Since my Latvian Dad Zigurds Rudolf Ozolins passed away in 2012, it has made me want to meet more Latvians and maintain my connection with my Latvian roots.
I was raised with an Australian Mum and Latvian Dad, a product of an era where most kids come from a melting pot of nationalities.
I never learnt much Latvian, it was too hard for my Dad to teach me, so he said every time I pestered him to.
I have worn latvian rings, the amber ones, plaited ones and the jingly ones.
I have eaten latvian food, pierugs and apple cake, and kransky sausages, viennas, sauekraut, rye bread, latvian liverwurst, dill gherkins and lots of good soups.
I made decorative easter eggs, by boiling eggs and painting them at easter time; then displaying them proudly in a basket on the table.
I know about names day, I think mine is August 8, but I am not sure, as I have never celebrated it. I love the idea of another reason for a party based purely on your name!
I have a love for birch trees and love to spot them on my travels; knowing they grow so well in Latvia, and this was my Dads favourite tree.
The other day on a train travelling to Germany, I met a Latvian lady who offered me a slice of rye bread, particularly special as it had come from Riga that very morning. The sweet, dense, aromatic bread was incredible, and reminded me strongly of my Dad and his love for good rye bread.
I would really like to make more latvian friends and connect more to more roots. This is a call out for other Latvians! Come and like my blog and send me a message!
I am in the process of writing a historical biography of my Dads life. I will trace his steps from when he was born in Riga to when he was displaced post war era and emigrated to Australia with his Mum as a teenager, to how he lived his life in Australia; from my perspective as his daughter.
I plan to publish it both in Australia and Latvia with colourful illustrations creating an art work and masterpiece I can be proud of, in honour of my amazing, loving and courageous Father and proud Latvian.
I invite you to connect with me and join me on my journey.
What does it mean to be Latvian for you? Please share your stories with me.
The meaning of my name is ‘A little oak tree’.