Gaŗezers high school examines exile experience

The Latvian exile experience will be the theme of this year’s Gaŗezers summer high school, which will be attended by 137 students from the United States, Canada, Latvia and Holland.

Principal Elise Freimane introduced the theme during the high school’s opening ceremony near Three Rivers, Mich.

Students need to learn the history of the Latvian exile, Freimane said, even if it’s debatable whether the exile is over now that Latvia is once again independent.

“We can’t escape that we are the children of the exile,” she told students.

In preparation for the summer, students were asked to interview a family member who could tell about the experience of exile, as well as to gather some material evidence.

The high school’s history lessons also will benefit from the effort of Gaŗezers students from the Washington, D.C., area. They organized a bake sale to help fund improvements to the high school’s history classroom. With assistance from the ladies’ committee of the Latvian Ev.-Lutheran Church of Washington, D.C., the students donated USD 1,500 to the high school.

A total of 32 students are expected to graduate from the six-week high school in August.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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