“Tautiešu mēnesis 2006,” two weeks of activities aimed at informing Latvians at home and abroad about each other, kicked off Sept. 1 with the announcement in Rīga of the 12 winners of a children’s drawing and youth writing competition.
The competition, with a theme of “Ceļš uz mājām – tuvs vai tāls?…” (The Way Home: Near or Far?), began several months ago in Latvian communities abroad. Community organizations and ethnic schools ran local competitions in drawing, for children ages 3-10, and in writing, for youth ages 11-17. The competition was sponsored by the Secretariat of the Special Assignments Minister for Social Integration and by the World Federation of Free Latvians.
Winners of the writing and drawing competition are Maiga Benke, 12, of Russia; Māra Bredovska, 15, of Canada; Kārlis Daenke, 11, of Australia; Elizabete Kolbjera, 7, of Sweden; Paula Leite, 7, of Ireland; Artjoms Muhins, 8, of Russia; Nadīne Ozoliņa, 9, of the Netherlands; Sigruna Sārta, 6, of Belgium; Anna Eglīte Soerensen, 9, of Denmark; Ariana Ule, 11, of the United States; Alma Ulmane, 10, of Belgium, and Laima Ziedars, 14, of Australia.
They were congratulated by Ilze Stobova, an advisor to Prime Minister Aigars Kalvītis; Integration Minister Karina Pētersone; Kristīne Vāgnere, director of the secretariat, and Jānis Kukainis, chairman of the World Federation of Free Latvians.
The competition winners and their parents are participating in a number of cultural activities and excursions, including visits to the open air ethnographic museum in Rīga and to Sigulda, Turaide and Līgatne. The winners’ work was scheduled to be exhibited on Sept. 2.
Other highlights of “Tautiešu mēnesis” include a conference for Latvian youth, “Mēs – latvieši pasaulē,” which runs from Sept. 3-6; a forum for leaders of Latvian community organizations abroad from Sept. 7-10; presentation of the findings of a research project on Latvians abroad on Sept. 7; and a cultural program from Sept. 11-13. The activities conclude with the annual meeting of the World Federation of Free Latvians from Sept. 13-15.
Winners of the writing and drawing competition met Sept. 1 in Rīga with Integration Minister Karina Pētersone. Pictured in the first row are, left to right, Kārlis Daenke, 11, of Australia; Anna Eglīte Soerensen, 9, of Denmark; Paula Leite, 7, of Ireland; Artjoms Muhins, 8, of Russia; Sigruna Sārta, 6, of Belgium; Elizabete Kolbjera, 7, of Sweden; Integration Minister Karina Pētersone, and Alma Ulmane, 10, of Belgium. In the second row is Nadīne Ozoliņa, 9, of the Netherlands. In the third row, left to right, are Māra Bredovska, 15, of Canada; Ariana Ule, 11, of the United States; Laima Ziedars, 14, of Australia, and Maiga Benke, 12, of Russia. (Photo by Inga Kundziņa, AFI)
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