Latvian Language Agency. Mana valoda ir mans gods. My Language: A Matter of Honour for Me. Ma langue est mon honneur. Rīga: Talsu Printing House, 2010, 98 lpp. ISBN 978-9934-8076-8-8
During the European Language Days event in 2008, the Latvian Language Agency organised, for the first time, a competition for children attending Latvian schools. Children from the 1st to the 4th grade were asked to produce drawings on the basis of the theme “O, my fatherland, how nice you are!”, while students from the 5th to the 12th grade were invited to write an essay on the subject “My Language: A Matter of Honour for Me.”
The drawings and essays which students contributed demonstrate respect, thanks and love for their land and their country – Latvia. This collection offers a look at excerpts from the best essays, presented in Latvian, English and French, as well as some of the most expressive drawings that were contributed by the children.
“Our native language – the Latvian language – has always been closely alongside others, such as German, Russian, Ukrainian, English, Polish and Lithuanian. It has always been threatened, but it has survived. It has been loved and hated, scorned and honoured, used and banned, but it has forever been a component of the nation’s soul. A back bent in servitude sometimes hurts, but ours is a nation which, if nothing else is possible, sings and speaks out. And then the rest of the world listens and hears in amazement. No one will take away our souls, even if we are scattered around in Ireland, in England, in Spain. We listen to the voice of our hearts, and we all have our native language.”
These thoughts came from students in the 12th grade at the Valka Gymnasium. The Latvian Language Agency joins in what they wrote, dedicating this collection to the Latvian language – the state language of the Republic of Latvia and one of the languages of the European Union.