The Gatves Deja


The Gatves Deja
We haven't been exposed to much in the way of Latvian traditions since the pandemic started a month after we moved to Riga. That's why an article in the English online news website caught my eye today. It was about the Gatves Deja, a traditional Latvian dance. 

The Gatves Deja translated into English means Alley Dance. It explained that this highly choreographed dance depicts a bride and groom dancing their way between a line of wedding guests. 

I immediately thought of sharing this with my readers in my post this week. An example of the dance was linked with a YouTube video which you can see above.  Click on the picture to see the dance. Notice the traditional Latvian costumes that are worn ,also. The video was filmed at the Riga National Airport on the 30th anniversary of The Baltic Way. 
Lithuania citizens 

A man briefly explains that The Baltic Way occurred on August 23, 1989 while Latvia was still under Soviet control. Shortly before the Berlin Wall fell, the citizens of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia organized a protest against Moscow to show that they wanted their freedom. 

About 2 million people gathered together at 7 PM that day to hold hands in a human chain from Vilnius (the capital of Lithuania) through Riga and onto Talinn (the capital of Estonia). This human chain, 420 miles long, was organized by pro-independence movements from the three countries. 

Latvian citizens

They made a route for the Baltic Way through towns in the countryside to encourage the rural population to join in. For the people who didn't have transportation, buses were donated by corporations that allowed a holiday. The specific instructions, about where to go and what to do, were delivered over radio stations. 

Estonia citizens

The chain lasted only 15 minutes, but the affects were long-lasting. Within seven months, Lithuania declared itself free. By the end of 1991 all three of the Baltic States were free. The Soviets did not control these freedom loving people any longer. 

Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonian flags

I'm so glad that the article was written about the Latvian dance so I could to learn more about the culture of the country I'm currently living in. I hope you enjoyed the video. 

Information taken from Wikipedia.- Baltic Way and The Gatves Dance- Public Broadcasting of Latvia


  1. Nice article and I enjoyed watching the video and dance on the airport runway. If you ever get a chance to watch the documentary The Singing Revolution, I think you’d enjoy it. It is about Estonia but, as you know, Latvia has a similar independence story.

    1. I've heard of the Singing Revolution, but haven't seen the documentary on it. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the information.


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