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Cultural heritage

Since returning to the Catholic faith in 1632, the Suiti have acquired a very special Catholic identity of their own. The identity, they still today are very proud of. In the following centuries, due to religious based self-isolation from the surrounding Protestant communities, in this compact area a very rich and unique cultural space was created and largely preserved until the present days. No other such phenomenon exists in Latvia. Its importance on a global scale was recognized by UNESCO in 2009, when Suiti Cultural Space was included into UNESCO’s List of Intangible Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.

In the following sections we have tried to give you at least some general impressions of what are the main riches of the Suiti heritage. These values do not belong just to the Suiti themselves. These values in the form of songs, dances, clothing, language, traditions, beliefs, tales, games, food, protective signs and many other elements make up an important part of the European cultural heritage. And they are also an integral part of the cultural heritage of the whole world.