Latgalian language to appear on roadsigns in Rēzekne municipality

During the last meeting of the eastern Latvian Rēzekne Municipality Council, its members decided to set up road signs in both the Latvian and regional Latgalian language, Latvian Radio reported on June 18.

The issue of the Latgalian language's widespread use and appearance in the public environment was raised last year at the Latgale Congress by President Egils Levits. "I believe that the Latgalian language must be present in Latgale, visualizing and marking the Latgalian cultural space, which is a special component of the Latvian cultural space. Therefore, the Latgalian language must become more visible and more widely used in Latgale and elsewhere in Latvia," Levits said at the time.

Some municipalities have already introduced signage in both Latvian and Latgalian.

The existing road signs “Rēzekne municipality” are scheduled to be replaced this year.  Such a decision was taken on the basis of the Historical Latvian Lands Law, which provides for the preservation of the Latgalian identity, including through the use of local names in Latgalian. The municipality hopes to place the first sign on Rēzekne Municipality Day on July 22.

Member of Rezekne municipality council and one of the initiators of the idea Guntis Rasims explains: “We concluded that some of the signs that are now in place are either folded, tattered, or nonexistent. Consequently, it was a good opportunity to restore them. [..] At least two local governments, i.e. the municipalities of Balvi and Preiļi, have already shown an example – they have placed signage in Latvian literary and Latgalian languages. [..] It seems to me that over 10 years ago, the first ideas appeared that such signs could be placed in both languages. There are different aspects of both political and human consciousness, why it cannot always be introduced very quickly.”

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