Latvian Society in Georgia “Ave Sol!”

Remember Latvia!
The beginnings of the Latvian Society in Georgia „Ave Sol!” are found in 1992, when the Latvians, who lived in Georgia, started regular meetings. The Society was registered in autumn of 1994. After the changes of the law the Society was registered repeatedly in 2005 as the continuator of the previous work.

In the Latvian Society in Georgia are approx. 100 members. The Society leads the Board. The Chairman of the Society is Regîna Jakobidze. Under the wing of the Society works Sunday school that is managed by Regîna Jakobidze, the Society’s „Ave Sol!” founder and its long-term Chairman.


The Latvian Society in Georgia „Ave Sol!” was founded as a result of the collapse of the USSR, because all the people, who were not Georgians, then became the national minorities, including also Latvians. Latvians are members of mixed families in Georgia; mainly these are women, who have married Georgian men. Second reason why Latvians, who lived in Georgia, started to search for their nationals was the implementation of visa requirements. To go to Latvia to visit their home, parents, relatives and friends, Latvians had to travel through Russia, Belarus or Ukraine. The lack of information, isolation from events in Latvia created necessity to search for other Latvians and to re-establish communication with Motherland together. Many people searched for possibilities to return to Latvia. Latvians living in Georgia came together in autumn of 1992, and the informal friendship between them was a condition of surviving on that time.

Not only Latvians, but also Lithuanians, Poles, Russians, Ukrainians and Germans living in Georgia participate in the Society’s work. Although the mutual language of the Society members often is Russian, many of them speak Latvian very well and all of them are Latvia’s patriots, actively work in the Society and make positive Latvia’s image.

The Society was registered in 1994 with a title “Ave Sol!” As the Parliament of Georgia changed the law about registering of non-governmental organisations, the Society was registered repeatedly on August 25, 2005. However, it does not mean that the Society started its work from the beginning; it continued already started activities under the leadership of its founders. For many years since its registration, the Society led Regîna Jakobidze, who filled also her obligation as an Honorary Consul of the Republic of Latvia to Georgia for 13 years strengthening bonds of Latvia and Georgia. In spring of 2010 Regîna Jakobidze expressed her wish to resign from the Chairman’s post. Her continuator was Kristîne Nagle- Kuldjanishvili. Now the Chairman of the Society is Oskars Mickâns.


The main working direction of the Society and idea is taking care of each other and the new generation’s upbringing in Latvian traditions. Serious attention is paid to the maintaining and strengthening of communication with Latvia. The members of the Society try actively to participate in events in Latvia – Song Festivals, 3x3 camps, Latvian conferences. The Society cooperates with other Latvian organisations. In autumn of 1997 the Chairman of the Russian Latvians’ Congress Lauma Vlasova organised meeting in Tbilisi that gave a great incentive for active work in the Society.

After the foundation of the Society, the first work for Latvians in Georgia was the preserving of motherland traditions, and, since 1992 each year the Society celebrates Ligo Festival, Christmas and Easter. Special event is November 18 that is celebrated in Latvian style – the Society members wear their own Latvian traditional costumes, make Latvian book, painting, ceramics and amber exhibition, guests can try Latvian food and drinks.

The Society members gather also during family festivals. Especially noteworthy was the celebration of the golden wedding of Lidija and Otari Tvaradze about which also the TV broadcast was made. Also silver wedding of Nonna and Rostom Gabilai was celebrated in accordance to Latvian traditions. The Society celebrated the 100th anniversary of the oldest member Wilhelmina Vilciňa-Koridze. In December of 2014 the Society members visited the member Zeena Hubuluri in Gori town and celebrated lady’s 90th anniversary. The Society is happy for every new born child in Latvian-Georgian families. In 2014 were born 2 boys and 3 girls – our future.

The literature is especially popularised in Georgia. The Honorary member of the Society is Ushang Sahlthucishvili, who graduated the faculty of Philology in the State University of Latvia in 20th century 60s. Ushang Sahlthucishvili has translated a lot of Latvian writers’ stories and novels to Georgian language. The new generation of translators has joined Ushang Sahlthucishvili - Nino Jakobidze and Vardi Tvaladze, who have studied at the Baltic Language Faculty at the University of Latvia. In her turn the artist Irma Chubinidze has illustrated editions of Latvian fairy tales and Latvian author works.

The huge work and pride of the Society is the Latvian artist’s Jűlijs Straume’s life research and popularising of his artistic heritage. The Society has organised international conferences and J.Straume’s exhibitions, has opened memorial plate at the house, where J.Straume was living, when he was fulfilling the responsibilities of the Latvian Honorary Consul in 20s of the 20th century. With the support of the Society the research about J.Straume has been made by the Master of the Latvian Academy of Art Laima Kďaviňa. The book has been published based on this research and the members of the Society have promoted the translation of the book.

