Friday, November 22, 2013

Celebrating Latvian Independence Day in Greenville SC

For the second year in a row we’ve had the pleasure of hosting the South Carolina Latvians (and a few from North Carolina and Georgia!) to celebrate Latvia’s Independence Day. Where the previous year’s event was a bit hastily put together, this year’s fête was a good month in the making and all the bases were covered. The guests arrived bearing dishes to share and were soon snacking on homemade pīrāgi; we could have even had a taste-off, as two recipes were represented! The highlight was delicious smoked salmon and whitefish all the way from Atlanta Smokehouse Products in Marietta, GA; if you live in the Atlanta area I highly recommend this savory seafood for a special occasion, or even just dinner – delicious! (And for those elsewhere, they do ship...)
After a satisfying meal we turned our attention to the projector that Roberts had set up to broadcast the President of Latvia, Andris Bērziņš’ annual 18th of November address to Latvians living outside of Latvia. Short but eloquent, followed with the Latvian hymn and a toast to Latvia on its 95th birthday.
No Latvian party is complete without kliņģeris (the traditional Latvian saffron birthday bread) and a dessert spread, and we dove right in. With everything from Southern specialties like pumpkin cake and salted caramel-chocolate pecan pie, to a cherry-cream cake Kārumniece all the way from Latvia, by the time the last plate had been cleared we were all stuffed and sated.

With 37 of us (almost double the guests we had last year) we had a cozy celebration, and the kids had just as much fun as the adults, running around until far past their bedtimes. It seems that every year we discover more of “us” living here in the Upstate; this year we were joined by a Latvian and his wife that has been living here thirty years and thought he was the only one – “there are others!?”
I’m honored to have been able to host this gathering: an opportunity to celebrate our shared heritage, commemorate the 95th birthday of a country I so strongly identify with, and build on our own little corner of Latvia here in the Upstate. Sveiks svētkos!

Last year’s post on November 18th18. novembris Greenville

1 comment:

  1. Bonsoir Liene. Thank you for stopping by chez moi today. It was wonderful to hear from you. This has been a rough year for me, and I have fallen behind on keeping up with my favorite blogs, including yours. So happy to see you have made so many new friends in South Carolina. How perfect you all celebrate your beautiful country together. Good for you! Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)


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