More than 1.2 million texts and 30,000 melodies of folk songs have been identified.  In practice, however, the emancipation was actually advantageous to the landowners and nobility, as it dispossessed peasants of their land without compensation, forcing them to return to work at the estates "of their own free will".  There also developed a growing urban proletariat and an increasingly influential Latvian bourgeoisie. For Latvian student corporation, see, Country on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, Reformation period and Polish–Lithuanian rule, Livonia & Courland in the Russian Empire (1795–1917), Economic contraction and recovery (2008–12). Paul Krugman, the Nobel Laureate in economics for 2008, wrote in his New York Times Op-Ed column on 15 December 2008: The most acute problems are on Europe's periphery, where many smaller economies are experiencing crises strongly reminiscent of past crises in Latin America and Asia: Latvia is the new Argentina. Most of the Hindus are local converts from the work of the Hare Krishna movement; some are foreign workers from India. , Latvia's national parks are Gauja National Park in Vidzeme (since 1973), Ķemeri National Park in Zemgale (1997), Slītere National Park in Kurzeme (1999), and Rāzna National Park in Latgale (2007). After the German surrender, it became clear that Soviet forces were there to stay, and Latvian national partisans, soon joined by some who had collaborated with the Germans, began to fight against the new occupier. The largest city in Latvia is Riga, the second largest city is Daugavpils and the third largest city is Liepaja.  It is part of the Nordic Transition Support Unit (NTSU), which renders joint force contributions in support of Afghan security structures ahead of the withdrawal of Nordic and Baltic ISAF forces in 2014. The Latvian SSR, along with the other Baltic Republics was allowed greater autonomy, and in 1988, the old pre-war Flag of Latvia flew again, replacing the Soviet Latvian flag as the official flag in 1990. Climate in Latvia in december Climate in Riga in december. , Latvian policy in science and technology has set out the long-term goal of transitioning from labor-consuming economy to knowledge-based economy. They promoted Latvian culture and encouraged Latvians to take part in cultural activities.  Nationally protected areas account for 12,790 km2 (4,940 sq mi) or around 20% of Latvia's total land area. The University of Latvia and Riga Technical University are two major universities in the country, both established on the basis of[clarification needed] Riga Polytechnical Institute and located in Riga. :64:56, Under German occupation, Latvia was administered as part of Reichskommissariat Ostland. Big European events have been celebrated in Riga such as the Eurovision Song Contest 2003 and the European Film Awards 2014. However, most indigenous Latvians did not participate in this particular cultural life. Eastern Latvia was cleared of Red Army forces by Latvian and Polish troops in early 1920 (from the Polish perspective the Battle of Daugavpils was a part of the Polish–Soviet War). Winter starts in mid-December and lasts until mid-March. Former Latvian basketball club Rīgas ASK won the Euroleague tournament three times in a row before becoming defunct. The climate is far different from that of Labrador, however, because of the effect of the Gulf Stream flowing across the Atlantic Ocean from Mexico. In 2015 Latvia held the presidency of Council of the European Union. Chance of snow 50%. Approximately 200 farms, occupying 2,750 ha (6,800 acres), are engaged in ecologically pure farming (using no artificial fertilizers or pesticides). Best time to visit Latvia. , At the beginning of the 13th century, Germans ruled large parts of what is currently Latvia. , The country's Orthodox Christians belong to the Latvian Orthodox Church, a semi-autonomous body within the Russian Orthodox Church. The summer climate in Latvia is warm with an average temperature of 17°C, the peak occasionally going as high as 30°C. Daytime temperatures usually reach 0°C in Riga, Latvia in December, falling to -5°C at night. "Lettonia" redirects here.  The rise in use of the Latvian language in literature and society became known as the First National Awakening. The terms inspired the variations on the country's name in Romance languages from "Letonia" and in several Germanic languages from "Lettland". Latvia lies in Northern Europe, on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea and northwestern part of the East European Craton (EEC), between latitudes 55° and 58° N (a small area is north of 58°), and longitudes 21° and 29° E (a small area is west of 21°). The NATO Summit 2006 was held in Riga. Since independence, theatre, scenography, choir music, and classical music have become the most notable branches of Latvian culture. Apart from road and railway connections, Ventspils is also linked to oil extraction fields and transportation routes of Russian Federation via system of two pipelines from Polotsk, Belarus. The festival takes place at the Latvian National Opera, the Great Guild, and the Great and Small Halls of the Dzintari Concert Hall.  The southern part of Estonia and the northern part of Latvia were ceded to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and formed into the Duchy of Livonia (Ducatus Livoniae Ultradunensis). In 2017, Latvian tennis player Jeļena Ostapenko won the 2017 French Open Women's singles title being the first unseeded player to do so in the open era. The coldest month is January with an average maximum temperature of -2°C (28°F). , Beginning in 2019, instruction in Russian language will be gradually discontinued in private colleges and universities in Latvia, as well as general instruction in Latvian public high schools, except for subjects related to culture and history of the Russian minority, such as Russian language and literature classes.. The festival is the biggest of its kind in the world and is held every two years in a different host city. Common ingredients in Latvian recipes are found locally, such as potatoes, wheat, barley, cabbage, onions, eggs, and pork. Average Weather in Riga Latvia In Riga, the summers are comfortable and partly cloudy and the winters are long, freezing, dry, windy, and mostly cloudy. Take a look at the seven-day weather forecast for the principal cities inLatvia. , In the 19th century, Latvian nationalist movements emerged. , Since March 2004, when the Baltic states joined NATO, fighter jets of NATO members have been deployed on a rotational basis for the Baltic Air Policing mission at Šiauliai Airport in Lithuania to guard the Baltic airspace. By 2011, more than half of non-citizens had taken naturalization exams and received Latvian citizenship. , In spite of this, 73% of all Latvian residents confirmed their strong support for independence on 3 March 1991, in a non-binding advisory referendum. According to the Russian Empire Census of 1897, Latvians formed 68.3% of the total population of 1.93 million; Russians accounted for 12%, Jews for 7.4%, Germans for 6.2%, and Poles for 3.4%. 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