Start of another school year in Latvia

Bags are being packed, shoes shined and flowers presented to teachers across Latvia September with the start of another school year on what is referred to as "Knowledge Day".

Social media was filled with well-wishes for students, particularly those starting their first day in the education system. 

Education and Science Minister Ilga Šuplinska led the way with a message that, interestingly, used greetings in Latvian, Latgalian and Livonian: "Labdien! Loba dīna! Jõvā pǟva!"

"Let this exciting energy, the joy of meeting up and being together, inspire you throughout the school year! We all have one goal - we want to be ourselves: strong, smart and sensitive - today, tomorrow and into Latvia's common future. So let's cheer each other up on a daily basis, when we meet in both the real world and the virtual world," she said.

President Egils Levits also had a message for students in which he underlined the connection between education, personal development and his very-regularly-referred-to concept of "valstsgriba", which loosely translates as "state will" and also happens to be his Twitter handle. In the accompanying picture he appears to be reading an English-language tome titled "Law and Anthropology". He is due to visit several schools on September 2.

Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš was concise simply wishing well to students, teachers and parents and wishing them success in reaching their goals. 

Meanwhile police were reminding motorists that the start of the school year should also provide a reminder to drive with extreme care near schools and particularly at pedestrian crossings. Parents too were urged to remind their children of the rules of the road and crossing protocol.

If you wonder what the first day of school in Latvia looks like, our colleagues at Latvian Radio even have a livestream from a school in Mārupe, a fast-growing suburb of Rīga.

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