NOVEMBER 2014:

ALJA Kongress Seattle ALYA logo

IN SEATTLE WA: From Wednesday, Nov. 26 (evening) until Sunday, Nov. 30 - Annual Congress of the American Latvian Youth Association (ALYA) in Seattle, WA. For information visit: www.SeattleKongress.org and www.alja.org. Follow the event "ALJAs Kongress Sietlā" on Facebook: Facebook.

DECEMBER 2014:

Christmas Market Daugavas Vanagi Emblem

Saturday, Dec. 6, from 12:00 to 17:00 - (Daugavas) Vanadzes Christmas market at the DV House. Get started on your Christmas shopping, enjoy a traditional Latvian lunch over a few drinks in a relaxed & informal atmosphere, and get to know your fellow New York Latvians. This is the place to get your Latvian gifts: jewelry, ceramics, books, cards, calendars, ginger bread cookies, and holiday foods: Christmas sausage, pīrāgi, honey, breads of various kinds. An extensive selection of food products imported from Latvia will be available including Laima chocolates.
The New York DV clubroom awaits you!! Downstairs is a cozy clubroom, with old-style wood paneling, a fireplace - which we will stoke up - a bar and little tables for you to sit and enjoy lunch. The bar will be serving Latvian beer - Aldaris in several varieties. Lunch will be available with many Latvian style goodies on the menu, such as sausages, sauerkraut, blood sausage, cranberry relish and more. All are invited. Stay a while, the bar will stay open for some time after 5PM.
For more information contact the NY Vanadzes chapter president: Marīja Maher.
The DV House has a parking lot and is accessible from Manhattan, Brooklyn and elsewhere by Subway lines: 4 Subway 4, D Subway D, 1 Subway 1, A Subway A, and via Metro North Railroad from Grand Central Terminal. Details and a map are on the DV House page.
Visit the page "Daugavas Vanagi Latvian Assn New York" on Facebook: Facebook.

Latvian flag within barbed wire

Sunday, Dec. 7 -Remembrance Day for Victims of the 1937-1938 Genocide against Latvians living in Russia. In 1998 the Parliament of Latvia designated the first Sunday in December as a day to honor Latvians living in Russia (formerly the Soviet Union) who suffered under Stalin's terror of 1937-1938. These Latvians had settled in Russia in the time of Czarist rule prior to 1914 or during World War I, when the front lines straddled Latvia's territory and many Latvians came to Russia as refugees, but did not return to Latvia after it bacame independent. (See also March 25, June 14 and July 4.)

Christmas market Long Island

Sunday, Dec. 7 at 10:30 - Church services followed by the annual Christmas market, at the Long Island Church. There will be a lunch and Latvian food will be offered for sale including: piparkūkas, rudzu maize, dzeltenmaize, pīrādziņi, putraimu desas, pelēkie zirņus, gotiņas, Laima chocolates, Jāņu cheese, and other delicacies. There will also be books and handicrafts for sale. All are invited. For more information write Ilze Beinikis.

Ziemassvetku Eglite

Saturday, Dec. 13, at ??:00 - The Bronx (Yonkers) and New Jersey Latvian schools' joint "Eglīte" (Christmas celebration) at the Yonkers Church. Program presented by Latvian school pupils, a visit by Santa Claus, and holiday lunch with refreshments.
Visit the page "Jonkeru Latviešu Pamatskola" on Facebook Facebookand www.NJSkola.org.

