Media release

Latvian nature, youthful energy and ancient traditions meet in Presidency souvenirs created by young Latvians

Photo: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia
18 March 2015

Inspired by Latvian nature, cultural heritage and design combined with the potential of young people in the creative sector, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia is offering creative souvenirs to the guests of its international events in Riga during the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU. 

Given that one of the Latvian Presidency priorities in the cultural field is cultural and creative crossovers, the gifts for guests at the conferences organised by the Ministry of Culture needed to display the essence of these priorities.  

The concept of a 3D postcard demonstrating Latvia's heritage, handicraft traditions and youth potential came from the Presidency team member at the Ministry of Culture. The design was created by the Latvian graphic designer Ms Zane Ernštreite ( using elements of ancient Latvian motifs as inspiration – Austra’s tree and the symbol of the Sun.

Wooden brooches were produced by students at the Liepāja High School of Design and Art. The base of the brooch was prepared using the wood of the local rowan tree which was believed by ancient Latvians to offer protection from evil.  

The wooden brooch reminds us that heritage can serve as an inspiration, different sectors can collaborate effectively and young people have great potential when it comes to implementing innovative ideas and developing creative industries. The latest Latvian business success stories and other less well-known young people who decide to start their own businesses are opting more and more often to work in the creative sector.

A project of this nature brings the school curriculum closer to the outside world, and in this case it provided an opportunity for young people to take part in the preparations for the Latvian EU Council Presidency. 

The basis of the souvenir is a postcard made of recycled paper that reminds us about sustainability and Latvia's green presidency – remove the 3D element (the wooden brooch) and post the card to friends as greetings from the Latvian Presidency. 

Using the same concept of a 3D postcard, the Ministry of Culture also offers its guests another souvenir – “Sweet Amber”. This has been created and internationally patented by Latvian artist Karīna Šišlo. The handmade candy looks like real amber and is produced using only natural ingredients. It is attached to the postcard depicting the Baltic Sea coast where amber was once picked up to be used in traditional Latvian jewellery. 

In the video you can see how the young students from the Liepāja High School of Design and Art produced the wooden brooches.

Sintija Lase
Expert in communication