Latvia, located in the north of Europe, has recently attracted the attention of different sectors. As this is the case, people have also been doing some research on the characteristics of Latvians. Here is one of these studies we have done for you. And we’ve found out that there are some questions you shouldn’t ask Latvians. Even if you ask these questions, you will probably not face a reaction as the Latvian people are very friendly and understanding. However, it is a better option not to offend them by not asking these questions : )
We have gathered unique details you can learn about their culture and questions that should not be asked before going to Latvia.
1. Is Russian Your Native Language?
Latvia, like other countries in the region, has been under the influence of Soviet Russia for many years. This effect manifests itself in many areas. One of these areas is undoubtedly the language. The vast majority of Latvians can speak Russian. However, this does not mean that their native language is Russian. 
No nation accepts a language as their native language which does not belong to them. Because using the language of a different country as the official language will show that it is under the domination of that country. Latvians deny this. Latvia’s native language is Latvian and it does not certainly resemble Russian. It can only be said that it is somewhat similar to Lithuanian. So, never ask a Latvian the question “Is your mother language Russian?”
2. Why is Your Population So Few?
Latvia is a country that is not very big in general. The population of the country is about 2 million. This figure may seem less compared to many other countries. Moreover, given that almost all Latvians in the world live in their own country, it can be said that the number is low. However, Latvia is a very advantageous country especially for entrepreneurs in terms of its economic potential and trained manpower.
There are different reasons for the low population of Latvia. The first of these reasons is the Second World War. During this war, Latvia lost about 12% of its population. Besides, about 200,000 Latvians were thrown into Soviet prisons. All this has caused Latvians to be sensitive about the population issue.
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3. Is Your History 100 Years Old?
Latvia officially declared its independence in 1918 and gained the status of a country for the first time. However, in 1940, it came under the auspices of the USSR and this situation continued until 1991. With the dissolution of Soviet Russia, it regained its independence.
Officially, the history of Latvia can be thought to be about 100 years old. However, the origins of Latvians are much older. Considering that the first Christmas tree was in this region in the 1500s, it would not be difficult to understand that they have existed in this land for hundreds of years. They have continued their lives in this region for many years. They have recently found the opportunity to become a country. Therefore please keep in mind that the history of Latvia is not just 100 years old.
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4. Don’t You Have Any Famous Festivals?
Latvia’s location and its low population compared to other countries create serious disadvantages in terms of recognition. One of them is that people think Latvia has no cultural events and festivals. Although this is a common idea today, it is not true. Latvia has wonderful festivals unique to itself.
One of the most important characteristics of Latvians is that they love to sing and dance. There is even a special festival for this. Latvian Song and Dance Festival are held once in five years. People from all over the country come to this traditional festival. The number of participants is usually more than 40,000. 
Another important event in Latvia is the Festival of the Dead.  Yes, you haven’t misread it. Religious beliefs are the basis of this festival. On a certain day of the year, people go to the cemeteries and visit their relatives there. Thus, the new generation gets to know their relatives. This festival, which commemorates the lost ones, is held on a different week in each cemetery. Thanks to this situation, people can visit more than one cemetery during the festival.
5. Is It Rational to Invest in Latvia?
Latvia’s low population and not being well-known may suggest that it may also be weak in terms of investment. However, this situation is completely wrong. Latvia is one of the few countries in the world for entrepreneurship. Internet speed is extremely high.  Those who invest here do not have any problems in terms of trained manpower.
In Latvia, which is one of the few countries in the world in terms of investment feasibility, different incentives are given to investors. Investors who meet certain conditions can get a residence permit. Apart from that, there are also great incentives regarding the tax issue. Being very close to EU countries and Russia shows that there will be no market problems. In short, Latvia is one of the most logical options to be preferred for investment.
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Igors Krumins continues his activities as a commercial and international lawyer within the body of “Jurmala Invest”. He has more than 10 years of experience, especially in the investment sector, and has provided consultancy services to numerous companies with his legal expertise. He successfully completed his undergraduate studies at Baltic International Academy and graduate studies at Latvijas Universitate. Apart from his native Latvian language, he can also speak Russian and English fluently.