Advent Concert 2014

Sunday, Dec. 14 at 10:00 - New York Latvian Concert Choir's Advent concert at the Yonkers Church. An invocation will precede the concert. Program: Ilona Rupaine „Dievmātes liliju dārzs” premier performance; Ingmārs Zemzaris „Imanuel, Tu Augstais Dievs”; Valdis Zilveris „Zvaigžņu gaismā”; Kārlis Lācis „Ziemassvētku kantāte”. Performers: Soloists; The New York Latvian Concert Choir and The Bronx Chamber Ensemble; Andrejs Jansons & Laura Padega Zamura conductors. After the concert, everyone is invited to enjoy the Advent brunch. Admission $25.- includes the concert and brunch, children under 13 - Free. You will be able to purchase Christmas gifts including the choir’s CD’s and other selections from vendors, including: Latvian bread, pīragi, baked goods!
Organized by the New York Latvian Concert Choir, Inc. Supported by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). Invite your friends and acquaintances! For information: visit www.nylatvianconcertchoir.org, write Aija Pelše, call tel: (516) 433-4137. Visit the page "New York Latvian Concert Choir" on Facebook: Facebook.

Seafarers and International House Ziemassvetku Eglite

Saturday, Dec. 20 at 14:00 - Christmas Church service in Manhattan, in the chapel of the Seafarers & International House, 123 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003. A Christmas celebration "Eglīte" will follow in the community rooms at Seafarer's. For directions to the Seafarers & International House visit: www.sihnyc.org. All are invited to attend this church service, organized by the Latvian. Ev. Luth. Church of New York - Inner City Region. For information about services and events held by the NY Latvian congregation in Yonkers, Long Island, New Jersey and elsewhere, please visit www.NYDraudze.org. Any questions? - Write Andrejs Lazda, or call him at tel. (646) 228-1184.

Christmas church services of the Latvian Ev. Luth. Congregation of New York

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, Dec. 24, at 18:00 - Christmas Eve Church services, at the Yonkers Church, and at the Long Island Church.

Thursday, Dec. 25, at 11:00 - Christmas Day Church services, at the East Orange Church. Services will be followed by socializing over refreshments and pīrāgi.

JANUARY 2015:

Latvian riflemen's badge

Tuesday Jan. 6 - Epiphany and Latvian Riflemen's Remembrance Day. The Latvian Riflemen (in Latvian: "Latviešu strēlnieki", Russian: "Латышские стрелки") were originally a military formation of the Czarist Russian Army assembled starting 1915 in Latvia in order to defend Baltic territories against the Imperial German Army in World War I. Initially the battalions were formed by volunteers, and from 1916 by conscription among the Latvian population. A total of about 40,000 troops were drafted into the Latvian Riflemen Division. From 1915 to 1917, the Latvian Riflemen fought in the Russian army against the Germans in positions along the Daugava river. In 1916 Latvian battalions were transformed to regiments as conscription started among the local population. In December 1916 and January 1917, the Latvian riflemen suffered heavy casualties in the month-long Christmas Battles, which began with a surprise attack on German positions during Christmas. Suffering heavy casualties, Latvian riflemen managed to break the German line of defence but the effort was wasted as the attack was not followed through. Since 1924 (except during the time of Latvia's occupation from 1940 to 1991) Latvians have commemorated the December-January battles on Epiphany. (From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latvian_Riflemen and www.barikadopedija.lv/raksti/793588.)

Yonkers church

Sunday, Jan. 11, at 10:00 - Church service followed by the (annual) Informative Meeting of the congregation's Northern region (Ziemeļu novads) of the Latvian. Ev. Luth Church of NY, at the Yonkers Church. Everyone interested in learning more about the work of the church's Northern region committee and the Latvian Ev. Luth. Church of NY is welcome to attend. Visit: www.NYDraudze.org.
Visit the Yonkers Latvian church page "Latvian Ev. Lutheran Church of New York Yonkers" on Facebook: Facebook.

St Andrew Lutheran Church, Parsippany NJ

Sunday, Jan. 11, at 13:30 - Church service followed by the (annual) Informative Meeting of the congregation's New Jersey region (Ņudžersijas novads) of the Latvian Ev. Luth. Church of New York, at St Andrew Lutheran Church, 335 Reynolds Avenue, Parisippany, NJ 07054. Everyone interested in learning more about the work of the church's New Jersey region committee and the Latvian Ev. Luth. Church of NY is welcome to attend. See www.NYDraudze.org. For directions visit the St Andrew site: www.ELCAAndy.org.
Visit the page "NJ Novads" on Facebook Facebook.

