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In Bauska, Chinese are learning Latvian - and vice versa

A total of 63 Chinese have bought properties in the Bauska region to obtain a residence permit, while in neighboring Iecava region the number of Asian investors sits at 28. Many of them are eager to pick up Latvian, Anita Rozentāle, editor-in-chief of Bauskas dzīve (Life in Bauska) daily told Latvian Radio Thursday.

Foreigners are learning Latvian, so they say, for many various reasons, but mostly so that they can integrate in the society and enter the job market.

Learning Latvian is also necessary to communicate with the locals and to help their children who are attending kindergarten learn Latvian. While one of the immigrants told Rozentāle that he's learning Latvian to pass the citizenship exam.

This autumn a study group of 14 people was formed by people who are paying for their studies and attend Latvian courses twice a week. According to them, Latvian is very difficult, but they are determined to power through an 8-month basic course in 4 months.

While in Bauska 2nd Middle School Nian Gong, who came here from China, is teaching schoolchildren his mother tongue. He started the study group on his own initiative, and is adored by his students.

"About ten people come to the lessons - they know that if there's such a chance they need to use it," said Rozentāle.

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