This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages) .mw-parser-output .hidden-begin{box-sizing:border-box;width:100%;padding:5px;border:none;font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .hidden-title{font-weight:bold;line-height:1.6;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .hidden-content{text-align:left}You can help expand this article with text translated from the corresponding article in Finnish. (April 2022) Click [show] for important translation instructions. View a machine-translated version of the Finnish article. Machine translation, like DeepL or Google Translate, is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing Finnish Wikipedia article at [[:fi:Latvialaiset]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|fi|Latvialaiset)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation. You can help expand this article with text translated from the corresponding article in Latvian. (April 2022) Click [show] for important translation instructions. View a machine-translated version of the Latvian article. Machine translation, like DeepL or Google Translate, is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing Latvian Wikipedia article at [[:lv:Latvieši]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|lv|Latvieši)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation. (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Latvians
latvieši
Total population
c. 1.7 million[1]
Regions with significant populations
 Latvia 1,187,891 (2021)[2][3]
Other significant population centers:
 United Kingdom124,000 (2020)[4][5][6]
 United States85,723(2019)[7]
 Germany53,000(2021)[8]
 Canada30,725 (2016)[9]
 Brazil25,000 (2002)[10][11][12]
 Australia23,233 (2021)[13]
 Ireland19,933 (2016)[14]
 Russia18,979 (2010)
 Norway11,723 (2019)[15]
 Sweden10,323 (2022)[16]
Other countries
(fewer than 10,000)
 Ukraine5,079 (2001)[17]
 Luxembourg4,000
 Denmark3,799 (2012)[18]
 Spain3,711 (2011)[19]
 Estonia3,329 (2020)[20]
 Finland3,232 (2020)[21]
 Italy2,689 (2014)[22]
 France2,602 (2016)[23][24]
 Lithuania2,300 (2012)[25]
 Belarus1,549 (2009)
 Portugal1,502 [26]
 Netherlands1,400 (2002)[27]
 Kazakhstan1,123 (2009)[28]
  Switzerland736 (2006)[29]
 Belgium679 (2008)[30]
 Iceland654 (2013)[31]
 Venezuela300[32]
 Poland293 (2011)[33]
 Czech Republic193 (2011)[34]
 Austria152 (2002)[35]
 Uzbekistan1,800[36]
 Greece69 (2006)[37]
 Kyrgyzstan82 (2009)[38]
 Croatia14 (2011)[39]
 Israel4,000[40]
 Chile3,000
Languages
Latvian and its dialects
Religion
Predominantly Lutheran,[41]
Roman Catholic and Latvian Orthodox minorities
Related ethnic groups
Other Balts

Latvians (Latvian: latvieši) are a Baltic ethnic group and nation native to Latvia and the immediate geographical region, the Baltics. They are occasionally also referred to as Letts,[42][43] especially in older bibliography. Latvians share a common Latvian language, culture, history and ancestry.

History

A Balto-Finnic-speaking tribe known as the Livs settled among the northern coast of modern day Latvia. The Germanic settlers derived their name for the natives from the term Liv. They referred to all the natives as "Letts" and the nation as "Lettland", naming their colony Livonia or Livland.

The Latin form, Livonia, gradually referred to the whole territory of modern-day Latvia as well as southern Estonia, which had fallen under a minimal Germanic influence. Latvians and Lithuanians are the only surviving members of the Baltic branch of the Indo-European family.

Genetics

Paternal haplogroups R1a and N1a1-Tat are the two most frequent, reaching 39.9% each among ethnic Latvians.[44] R1a has originated in Eastern Europe and is associated with spread of Indo-European languages. R1a of Latvians is predominantly M558 and compared to other populations also has the highest concentration of M558 among R1a. N1a1-Tat mutation originated in East Asia and had spread through the Urals into Europe where it is currently most common among Finno-Ugric, Baltic and Eastern-Slavic peoples. Latvians and Lithuanians have a predominance of the L550 branch of N1a1-Tat.

N1c1a was present in 41.5%, R1a1a-M558 in 35.2% and I1 (M253) in 6.3% of the samples analyzed.[45] In lower levels, 2.5% of I2b (M223) and 0.6% I2a (P37.2) was found as well.

Culture

Influences

In 1649, sparse settlement of the Latvian speaking Kursenieki spanned from Memel to Danzig.

Latvians share a common language and have a unique culture with traditions, holidays, customs and arts. The culture and religious traditions have been somewhat influenced by Germanic, Scandinavian, and Russian traditions. Latvians have an ancient culture that has been archaeologically dated back to 3000 BC. Latvians maintained a considerable connection and trade with their neighbors. The first indications of human inhabitants on the lands of modern Latvia date archaeologically to c. 9000 BC, suggesting that the first settlers were hunters that stayed almost immediately following the end of the last ice age. Colonizers from the south arrived quickly, driving many of the hunters northward as polar ice caps melted further, or east, into modern-day Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. The Roman author Tacitus remarked upon the "Aestii" peoples, thought to be inhabitants of the modern Baltic lands, suggesting that they were abound with formidable, yet peaceful and hospitable people. The Latvian peoples remained relatively undisturbed until Papal intervention via the Germanic, Teutonic Order colonized Kurzeme (Courland in English, Kurland in German), beginning in the first half of the 13th century. Papal decrees ordered the Teutonic Order to spread the "Word of the Lord" and the Gospel of Christianity throughout "uncivilized", "Pagan lands". Though these attempts to Christianize the population failed, and the Teutonic Order eventually redeployed southward, to the region of what was once known as East Prussia.[citation needed]

South-Eastern Latvia (Latgale), due to having a relatively large ethnic Russian population, has maintained a large Russian influence.

Religion

The Basilica of the Assumption in Aglona, the most important Roman Catholic church in Latvia.

Paganism was the main religion before territory of Latvia was invaded by Christian Teutonic Order (see: Latvian mythology).[46][47][48] Latvians still celebrate traditional feasts (Jāņi).[49] Dievturība is a neopagan movement which claims to be a modern revival of the ethnic religion of the Latvians before Christianization in the 13th century.[46][50]

Most of the Christian Latvians belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church, but in Latgale and Alsunga Municipality the Roman Catholic Church is predominant, a small minority of Latvians belong to the Latvian Orthodox Church and other religious congregations.[41] In the late 18th century, a small but vibrant Herrnhutist movement played a significant part in the development of Latvian literary culture before it was absorbed into the mainstream Lutheran denomination.

Language

Latvians' ancestral language, Latvian, has been recorded since at least the 16th century.[51] It developed into a distinct language by the 9th century. It is part of a distinct linguistic branch of Indo-European languages: the Baltic languages.

Another notable language of Latvia is the nearly extinct Livonian language, a member of the Baltic-Finnic sub-branch of the Uralic language family, which enjoys protection by law. The Latgalian language (a dialect of Latvian) is also protected by Latvian law as a historical variation of the Latvian language.[citation needed]

See also

References

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