Latvia flag

Tuesday Jan. 20 - Remembrance Day for the Defenders of the Barricades in 1991. After establishing a pro-independence government in Latvia in May 1990, the Soviet government in Moscow increased pressure to block Latvia’s peaceful mass movement toward freedom. In January 1991 the Soviet Union mobilized its security forces in an attempt to remove Latvia’s elected leaders. In response, people from all over Latvia brought trucks, tractors, and heavy equipment to Rīga to build barricades around the government buildings and parliament. The face-off culminated on January 20th when Soviet special forces initiated a gun battle and temporarily seized the Ministry of the Interior. Although several people were killed, the barricades held and pro-democracy forces prevailed to restore full independence in August 1991. (From the Latvian Institute www.li.lv.)

Sunday, Jan. 25 at 10:00 - Church services, followed, at 11:30 by the annual NY Latvian Culture Days program, at the Yonkers Church. Program information will follow. Event organized by the Council of American Latvian Organizations of NY. For information write Baibai Pinnis or call (917) 270-4786.

LNOG

Sunday, Jan. 25, at 15:00 - Annual Meeting of the Latvian National Opera Guild (LNOG), at the Yonkers Church. (Immediately following the NY Latvian Cultural Days - see above event.) For information about the Guild visit: www.lnogasv.org.

Latvia flag

Monday, Jan. 26 - International (de jure) Recognition of the Republic of Latvia. This remembrance day was a holiday in pre-World War II Latvia. It marks the day in 1921 when the Council of the newly formed League of Nations decided to formally recognize Latvia as an independent country. The United States of America formally recognized Estonia's, Latvia's and Lithuania's independence on July 28, 1922. After the forces of the Soviet Union occupied Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in June of 1940 and annexed them to the USSR in August of the same year, most countries, including the USA, continued, at least symbolically, to recognize the Baltic States as independent nations, thus denying legitimacy to these forcible and illegal acts.

Draudzīgais Aicinajums

Wednesday, Jan. 28 - "Draudzīgais aicinājums" ("The Friendly Appeal") Day. In 1935 Latvia's prime-minister Kārlis Ulmanis, on his name's day, issued the first annual "Draudzīgais aicinājums" charitable appeal for the benefit of Latvia's schools. Everyone was urged to remember the school of their childhood by donating to it books, works of art and money for the school's funds. Under Soviet occupation this campaign was banned but in exile Latvians continued to observe it. In 1994 the "Draudzīgā aicinājuma" appeal was revived in a Latvia which is once again free.

FEBRUARY 2015:

SuperBowl XLIX Super Bowl Party - Yonkers Church

Sunday, Feb. 1, starting after 17:00 - Super Bowl Party, at the Yonkers Church. Admission $20 (children under 16: free), which includes watching the Super Bowl on a big screen with projected TV, food, soda, wine and beer. Proceeds will benefit the work of the congregation's Northern region and the upkeep of the Yonkers church. All are welcome to join us. You don't have to be a sports fanatic or even understand American football to enjoy yourself at the party. But if you never learned what a "first down" is, and would like to know, then you should read: www.nfl.com/rulebook/BeginnersGuideToFootball. More detailed articles about various aspects of the game may be found at: www.nfl.com/rulebook. Whichever two teams that make it to the Super Bowl will play at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ, home of the Arizona Cardinals and kick-off time is approximately 18:30 EST. The singer - song writer Katy Perry will perform at half-time. The party is organized by the NY Latvian Church - Northern Committee.
Visit the Yonkers Latvian church page "Latvian Ev. Lutheran Church of New York Yonkers" on Facebook: Facebook.

