The Baltics: An Introduction to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania with Dr. Nina Wieda

The Baltics: An Introduction to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania with Dr. Nina Wieda


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On the shores of the Baltic sea in Northern Europe, there is a cluster of three post-Soviet states that are the best-kept secrets of Northern Europe. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have distinct histories, languages, and cultures.  Lithuania used to be a province within the Polish Kingdom; the Polish national epic features a line, “Lithuania, my motherland.”

The language spoken in Estonia is not only different from Latvian and Lithuanian, but it does not even belong to the Indo-European family of languages. The three nations are among the latest in Europe to adopt Christianity; traditional beliefs and rituals are still widespread in society. Latvia’s traditional Song and Dance Festival is one of the largest amateur choral and dancing events in the world.  UNESCO recognizes it as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Led by an expert on the post-Soviet world, Nina Wieda, this interactive seminar will introduce you to the fascinating world of the Baltics. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with increased knowledge about Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and their distinct history.

This conversation is part of a multi-part series on Eurasian Culture with Nina Wieda. Each session is designed to be enjoyed as a stand-alone seminar as well as part of the extended series.

Nina Wieda is a native of the Caucasus living in Chicago, USA. She holds a Ph.D. in Slavic from Northwestern University and an MA in Nationalism Studies from Central European University. She worked as a newspaper journalist in the Caucasus and wrote her Master's thesis about the Northern Caucasus region. She teaches at Northwestern University near Chicago.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 5 reviews
40%
(2)
0%
(0)
60%
(3)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
S
S.
Excellent Program

Enticing photos of beautiful old cities and countryside as well as the song festivals of each country.

P
P.N.

Guest did not leave comment

N
N.S.

This was a refreshing intro to a person who hasn’t travelled there...yet. What was startling to me is that at least two of the countries we virtually visited, Estonia and Latvia - have less population than the U.S, county I live in! Was good overview of the people, traditions, dances, very enjoyable.

F
F.
Too heavy on folklore and music while avoiding the history of the region

I had hoped for some recent history of the BalticStates under the Germans in WWII and later the Soviets. Instead it was plain vanilla folklore and music. Having been to all three countries I think she missed so much that makes them important in the world today.

A
A.
Focus on Song and Dance

Ms Wieda is very knowledgeable but she focuses on song and dance with very little discussion of other topics.

Customer Reviews

Based on 5 reviews
40%
(2)
0%
(0)
60%
(3)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
S
S.
Excellent Program

Enticing photos of beautiful old cities and countryside as well as the song festivals of each country.

P
P.N.

Guest did not leave comment

N
N.S.

This was a refreshing intro to a person who hasn’t travelled there...yet. What was startling to me is that at least two of the countries we virtually visited, Estonia and Latvia - have less population than the U.S, county I live in! Was good overview of the people, traditions, dances, very enjoyable.

F
F.
Too heavy on folklore and music while avoiding the history of the region

I had hoped for some recent history of the BalticStates under the Germans in WWII and later the Soviets. Instead it was plain vanilla folklore and music. Having been to all three countries I think she missed so much that makes them important in the world today.

A
A.
Focus on Song and Dance

Ms Wieda is very knowledgeable but she focuses on song and dance with very little discussion of other topics.