Latvian Union in Gothenburg

The Latvian Union in Gothenburg was founded on February 12, 1984, as a result of the uniting of several Latvian organisations. The Latvian Union in Gothenburg is an organisation for Latvians and their friends, mainly in West Sweden. Its aim is to promote the Latvian identity and unity and support the work of Latvian culture.   The tasks of the union are to gather information about the Latvians living in West Sweden, to organise their meetings during different events and to organise events for the preserving of Latvian identity and language.

The Latvian Union in Gothenburg is a branch of the Association of Latvians in Sweden. It has approx.150 members, including children at age from 7 to 18 years. The Latvian Union in Gothenburg manages the Board that consists of 11 people. The Chairman of the Latvian Union in Gothenburg is Elita Veide.


The Gothenburg Latvians already from the first years of exile actively united and were members in various organisations. Since 1945, when the number of citizens in the town was around 500, the Latvian parish worked, Sunday school, the choir was established, a theatre and a dance group. The political parties were established. There was hope of a return to an independent Latvia and it was essential to maintain the Latvian language, culture and national identity.

In later years were established sports association „Baltic”, Daugava Hawks Department, National Fund, Corporations’ Group and Pensioners Association „Aprūpe” (Care).

All the Gothenburg Latvian organisations cooperated in 18th November committee. In order to work better and to make use of all available resources and the Swedish law, as well as to attract funds from state and local governments, the Gothenburg Latvian organisations decided to unite and establish the Latvian Union in Gothenburg. Its foundation meeting was held on February 12, 1984. In the new society united 8 organisations and its founding documents signed the leaders of these organisations:

  • Folk dance group „Ritenītis” – Raimonds Cerbachs
  • Gothenburg Latvian Youth Union – Niki Lenkhusens
  • Gothenburg Latvian Sunday School – Arvīds Ristamecs
  • Daugava Hawks Gothenburg Department – Aleksandrs Kristsons
  • Latvian national Fund – Juris Sausiņš
  • Gothenburg Boras Latvian theatre – Juris Sausiņš
  • Pensioners Association „Aprūpe” – Vera Puķītis
  • Gothenburg Latvian Choir – Ilze Šakare

In the first Board of the Latvian Union in Gothenburg were elected Raimonds Cerbachs, Nora Dzalbi, Tomass Ķemme, Niki Lenkhusen, Laimdota Ristamecu, and Juris Sausiņš. Ilze Šakare was elected as a Chairman of the Union and she has led the union for many years and is still working in the Board.


The Latvian Union in Gothenburg for more than 30 years has been organising and supporting a series of cultural, educational and political events and cooperates with other organisations. The Latvian Union in Gothenburg already from its foundation has been organising the Latvian State Proclamation Day – November 18 celebrations.

With the start of working in 1984, the Latvian Union in Gothenburg held a number of important events – photo exhibition on Gothenburg Sunday School and Latvian theatre work’s 40 years, Baltic people evening with Estonians, supported organising of Laimdota’s Ristamecs folk costumes exhibition in several Gothenburg museums and publishing of the magazine „Laika Sprīdis” (Time Interval).

The new working phase began in 1990 – energy and resources were devoted to the Latvian State independency resumption and strengthening of cooperation between Latvia and Sweden.  In 1995 the Union participated in organising of the Latvian State President’s G.Ulmanis visit to Sweden. The Latvian Union in Gothenburg takes part also in the election process of the Republic of Latvia Saeima.

The Union makes and supports cultural exchange between Sweden and Latvia, receiving Latvian artists, cultural, scientific, educational, sports and political workers and organising events. In the Union’s organised events are always invited speakers and artists from Latvia.    With the support of the Latvian Union in Gothenburg the Gothenburg Latvian choir exists, which participates in both Latvian and Latvian Diaspora cultural events and in the Latvian Song Festivals. In the summer of 2015 the Gothenburg Latvian Choir participated in the European Latvian Culture festival in Brussels.

The Union supports also the Child Group activities, which takes place once a month, at the premises of the Latvian parish church in the Hague. During the classes meet Latvian children of various ages with different Latvian language skills. The aim of the activities is to spend time together, to learn Latvian language and learn something new, improving knowledge of Latvian culture. In the lessons together with children participate also their parents.

The Latvian Union in Gothenburg gathers together Latvians living around also in different social and ceremonious events.


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Chairman of the Latvian Union in Gothenburg Elita Veide

Information about activities for children:

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