Yonkers church

Sunday, Feb. 8, at 11:00 - Church service followed by the Annual Meeting of the Latvian Ev. Luth. Church of New York, at the Yonkers Church. Everyone interested in learning more about the work of the Latvian Ev. Luth. Church of NY is welcome to attend. See www.NYDraudze.org.

Lithuania's national flag

Monday, February 16 - Lithuania's Independence Day (1918).
For information on events please visit: www.nylithuanian.org.

Estonia's national flag

Tuesday, February 24 - Estonia's Independence Day (1918), "Elagu Eesti!"
For information on events please visit: www.estonianhousenewyork.com.

MARCH 2015:

col. Oskars Kalpaks

Sunday, Mar. 1, at 10:00 - Church services in memory of the Col. Oskars Kalpaks Battalion and Students Company who fought in the war for Latvian Independence (1918-1921). Procession by Latvian student fraternities and sororities at the Yonkers Church. Program information to follow. A reception will follow with hors d'oeuvres provided by the Latvian Sororities Group of New York. All are invited. Organized by the Latvian Fraternities Group of New York and the Daugavas Vanagi chapter of New York. For information contact Vilnis Vīksne, gers! tel. (718) 220-8191.

Sākās Vasaras laiks

Daylight Savings Time begins at 2 am Mar. 8
- set your clocks one hour ahead!

In Latvia Daylight Savings (or "Summer") Time begins the last Sunday in March.

Pankūku brokastis Jonkeros

Sunday, Mar. 15, at 10:00 - Church services followed by the annual Pancake Breakfast at the Yonkers Church. Program information will be forthcoming. Proceeds will benefit the work of the Latvian Ev. Luth. Church of NY. All are invited. Organized by the NY Latvian Church's Northern region Ladies Aid.
Visit the Yonkers Latvian church page "Latvian Ev. Lutheran Church of New York Yonkers" on Facebook: Facebook.

Latvian flag within barbed wire

Wednesday, Mar. 25 - National Day of Mourning in remembrance of tens of thousands of Latvians deported on this day in 1949 from their homeland to prison camps in Siberia by occupying Soviet forces. (See also June 14, July 4 and the first Sunday in December.)

APRIL 2015:

Valsts Akademiskais Koris

Thursday, Apr. 9, at ??:00 - Concert by the State Academic Choir "Latvija" in honor of Latvia's Presidency of the Council of the European Union, at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall. Program and information to follow.

Sunday, Apr. 12, at ??:00 - Concert by Deacon Linda Sniedze Taggart - Dolcimer, at St Andrew Lutheran Church, 335 Reynolds Avenue, Parisippany, NJ 07054. Program and information to follow.

Baptist Church of the Redeemer Yonkers 1912

Sunday, Apr. 19, at 10:00 - Church services followed by a presentation by Marģers Pinnis about the History of the Yonkers Church Edifice and its Secrets, at the Yonkers Church.
Visit the Yonkers Latvian church page "Latvian Ev. Lutheran Church of New York Yonkers" on Facebook: Facebook.

MAY 2015:

ALA  logo

(LOCATION TO BE ANNOUNCED): From Friday, May 1 until Sunday, May 3 - The American Latvian Association's (ALA) annual congress, . For information visit www.alausa.org.

Daugavas Vanagi Emblem

IN GAŖEZERS, MI: From Friday May 29 to Sunday May 31 - Daugavas Vanagi USA annual Delegates Meeting & Vanadzes meeting,. For more information, please visit: www.DaugavasVanagi.org.

End of the Latvian & Baltic events calendar

Appeals, notices and news

Latvia's Radio 1 2a gs latvietis

A half-hour long radio program (in Latvian) about Latvians living abroad is broadcast Sundays at 13:00 (Latvia time).

Starting Nov. 11, 2012, Sundays at 13:00 (Latvia time) Latvijas Radio 1 broadcasts a half-hour long program "21.gs.latvietis" ("The 21st century Latvian") featuring interviews on various topics with Latvians who, for various reasons choose to live outside their homeland.

