Latvian Society in Norway

The Latvian Society in Norway is a voluntary, to values oriented organisation, whose work basis defines its vision, mission, aim and values.  
The Latvian Society in Norway helps to Latvians living in Norway to preserve Latvianity and to pass on to next generations Latvian values, helps Latvians to understand opportunities, rights and life in Norway, popularises Latvia’s identification in Norwegian society.
February 17, 1952 is considered to be the birthday of the Society, when Latvian Aid Society was founded in Norway that later became the Latvian Society in Norway.
The Latvian Society in Norway is managed by the Board that consists of 8 people.  
Kārlis Valdmanis is the Chairman of the Latvian Society in Norway.


After World War II Norway received small groups of Latvian refugees from Germany, including also persons with disabilities – so called “minus refugees” (blind persons, lungers and old people without breadwinners). In November of 1948 Paula and Hermanis Dzelzkalns’ arrived to Norway and started working as a private domestic staff for an American diplomat in Oslo. They, having travelled over Norway with a motorcycle, gathered information about almost all Latvians, who lived in Norway at that time and fostered an idea about the foundation of the Society.

On February 17, 1952 Latvian Aid Society was founded in Norway. Alfrēds Priednieks was elected as the first Society’s Chairman.

The aim of the Society was to represent Latvian refugees’ interests in Norway and social institutions, to do social, economic, cultural, legal and humanitarian aid work and communicate with Latvian refugees’ organisations. 44 members entered the Society and it started its work by organising common events, celebrating festivals and visiting services in church. The Society supported the old and ill Latvians with gift packets, newspapers and paid their travelling expenses to the organised events. Paula Dzelzkalne taught Latvian language and other subjects through correspondence. The Society started cooperation with the European Centre of Latvian Resumption Committee, supported disabled persons’ house in Germany, Latvian National Fund in Scandinavia, as well as informed Norwegian newspapers about occupation of Latvia. On May 19, 1957 the Evangelical Lutheran parish was founded. During its existence the most important investment for many years gave its Chairman Harijs Valdmanis.

Sudden interruption in Society’s work happened on May 26, 1971, when the Chairman of the Board Velta Wanczyckyi, without calling a meeting, receded from her duties. The work of the Society stopped for 7 years. During this period State celebrations and summer events took place at the house of Anda and Piere Nordmo.

On May 7, 1978 the Society renewed its work. Three Latvians were elected in the Board: the Chairman Kaija Wendt, Secretary Mirdza Valdmane and Cashier Anda Nordmo. This Board worked until 1990. The Society continued its work, gathering Latvians in Latvian State holidays and culture events, as well as informed the government and the society of Norway about Latvia’s destiny and struggled against Latvian occupation.

On December 2, 1990 the Society changed its name to the “Latvian Society in Norway”. The Board now had 5 members, still managed by Kaija Wendt.

After the resumption of Latvian independency, the important direction of the Society’s work was the aid and gathering of means of financing for the support of activities and organisations in Latvia. Teachings materials for schools were bought, were allocated grants to Latvian students, who were studying in Norway, given support for senior homes and low-income families, supported public organisations.

The Society has had close cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia in Kingdom of Norway already since its opening in 1996.

On January 16, 2001 passed away the long-term Chairman of the Board of the Latvian Society in Norway Kaija Wendt. Her contribution and work in the strengthening of bonds between Latvia and Norway was important, and in 1998 she received the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit.

During recent history period of the Society – at the beginning of the 21st century – its work as chairmen have managed Anda Nordmo, Solveiga Vija Wendt, Ieva Melbārde and Kārlis Valdmanis. After the suggestion of the Chairman of that time Anda Nordmo Latvian School - “Kastaņa skoliņa” (Chestnut School) started its work in 2003 under the leadership of the next Chairman of the Board Ieva Melbārde.

Now Latvians, who arrive from Latvia, join actively and successfully the work of the Society and the Board and, taking into account the historic basis, supplements the Society’s work with new, topical ideas.


The Latvian Society in Norway has worked out long-term strategic aims; it is open for new members, up-to-date cooperation with other organisations in the world, as well as for varied civil activities and projects. The Society has more than 70 members and Honorary Members. The Society actively works to develop regional branches, thus, inviting Latvians to unite in organised groups to commonly take care of preserving of Latvian culture in Norwegian diaspora.

The Latvian Society in Norway singly and in cooperation with other Latvian organisations in Norway, Latvia and other places in the world regularly organises events and implements projects. The Society has developed informative portal www.latviesi.no, whose aim is to become the leading information source that would ensure effective communication between Latvian diaspora in Norway and its organisations, promoting preserving of Latvian identity.

The Latvian Society in Norway is the organisation in development with a strong kernel of Latvian identity that unites the majority of Latvians living in Norway. The Latvian Society in Norway and its members are like a visiting card of Latvian culture for Norwegian society.


Society’s address
Valhallveien 2 F, 1445 Drøbak

E-mail:  info@latviesi.no 

Web sites



Board Chairman of the Latvian Society in Norway Ieva Melbārde

E-mail: ieva.melbarde@latviesi.no

Phone: 47 450 23 181