there are as many Russians living in Canada as in Latvia; does it mean now that Russians living in Canada will also initiate a referendum there to make Russian language as the third official language like they did in Latvia?
Personally, this referendum today in Latvia about having or not having Russian as Latvia’s second official language felt somewhat humiliating. It was requesting to reconfirm the obvious and self-explanatory – Latvia is the one and the only home of Latvian language being spoken by about 1.5 mil people (1/11 of Moscow) worldwide. Moreover, Latvia’s constitution defines Latvian language as the one and the only official language. Full stop.
With my full respect to Russians, but Russian language is not dying out, so it does not need extra protection. It can be freely used in Latvia as any other language, except public sector for obvious reasons (like in any other countries). the fact that many Russian speaking people are not able for whatever reasons to learn/ speak Latvian, is not a problem of Latvia and native Latvians. This is one’s individual choice. It is a manifest of one’s attitude and loyalty, preferences and needs.
Also, just because Latvians apparently are better at learning languages and among others can speak Russian, does not mean that therefore Russian should become an official language.
We have been and are enough tolerant to those who choose to distance themselves from anything Latvian despite living in Latvia for ages. But, then equally, they should accept some difficulties and, with respect to Latvian language in public sector, can hire a translator if necessary etc.
it feels like many Russians are still having a chronic hangover from old ages and days of imperialistic power era. They cant get over the fact that the Soviet train is gone and you cant catch it again. forget about it. Wake up. You live in an independent Latvia with clear set of rules (read – Constitution) and just simply take it or leave it. If you cant go anywhere else (and your mother Russia is not actually bothered about you and doesn’t want you back), then be grateful for being where you are; appreciate the country where you live in and which asks from you only one thing – be loyal.