For a description (in Latvian) and list of past broadcasts visit:
 http://lr1.latvijasradio.lv/lv/lr1/raidijumi/21.-gadsimta-latvietis.

For all archived programs visit: http://LR1.LatvijasRadio.lv then choose "Arhīvs", then in the field "Atslēgvārds" (Keyword) type: "21. gadsimta latvietis" and click on "Meklēt" (Search). A list of archived programs giving date of broadcast and topic will be displayed. Click on "Ķlausīties" to listen.
Latvian Passport

As of Oct. 1, 2013, many Latvians abroad are allowed to hold dual citizenship.

Until now, Latvia's laws did not permit Latvian citizens to simultaneously be citizens of another country. In the years following the restoration of Latvia's independence in 1991, an exception was made to allow Latvian citizens in exile, and their descendents, who had acquired the citizenship of their countries of residence, to reclaim their right to Latvian citizenship without renouncing the citizenship of their home countries. But to take advantage of this exception one had to reclaim the right to Latvian citizenship by mid 1995. In the case of minors, their parents had to apply on their behalf. After 1995 this opportunity was no longer available.

On May 9, 2013 the Latvian Saeima (Parliament) adopted changes, effective October 1, 2013, to the laws to allow dual citizenship and most Latvians living in the USA and other countries may be eligible to apply for and receive Latvian citizenship while retaining other citizenship they may hold.

The following information is posted here as a public service and in order to interest those who may be eligible to take advantage of this opportunity, but please note that only information received directly from government sources may be considered authoritative. Please contact the Consular Department of the Embassy of Latvia in Washington DC to get the latest instructions before proceeding with any application. Visit www.latvia-usa.org.

Information from the EMBASSY OF LATVIA

INFORMATION REGARDING THE PROCESS OF REQUESTING LATVIA CITIZENSHIP AS OF OCTOBER 1, 2013

In order to request Latvian citizenship you first need to select one of the categories which justifies your eligibility for citizenship because different rules apply for each category: 

1. Exiles (those who were forced to leave Latvia between June 17, 1940 and May 4, 1990 due to foreign occupation) and their descendants who were born (and will have been born) by October 1, 2014 Latvia citizenship can be requested by those who were citizens of Latvia on June 17, 1940 and whofled occupation and left Latvia between June 17, 1940 and May 4, 1990, and for this reason did not return to Latvia, as well as their descendants, who will be born by October 1, 2014. Dual citizenship is allowed with any other country! 

2. At the time of your birth at least one of your parents was a citizen of Latvia In this case dual citizenship is allowed for those who are citizens of the member states of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), NATO or if you are a citizen of Australia, Brazil or New Zealand (children are eligible for dual citizenship with any country, but at age 25 will have to make a choice). 

3. You are an ethnic Latvian or Liv In requesting citizenship based on your ethnic origin you will be required to pass a language exam in Latvia. You are allowed to maintain dual citizenship with any other country! 

List of documents which must be submitted: 

1. Application letter with a request to grant you Latvian citizenship (form will be available on the Embassy of Latvia website) 

2. An identifying document (passport or other ID) 

3. Birth certificate (for those born in the U.S. the birth certificate must be certified with an Apostille authentication from the state in which the document was issued) 

4. Marriage certificate or divorce decree (U.S. issued documents must have an Apostille authentication) 

5. Birth certificates of children (for those born in the U.S. the birth certificate must have an Apostille) 

6. Documents that support your eligibility for citizenship (see below) 

7. Fee for the processing of documents. 

Documents that prove your eligibility for citizenship as an exile or as a descendent of an exile: 

1. The exile’s passport from Latvia’s first period of independence or other document that affirms citizenship of Latvia on June 17, 1940. 

