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Latvian - Russian relations?

Just out of curiosity, is there any tension between Latvians and Russians today?

I only ask because my grandfather was Latvian (he came to Canada in 1951) and my uncle is always sarcastically talking about how "Russians were his favourite people".

Perhaps I have multiple questions then!:

A) Would it ever be wrong to mention to Russians that my ancestry is Latvian?

B) Is "Akis" is typical Latvian last name, and would it be spelt with accents?

2 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    First of all it kinda depends on whether those are Russians of Russia or those of Latvia. My guess is that Russians living in Russia don't really know much about Latvians and thus don't have any special feelings towards them.

    The Latvians and Russians living in Latvia, on the other hand, have had some hate between them. Although actually, the average Latvian and the average Russian get along just fine. Some trouble starts when radical youth (of either side) or stubborn old folks are involved.

    The main cause of any tension between the 2 ethnicities is history. Both sides have, let's say, extremely different opinions on the events after WW2 (the occupation of Latvia by USSR). I'd say it's fully understandable why Russians wouldn't agree that there has been an occupation, because that would pretty much mean that they are living in Latvia, well, quite illegally. It's also understandable why Latvians insist on Russians accepting the history, because, well, it can be fairly irritating when someone who has been living in this land for more than 20 years, still doesn't know a word in the country's language.

    The language factor is quite a big deal actually. Although all the Russians I study with (about 20 such folks) speak Latvian well enough, there are some stubborn people who just wouldn't say a word in Latvian even if they knew the language. As of now there are 2 official petition signings going on to initiate 2 different referendums - one to teach only in Latvian in government funded schools, and other to make Russian the 2nd official language. I expect both these petitions to fail to gather the necessary amount of signatures.

    It is true, however, that most of those people who emigrated from Latvia before or soon after the occupation and those who stayed, but suffered from great deal of repressions hate Russians from their very heart. My uncle who emigrated to Canada still gets quite angry if someone dares to say something positive about Russians in his presence.

    A) Would it ever be wrong to mention to Russians that my ancestry is Latvian?

    No, I don't see a way how that could possibly cause you any trouble, unless in some statistically exceptional situation.

    B) Is "Akis" is typical Latvian last name, and would it be spelt with accents?

    It is most probably "Āķis" - hook.

    Here's how it would be pronounced:

    http://translate.google.com/#lv|en|%C4%81%C4%B7iss...

    Had to add extra ''s'', otherwise it swallows the ending.

  • ?
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    That’s the irony of the entire argument. They recommend “controlling” weapons on the rate of the conventional regulation abiding citizen, yet they themselves are above the regulation. not in straight forward terms are they exempt for the regulations they pass, they're all afforded armed secure practices. They in my opinion do not want weapons for self protection, because of the fact they have a private military assigned to guard them.

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