What are some cultural taboos in Latvia

Is it considered bad to eat in public (on a bench) in Latvia?

Recently I was yelled at by a stranger (middle aged man) while eating pizza that I bought in a cheap restaurant (and chose to take away) and sat on a bench in Riga. He just said something to me as he passed in front of me, which I ignored as I didn't understand Latvian or Russian, but then in a few seconds he looked back and said something to me again.

It was clear that he was telling me something about my pizza because of his gesture (he used a wave of his hand to eat pizza). He didn't stop walking and just said something to me as he walked. I don't think he was on a positive note.

So I wonder if it is considered bad to eat in public places in Latvia, for example on a bench or in a park.

I found an interesting answer on Quora to a question entitled "What are some cultural taboos in Latvia?" ::

  • Another cultural taboo is disrespect for food. If you throw bread and other items around while eating, expect to be cursed at by a worried Latvian.

Is it socially acceptable or inappropriate to eat pizza in public places in Latvia?

Stephan Branczyk

The same thing happened to me while eating on a sidewalk in France in the middle of the night. I'm originally French, but I've lived in the US for so many years, that's one of the habits I've learned. In any case, I know I'm breaking taboos in the United States by dipping my croissant in my coffee. And I know that in France I break taboos when I eat a kebab sandwich on the street, but I clean up after myself. And as long as I don't eat on a city bus, in a museum, in a church, in a shop, etc. in France, I don't see a problem with my behavior.


You have come across an eccentric person. Maybe he was just pointing out that pizza is not a Latvian dish so you should enjoy something else. In any case, it's okay to have pizza in public places.


There is no such taboo in Europe. People routinely eat on the street, in cars, on buses, and in other “non-standard” places. In fact, there is a popular saying in Slavic countries about avoiding throwing bread away, but it does not apply to your scenario and is not really relevant in modern times when there is plenty to eat. So enjoy your pizza anywhere and without hesitation.

Source: Travel to the Baltic countries.