The Languages Of Freedom

A Daily Haiku inspired by how Latvians kept their traditions, language, and history alive througout the Russian occupation thanks to their songs.

The Languages Of Freedom

The Daily Haiku for April 7. The languages of freedom.

Songs, books, whispered tales,
the languages of freedom.
Hidden in plain sight.

When I lived in Riga, Latvia, I learned that during the USSR occupation, latvians kept their traditions alive through songs. Their language, culture, way of living, tales, and stories, were all told through songs. Their culture managed to survive the cultural cleansing imposed by the Soviet regime thanks to their songs.

During the soviet regime, education in Latvia was in Russian, and there was a strong censorship to everything related to Latvian traditions, costumes, and folklore. The Russian culture was imposed, and the USSR was not shy of moving entire populations of Russians into the other republics to "Russianify" them.

And even so, their culture survived thanks to songs which were there in plain sight. They were sang at houses, at school, in dances and community gatherings.

Freedom always finds its way through different languages, most of the times hidden in plain sight.