The exhibition tells the story of the development of the Song and Dance Celebration tradition and of national costume as one of the forms of expressing national self-awareness. It consists of 26 groups of regional costumes from the Senā klēts national costume centre. The exhibition also features photographs, ethnographic and archaeological objects, Latvian ornaments and their descriptions. Through audio-visual materials, the spectators get the opportunity to experience the togetherness of Latvian singing and dancing tradition in different times.
“This is the first exhibition of this kind that offers an insight into Latvia, the development of Latvian nation, traditions and folklore. We are delighted that this exhibition will make Latvia’s name known in the world and in summer it will return back to Riga,” says the project manager of the exhibition, Linda Rubena.
Latvian Ambassador to Germany Elita Kuzma, Director of the Munich Five Continents Museum Christine Kron, President of the Bavarian Parliament Barbara Stamm, President of the Upper Bavarian Government Christoph Hillenbrand, as well as the Director of the Latvian National Centre for Culture Signe Pujāte, and Latvian MP, the Chair of the Group for Interparliamentary Relations with Germany Solvita Āboltiņa took part at the opening of the exhibition.
“Today, a week-long cultural and political programme of the Latvian Presidency ends in Bavaria. During this time, we had the opportunity to present our culture in one of Germany’s most important regions politically and economically. We have established new contacts, started friendships and built new links between Latvia, Munich and Bavaria,” Latvian Ambassador Elita Kuzma said during the opening of the exhibition.
“I am very delighted to open this exhibition dedicated to Latvian national costumes and our Song and Dance Celebration here – in Bavaria – where national traditions are highly valued,” she emphasised.
The exhibition is organised by the Latvian National Centre for Culture in cooperation with the Ethnographic Open-Air Museum of Latvia, the National History Museum of Latvia, the Bank of Latvia, the National Library of Latvia and several regional museums.
The exhibition will be on display in Munich until 19 April. It will also be on show at the Neumünster Abbey in Luxembourg from 8 May to 7 June and at the Riga Art Space from 25 June to 30 August. The opening of the exhibition in Riga will coincide with the start of the 8th Nordic-Baltic Choral Festival and will be supplemented with Baltic and Scandinavian national costumes.
The “Ornaments of the Latvian Soul” exhibition forms part of the Latvian EU Council Presidency cultural programme which has contemporaneity, uniqueness and excellence as its core values. The programme consists of almost 200 events worldwide, and is the largest presentation of Latvian cultural excellence abroad since the country regained its independence.