance Festival. This significant event has been taking place since 1873 in the capital city Riga. In addition, statistics prove that 29.3% of all Latvian inhabitants associate Latvian culture with The Song and Dance Festival (“2008”). Each year it brings together thousands of the best singers and dancers from every region of Latvia, as well as a few visiting choirs, most of whom are from Europe. They all are dressed in folk costumes. The celebration always unites the Latvian nation, strengthening its national pride. The amazing spirit of celebration can be felt if you are a participant or just a part of the audience. The Song and Dance Festival has never lost its significance, and it still helps to maintain the ancient tradition of singing and dancing in Latvia.