Culture and Etiquette in Latvia

Latvian culture is characterised by reserved behaviour and a preference for handshakes over emotional hugs when greeting each other. Punctuality is highly valued, so it is important to be on time for appointments and meetings, as lateness may be considered disrespectful. In society, Latvians try to be polite and reserved, avoiding loud or boisterous behaviour.

In addition, Latvian culture places great importance on respecting personal space and having meaningful conversations rather than small talk. Topics such as politics, history and literature are often welcomed, although it is best to avoid discussing sensitive political issues unless initiated by Latvian counterparts.

At dinner in Latvia, it is customary to wait for the host or hostess to invite you to start eating before proceeding with the meal. It is also considered polite to finish everything on your plate, as leaving uneaten food on your plate can be considered wasteful.

At social gatherings, Latvians usually bring a small gift, such as flowers or chocolates, when visiting someone's home. It is also customary to remove one's shoes before entering a house, especially in the winter months, to avoid getting dirty in the snow and mud.

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