Since time immemorial, we have shared our eastern border with powerful Russia. Therefore, we can definitely liken our hair to the large Russian nation. Just like our hair, the Russians have always been beside us — sometimes more, sometimes less. Sometimes tame and easy to comb, sometimes tousled and uncontrollable as the hair of a rebellious rock ‘n’ roll teenager.
Historically, Russians arrived in the territory of Latvia as merchants and craftsmen to exchange their goods and knowledge with ours. Later, in the 18th century, when Latvia was annexed by the Russian Empire, Russians arrived in Latvia as officers. However, until World War II, the total number of Russians in Latvia never exceeded one-tenth of the Latvian population. After Latvia’s occupation by the Soviet Union, and as a result of the immigration policy implemented by the occupying power, almost half of the Latvian population in 1990 was Russian. Today, Russian language and culture plays such a significant role in the social, economic, and domestic aspects of our everyday life that we can now say, Yes, sometimes we do have a difficult relationship with Russians, but they are still a part of us.