My Latvian Heritage
What It Is
spoken language was Latvian.
My parents had
been driven out of their childhood homes in Latvia by World War II. They met in England, after the war, and
immigrated to Canada shortly after I was born. I grew up in the city of Toronto, actively involved in the sizable
Latvian community there. I spoke Latvian at home, at church, and during the summers on Latvian country properties.
I sang in Latvian choirs, danced in a Latvian folk dancing troupe, attended a Friday evening Latvian high school
and wrote my first significant poetry in Latvian.
Though I left
Toronto and my involvement with the Latvian community after I finished high school, the Latvian heritage did not
leave me. The songs and ideas of the world that I formed in the early years of my life continued to weave
themselves through my days like good supportive companions.
translated some of the songs that were special to me into English and written some stories about my childhood
experiences among the Latvian community.