Language – the core value of a nation
One of the core values underlying citizenship, nationality, and the feeling of affiliation with a nation is language. For us, it is the Latvian language. To pay special tribute to the Latvian language as the sole state language in Latvia, President Egils Levits has suggested that we celebrate a State Language Day on this October 15 and every year and add it to the calendar of holidays, remembrance, and celebration days. This date was not chosen arbitrarily. On October 15, 1998, Article 4 was added to the Satversme as a constitutional value of the state: “The state language in the Republic of Latvia is the Latvian language.”
In anticipation of the State Language Day, the Latvian Language Agency encourages the population to join the campaign “What the Latvian language means to me is…”.
Any Latvian language user can participate in the campaign by submitting their answers to the question posed in the campaign via the website vards.valoda.lv. Everyone is invited to express their thoughts and insights on the Latvian language, by finishing the statement “What the Latvian language means to me is…”. In this way, we will gather a set of thoughts and insights from the users of the Latvian language, which will reflect our values, habits, and attitude towards using the Latvian language in everyday situations and fields such as education, culture, science, defense, health, and many other areas.
We begin the campaign by sharing the thoughts of the Minister of Education and Science Anita Muižniece and the Director of the Latvian Language Agency Jānis Valdmanis on the importance of the state language within society.
The campaign will take place from September 6 to October 15, 2021 – until the State Language Day –, and we will collect these personal accounts and stories until November 18, the birthday of the Republic of Latvia.
May the Latvian language be our home, where we feel understood, belonging, and participatory!