The work of the research of Jűlijs Straume heritage continues without interruption. Year 2014 was his jubilee year - 140 years since his birth, and the Society members celebrated it with their cooperation partners – Gulbene Municipality, Gulbene Art School and Druviena Museum. Druviena is J.Straume’s motherland. At the beginning the Society members were visiting Gulbene and the partners – guests were in Tbilisi in September. All of them participated in the preparing of J.Straume personal exhibition in Georgian Applied Arts Museum, and the celebration of the Society’s 20 years anniversary started with the opening of this exhibition. The seminar took place in the Museum, and Gulbene Art School and Georgian Applied Arts Museum agreed about the future cooperation.

Since 2005 the Society has been researching the heritage of the Latvian Roberts Kupčs. His grandson Igors Parastajevs, who is the son of R.Kupčs daughter, came to the Society and fascinated the Society’s members with his story about his Latvian grandfather’s biography. R.Kupcis was an apothecary, chemist, expert, etc. He managed Laboratory of Chemical Expertise in Tbilisi for more than 40 years and passed in the history of Georgian chemistry and pharmacy as the first scientist, who researched Georgian drinking and refrigerant mineral water standards, their chemical content and determined use of each water type in treatment of corresponding diseases. The main partner of the researches was and still is a professor of Georgian Polytechnic University Rezo Shiladze, who is irreplaceable consultant in the Society’s researches. On May 4, 2013 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia awarded the professor R.Shiladze with the Appreciation Diploma. As the result of the Society’s work, the memorial plank was placed for him on the roof in 2009, where had been „Kupcis’ Laboratory”.

New researches started in spring of 2013, when employee of Tbilisi Meria Badri Goguadze came with a proposal to immortalize the memory of the first Latvian Admiral Teodors Spâde. The work goes in full swing. The Society has got to know people in Latvia, who have researched the biography of Teodors Spâde and have participated in his rebury in Latvia from the town Temirtau in Kazakhstan in 1990 – Juris Ciganovs, Mârtiňđ Bisters, Vice-admiral Jânis Bçrziňđ and others. The informative conference has been organised, translated several poems by T.Spâde to Georgian language, and B.Goudze’s works are actively published in Georgian newspapers. During the visit of the President of the Republic of Latvia in Batumi the memorial plate was placed on the house of the Marine Academy of Georgia in Batumi. It is a merit of the Latvian Embassy’s employees – Ambassador Elita Gavele and military attaché Jânis Dreimanis. Now the Society has started new “admirals’” period – the merits of this Latvian should be researched in connection with the developing of Georgian Navy.

Since 1995 Latvian language Sunday school is working that is led by Regîna Jakobidze. During years children from many generations have learned in the school. Many of the Society’s youth have connected their life with Latvia. Since autumn of 2013 already second Latvian school is working, where 16 children at age from 6 to 15 years are learning. Together with them also 5 adults are learning, who are so much enthusiastic as children.

The Society participates also in events of the town and state importance, works in Georgian Minority Association and participates in international projects. Latvian Embassy in Georgia supports the activities of the Society. Last years all the hopes have been connected with the Latvian Embassy in Georgia, as the School is working in Embassy’s premises and also the most important celebrations and meetings take place there.

On September 26, 2014 the Latvian Society in Georgia „Ave Sol!” celebrated its 20th anniversary in the Georgian Writers’ House. The ceremonious event opened State Academic Choir „Latvija” and Georgian men vocal group „Didgori”, performing Latvian and Georgian national anthems. Minister of Culture of the Republic of Latvia Dace Melbârde and ambassador of Latvia to Georgia Elita Gavele expressed gratitude about the preserving of Latvian values and identity, language teaching and strengthening of Latvian and Georgian bonds. The guests had opportunity to see photos from Latvian Society’s archives in specially formed room. The youngest generation of the Society – pupils of the Latvian school performed Latvian poems.

Last events of 2014 were very closely connected with Latvia. Due to financing of Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia, St. Martin’s Day was celebrated nicely – with a trip to the lake, with children paintings’ competition and real meal of Latvian traditional food. But the peak was the visit of the President of Latvia Andris Bçrziňđ. On November 26 was organised his meeting with diaspora and huge diplomatic reception with Latvian and Georgian presidents. There participated also representatives from the Latvian Society and they had opportunity to speak with both countries’ leaders. The main theme of the conversation with the President of Latvia was about the double citizenship that cannot be received by Latvian citizens, who live in Georgia with residence permits. The conversation theme with the President of Georgia was about the creation of “Minority House” in Tbilisi and as an example was mentioned such institution in Riga. It should be said that in both cases presidents expressed understanding, however the Society hopes to much more.

The Latvian Society in Georgia „Ave Sol!”, where actively participate representatives of different generations, is an example how one common idea and thought about preserving of Latvian identity and values can unite representatives of different nations, generations and interests.

Society’s address
Latvian Society in Georgia „Ave Sol!”, 17 R. Tabukashvili Street, Tbilisi, Georgia
E – mail:  avesol@caucasus.net

Chairman of the Latvian Society in Georgia „Ave Sol!” Regîna Jakobidze
Phone:  995 599519945; 995 382995197
E - mail: regina.jakobidze@gmail.com

Home page: http://avesolge.blogspot.com