May 13 will become "State Language Day" next year

On Tuesday, March 5, the Cabinet of Ministers supported the Ministry of Justice's proposal to add a new day to the official calendar to honor the Latvian language.

As a result, May 13 is in line to become "State language day" once amendments to the Law "On Celebration, Remembrance and Celebration Days" are approved by Saeima. 

State language day will be "dedicated to honoring the richness and development of the Latvian language, while also reflecting the importance of Latvian language status in Latvia." 

Accompanying notes drawn up by the Ministry of Justice say "One of the most important things that can unite us is the state language, which would serve not only as a common communication, but also as a means of understanding all the people of the country, regardless of their nationality, native language and religion."

The May 13 date was chosen as it is was the birthday of Juris Alunāns, regarded as one of the fathers of modern Latvian. It will be sandwiched between Europe Day (May 9) and International Family Day (May 15) on the official calendar. 

The bill will still be reviewed by the Saeima, but it is expected to enter into force on 1 July 2019. Therefore May 13, 2020 will likely be the first time it is marked.

If this has got you in the mood for a bit of Latvian language learning, we would remind you of the recent launch of an online learning tool for beginners. 

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