Etiquette in Latvia

The Republic of Latvia is a nation of 2.2 million people, located in the Baltic Region of Northern Europe.

The sole official language is Latvian. Russian was widely spoken during the Soviet era and remains the most prevalent minority language today.

Latvia is a unitary parliamentary republic and a member of the European Union.

Christianity is the most prevalent religion, with followers of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia, Roman Catholic, and Russian Orthodox faith, however less than 10% of the population regularly attends church services.

The Lats, abbreviated Ls, is the official currency of Lativa, although the nation is scheduled to switch to Euros in early 2014.

Gift Giving Etiquette

In Latvia, gifts are exchanged between family and close friends for Christmas, birthdays and other special life events. The expense of the gift is not as important and the meaning behind it.  It is more important to buy something that shows you have thought about the recipient. Gifts are usually opened when received.

If invited to someone’s home, chocolates, imported liquor, fruit, or flowers are appropriate hostess gifts. Note that when giving flowers, it should be in odd numbers. Even numbers of flowers are given when someone is in mourning. You should also skip red roses as they are traditionally used at funerals.