Mantinieki and Latve are singing in Chicago, but Northern voices are playing in Tartu / LR2 / / Latvijas Radio

Mantinieki and Latve are singing in Chicago, but Northern voices are playing in Tartu / LR2 / / Latvijas Radio
Mantinieki and Latve are singing in Chicago, but Northern voices are playing in Tartu / LR2 / / Latvijas Radio

It’s the second Sunday of May, when we celebrate Mother’s Day in Latvia, so “Latvians in the world” sends the dearest greetings and the closest hugs to all mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers and godmothers! Mother’s Day is celebrated on different dates in different countries, mothers are also celebrated in Estonia on the second Sunday of May, but, for example, in Lithuania – on the first Sunday of May. The tradition of Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May began in 1908 in the USA, when Sunday school teacher Anna Rees Jarvis from West Virginia held a church service in honor of her mother.

“Latvians in the World” also went to Estonia on Mother’s Day, but the reason will be different – a nice reunion with Estonian Latvian choir “Northern Voices” and their conductor is expected Matis Briedi. Next weekend they invite you to a concert in Tartu St. John’s Church “Heat. Hope. Light.”. Its purpose is to provide support to Ukraine and collect donations to provide hot meals to Ukrainian soldiers at the front and deliver special, self-heating food packets. Quite unusual – the concert will feature songs not only in Latvian, Estonian, but also in Lithuanian. Because it turns out that the choristers were so excited about the Song Festival in Riga last summer that they decided to apply for this summer’s Lithuanian Song Festival in Vilnius as well. The singers of the holiday repertoire studied diligently all year, earned praise and the opportunity to join the great Lithuanian Song Festival Choir as the only Latvian choir!

The fact that the Song Festival is a special event, where you can enjoy not only the power of being together, but also create new friendships, was confirmed by the guests of “Latvies in the World” – the leader of the Riga dance collective “Latve” Sarma Freiberg and a dancer Rein Sauer. Last summer, the LR2 Song Festival studio “Latve” met the Chicago Folk Dance Group “Mantinieki”. Fatefully – later the acquaintance continued, because it turned out that during the dance rehearsals at the Daugava Stadium, both collectives danced the same dances, moreover, they did it next to each other, but the friendship was strengthened in the evenings after the rehearsals, when they visited a tavern together. The holidays are over, but distance is not an obstacle, and “Latve” recently returned from a visit to Chicago. The joint concert of “Mantinieku” and “Latves” with the symbolic name “I grew two ears” was completely sold out at the Estonian House of Chicago. As the participants explain – “From one stem, from one root, two spikes have grown – us! Yumītis does everything twice as well!”. Before the concert, I sweated a lot in rehearsals, but it was worth it, because the audience greeted each dance with applause and asked to repeat it. Honorary consul of Latvia in Illinois, Roberts Blumbergs, also expressed favorable words in his review:

“In my opinion, the concert was extremely successful and convincing.”

On the other hand, after the concert, everything continued with a joint, truly Latvian party and singing along with the legendary “Chicago Five” Armandas Birkens.

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