Latvian Centenary Celebrations
2018 marks 100 years since the proud Baltic nation of Latvia declared Independence and last weekend saw a series of festivities taking place in this southern most Latvian outpost.
Approximately 50 people traveled from across New Zealand to camp in this setting above Lyttelton Harbour. The weekend activities included a series of walks, treks, archery, farm park and sheep shearing, along with camp fires and story telling, and sharing a number of great meals and times together. The celebratory meal was preceded by the singing of the Latvian national anthem and around the campfire all told their stories and how their individual journeys had led them to this place. It was a wonderful weekend and eventually even the weather played its part and the view wowed them all.
It was very fitting for these celebrations to be held on this site as Living Springs has enjoyed a strong Latvian connection over the last ten years beginning with the arrival of Lina Leitane who initially came in 2008 as a volunteer for two weeks and after ten years is still strongly connected with the place. Since her arrival approximately 20 young Latvians have come for various periods of time and have added to the richness of our culture working either as staff or as volunteers and becoming a part of this community on a hill.
To see the Latvian flag flying against the backdrop of Lyttelton Harbour was an impressive sight – it looked like Fort Latvia taking a stand at its southern most outpost.