2. A written statement that theperson fled Latvia to escape occupation (information on what this statement will requirewill be on the Embassy of Latvia website) 

3. Descendants of exiles must provide documents confirming their relationship to the exile. 

Documents which prove your eligibility of acquiring citizenship based on the fact that at the time of your birth, one of your parents was a citizen of Latvia: 

1. A document proving that citizenship of the country which does not allow dual citizenship has been renounced (children under the age of 18 do not have to renounce the citizenship of another country) 

2. A document proving that you are not a citizen of another country. This document must be submitted only by those who are requesting citizenship based on being a Latvian citizen on June 17, 1940 or their descendants. 

Documents that confirm the eligibility of acquiring citizenship based on ethnic origin: 

1. Document that confirms your ancestor’s place of residence in Latvia’s territory between 1881 and June 17, 1940. 

2. Documents proving your relationship to this ancestor 

3. Documents confirming your ethnic background (if you cannot prove yours, then documents confirming that of your parents or grandparents, for example, passports, birth/marriage certificates etc.) 

4. Document confirming that you have passed the language examination in Latvia. 

Documents can be submitted in person to the Embassy of Latvia in Washington, D.C. or can be mailed to the Embassy. Submitted documents must be originals or authenticated copies of documents. Documents issued by the U.S. must have an Apostille authentication. 

The Embassy will make copies of the originals and send the originals back to you. The fee for the return of documents via the U.S. Postal Service registered mail is $10.00; for return by Federal Express: $30.00(money order only, made out to the „Embassy of Latvia.”). If you submit copies of documents, they must first be notarized; second, they must have an Apostille affixed by the Office of the Secretary of State. Documents should be sent to: Embassy of Latvia, 2306 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC 20008. 

Your citizenship application and supporting documents will be forwarded to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs in Latvia, which is the authority responsible for citizenship matters. Your documents will be processed in: one month for children of citizens of Latvia; in 4 months for exiles, in one year for ethnic Latvians and Livs. In case all necessary documents have not been submitted in their entirety, the process of granting citizenship can be extended. 

For additional questions please see the Embassy of Latvia website: www.latvia-usa.org. Taking into account the large number of inquiries regarding the acquisition of Latvian citizenship, we are advising that responses to questions submitted by e-mail may take longer than usual. 

This information was prepared on September 19, 2013 and may change once regulations issued by the Cabinet of Ministershave been approved!!!

Information from the CONSULATE OF LATVIA IN NEW YORK

Since our last email update we have received some updated information from the Embassy in Washington D.C. that could be of interest to you.  There have also been some changes to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs website links that now include information in English for those who need it. Please read on below this quick update from the Embassy in D.C.

Due to large numbers of inquiries regarding dual citizenship received at the Latvian Embassy, at this time we are sending out only general information regarding who is eligible for the dual citizenship and guidelines for the application process.

More information is available at the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs website:
www.pmlp.gov.lv/en/home/citizenship/registration-if-citizenship/

If you submit documents to the Embassy, you have to include a money order for 60 USD (payable to the Embassy of Latvia) - the fee for document forwarding to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.

Add to your money order 10 USD for mailing back your original documents with USPS certified mail or 30 USD - for Federal Express.

CITIZENSHIP
www.pmlp.gov.lv/en/home/citizenship/

ADMISSIBILITY OF DUAL CITIZENSHIP
www.pmlp.gov.lv/en/home/citizenship/dual-citizenship/admissibility-of-dual-citizenship.html

REGISTRATION OF CITIZENSHIP
www.pmlp.gov.lv/en/home/citizenship/registration-if-citizenship/

EMBASSY OF LATVIA TO THE UNITED STATES – Consular Section
www.mfa.gov.lv/en/usa/consular/

Please note, the Consulate of Latvia in New York cannot process any applications or approve any official documents for citizenship applications. This is all handled by the Embassy in D.C.

Consulate of Latvia in New York
Mr. Daris G. Delins - Honorary Consul
Tel: 1-646-230-0590
Fax: 1-646-230-0591
E-mail: info@latvia-newyork.org
Home page: www.latvia-newyork.org