In Latvia, renowned composer Raimonds Pauls faces complaints for speaking Russian, RIA Novosti reported on August 15.
Latvian resident Ēriks Daliba submitted a complaint against Soviet Latvian composer, People’s Artist of the USSR, Raimonds Pauls after the musician spoke Russian during a celebration of the 840th anniversary of the city of Ludzā.
“Raimonds Pauls made a ceremonial address to honor the 840th anniversary of Ludzā in Russian. Have we gone that far?” the Latvian wrote in his Twitter.
The complaint was filed to the Latvian State Language Center (Latvian: VVC). Raimonds Pauls made his address in honor of the anniversary of the Latvian city both in Latvian and in Russian.
The Latvian State Language Center fines Latvian citizens for publicly using any language other than Latvian. Fines are also imposed on those who are not fluent enough in Latvian. Although the state language in Latvia is Latvian, about 40% of the population consider Russian to be their mother tongue. In the city of Ludzā, where the Raimonds Pauls’ performance took place, most residents are Russian-speaking.
Although the Latvian State Language Center is supposed to fine people for speaking any language other than Latvian, in practice, it fines people for speaking Russian while turning a blind eye, for example, on speaking English.
Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency