Story Behind My Logo

The logo for my website is not coincidence. It has a back story and deep meaning for me.

Story

Many of you associate me with Germany. Sometimes people speak broken German to me with aim to connect on personal level, but the thing is I live in Germany only because my husband is German. I am born, grew up, studied and worked in Latvia. Next week my small, but brave country will celebrate 100th anniversary. I am huge patriot of my country and in my local circles well known for distributing tourism information about this green and untroubled place on earth.

We Latvians are very proud of our culture – locally (dances, songs) and internationally (music, science, sports). Big part of our cultural heritage are signs, known and used since Middle Stone Age. My logo is one of those signs.

meaning

Sign of Laima (fortune) is proved to be one of the oldest known signs in Latvian (Baltic) culture. Laima is known as peoples life path giver, fortune. Displayed a fire needle – symbol of nature, evergreen as omen of not giving up. Another explanation is based of feathers of birds, which symbolises the soul.

Sing of Laima has a branching – Swab of Laima. Placed horizontally and extended.

Meaning: A soul keeper. Sweeps away the undesirable.

Why it is important to me

When I moved to Germany I faced many struggles: alone without family, friends and business contacts, I had to start all over again. Of course my husband was supporting me all the way, but he is from different domain and his friends and family are his, not mine. Especially hard it became when my mother got sick and died.  I felt like i was loosing my roots. I felt torn between two families, two countries, two cultures, two realities. I felt lost in translation. Belonging really nowhere, except my safe place – my little family around me.

What helped me, was reading Latvian literature, listening and singing Latvian songs. Reconnecting, rebuilding with my origin, but this time without my mother.

On the way I rediscovered Swab of Laima and gave another meaning to it:
>>>   all my stories in the past. everything what made me – me
<<<   everything, what expects me in the future. the person I will become
|||       living now and here. me as connection node for two stories, two countries, two cultures, two realities

be different, be yourself

Today I feel like telling stories.

on my parents farm

I come from small country called Latvia. As a kid I was member of choir, learned to play piano and flute, danced folk dances, once even on the big stadium during Latvian Song and dance celebration. When I was 11, Latvia became independent again and my family got back properties, which were took away in 1941. We moved to our farm and I got a dog!!! I loved freedom of farm – we could see houses of our neighbours, but between us were fields, meadows and ponds. Years later when I moved to study in Riga, even than I was lucky to find a little house with a garden for a rent.

And than I met Him. He happened to be German and love of my life. It took few years, but finally I left my family, my friends, my work and little house with a garden behind me and moved to Germany. No matter than Latvian and German are quite similar cultures, I was shocked. There were so many things which I had to learn! At first that there are still two Germanies (for two years we lived in place near Stuttgart, where even my German husband was a foreigner).  I learned to know neighbours, which were very curious, untactfully controlled our waste and gave me suggestions how to better sort it! (Nowadays I get small crises myself if I see plastic waste in paper bin, but I do not know which of our neighbours are sorting wrong). Than that every one and everything has an insurance e.g. die Haftpflichtversicherung what is something like “public liability insurance”. When we got our kids, it became more interesting. I could not imagine to talk with my kids in other language as in Latvian. Some people had and have a problem with that, offended call it secret language and many think that I backbite them. Of course I want to integrate myself and to belong to the community, but I also wanted to keep my personality. Besides I wanted that my kids are able to talk to their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins in Latvia. There are no schools or lessons for Latvian kids in Thuringia – how much I will talk, read, play, make, sing to them, that is how much they will learn Latvian language and culture. So I decided and talked consequent with my kids only Latvian. At home, on the street, in the kindergarden and at friends. To others I explained that there are no secrets, that I simply talk to my kids Latvian and if they want, one of us can translate every single sentence. My experiment was successful. How do I know it? First of all, my kids speak good Latvian and are not ashamed to do it. Second, children in kindergarden know that there are at least three languages in the world: German, English and Latvian. Latvian for them is not a strange exotic language from nowhere, but simply a language.

Now my oldest is already in grammer school and time to time I get so tired to be different, but I know that there is no way back.

Why do I write all of this? Because I see similar pattern somewhere else in my life – in my profession. Software testing is like strange exotic language in the world of software development. They hear it, rise their eyebrows if it is too loud, but do not take it serious. How I deal with it? Similar like talking Latvian in Germany:

  1. be proud of yourself and your work
  2. be consequent
  3. be tolerant and translate to others how and why you do what you do