Foto: Kristin Lidell

We offer an insight into a project
developed by the Swedish Institute (SI) in cooperation with the Swedish Embassy.

Dad in Sweden

We thank the Swedish photographer Johan Bävman for the opportunity to digitally present three pictures from his collection "Swedish Dads".

Murat, 34, children’s culture developer

Eight months parental leave with Oscar, previously with Lovea

‘When I read a course in gender psychology, I understood the importance of equal opportunities in our society. I decided not to play the role I was assigned as a father; I wanted to be as important for my children as my wife was. When is a better time to be with your kid?

‘I often feel inadequate as a parent, which is something I work to overcome. It’s about realising your limits and learning to enjoy the moment more.’

Fredrik, 33, electrician

Nine months parental leave with Majken

‘When I found out that I would be a father, Majken’s mother and I were not in a relationship. We decided to live together during our parental leave because we are convinced that’s what is best for Majken.

‘I feel provoked by fathers in Sweden who do not stay at home with their kids for financial reasons. This amazing opportunity to get to know your child won’t come again. It is remarkable that so many fathers think they cannot survive on less money for even a short period of time.’

Johan, 33, photographer

Nine months parental leave with Viggo

‘Our everyday life has become much easier and smoother now that we both take main responsibility for the home. I think the number of fathers who share parental leave equally is low because of how society has placed the main responsibility for the home and for raising children on women.

‘Since this is also reflected in differences in pay, mothers continue to stay away from work longer. I also think this pattern has contributed to why many women see themselves as better able to care for a child.’

Dad in Latvia

Latvian photographers Anda Krauze and Māris Lazdāns complemented the exhibition with 25 Latvian portraits which won in the Swedish Embassy's competition of spring 2019 "Dad in Latvia". The portraits depicted how fathers spend time with their children, and how the time spent together affected them personally. 

Thanks to the photographers and all the participants! The exhibition continues to travel around the cities in Latvia and in June it will be exhibited in the City Library of Limbaži. You are very welcomed!

Here you can view the portraits:

Photographer Anda Krauze

I have been a photographer for forty years. I love my city, Riga, very much. I love its streets and the people I meet. To feel and capture the momentary emotions in people and the environment is the most important thing in my profession. Currently, I work with JSC “Latvijas Mediji”. In parallel to my everyday work for the press, I have participated in many joint exhibitions and art projects. I have had several solo shows: “Rigans”, “Here”, “...about them”.

Aboltiņu family

Ralfs Dravnieks

Although I write a monthly column for KLUBS magazine, called The Dad's Role, where I bug dads about these issues, it is actually hard for me to answer - how do I see my own mission in my dad's role. Probably it is the chance to be with someone, who I can support, nurture and listen to, because I hope that as the years go by and my daughter grows up, we will still be open with each other.

Aleksejs Mitričevs

Being a father... It means coming home with joy, knowing that someone is waiting for you and, as soon as you open the door, small feet will rush to the lobby to meet Daddy. It is incomparable joy.

Lauris Bokišs

For the most part of 2018 I was a stay-at-home dad with my two sons — Leo and Alex; that was a life-changing experience. Now I am actively improving my own parenting by facilitating parenting courses for new dads and couples.

Arnis Pooks

Unlimited mutual love, based on trust and mutual respect. Being a father is a huge responsibility as well as a continuous cognitive process, which brings joy and happiness.

Jānis Zelčāns

The father is not only a provider, a teacher, or someone who protects. Being a father also means to be a best friend who can always be trusted.

Jānis Albāts

The dad is the other half to the mum.

Didzis Stāvausis

Life after the birth of a kid is a totally different life. Immediate love and an enormous cognitive process, both of yourself and the child.

Pēteris Kalniņš

I have neither the time nor the need to watch TV. I watch my kids — this is life’s most beautiful reality show.

Aleksandrs Baronovs

Being a father means responsibility and work, love and the child’s smile.

Mārtiņš Lazdiņš

Being a father — it is a goal in life; the future of the unfulfilled dreams.

Uldis Glāzers

Even after a long and tiring working day, it is very important to devote time to your child since it is in the day-to-day life that the closest relationship develops.

Kalvis Bērziņš

Being a father means care, great responsibility and selfless fulfilment of love. Raising my children as good and loving people has become the project of my life.

Kaspars Kiršteins

I am very happy to be with my kids. They mean everything to me. Being a father is my calling in life.

Artūrs Cinis

It is the most pleasant of all the challenges of life — to be a father.

Jānis Dubinskis

I see myself as a role model, having fun and being responsible for my kids!

Photographer Māris Lazdāns

I am active as a photographer since 2009. I am young and progressive-minded, and development-oriented. I love people and the movement around me. Being present at various events has provided me with invaluable picture-taking opportunities, which have helped me to grow professionally. And the most important thing is the man or woman, whom I take to and whom I immortalise in every picture.
I currently work with the PHOTORED photo agency.

Valdis Šņepsts

For every grown-up, it is important to look at the world from a child’s point of view from time to time, and my sons help me to do that. They teach and enrich me and I do the same!

Raitis Miksons

It is the dads who encourage the kid to try new things; later, it will be easier for the kid to accept challenges.

Normunds Gudens

For the child to develop as a strong and happy personality, the father’s support is needed from the very first days on. Not scolding but explaining, not reproaching but teaching, not burdening with some activity but showing the exciting aspects of that activity. Yet the most important thing that a father could give is probably trust. A child, and especially a girl, must be sure that, whatever may happen, their father will always understand, support and love them.

Armands Bernics

Like any loving and caring father, I try to give my best to my daughter. In fact, the seemingly complicated things are simple — it is no secret that daughters should be raised and cherished as princesses, both physically and emotionally. If you have been an excellent investor in this relationship, you will receive this emotional deposit back, and receive even more! To my mind, as I look at fathers in Sweden, this is very noticeable.
To good Swedish and Latvian fathers!

Jānis Lūciņš

I am a father. It is hard to believe; although I am nearly thirty, I sometimes still feel as a kid myself. I grew up as an only child. When I was eight, our family fell apart and so I was raised by my mother. The rest is like a copybook example: without knowing what a loving presence of a father means, I myself sometimes feel lost searching for it so I can give my best to my kids. And the main thing is the attention, the willingness to get closer to your closest relative — your child. In my case, it is three sons. Having grown up alone, without competition, I sometimes probably make a mistake by not being a role model to my sons but rather a brother, with whom they make tricks together. Children grow so fast and I cannot manage to find that ideal figure fast enough, so it becomes something in between — a father, a friend, a sack of presents.

Edijs Nemme

My name is Edijs and I am the happiest parent in the world. I have two wonderful kids, daughter Adriana and son Dominiks.
We love to spend time together and wish to have more of such time. We are an active family; we love travelling, sports and spending time together.

Andris Sergejevs

I am a father of three. We have two lovely girls and a boy! To the girls, I try to give the feeling that they are worthy of receiving such love as they are ready to give to others! To my son, I try to be a model, so that, looking at my deeds and efforts, he could understand that one should always be responsible for one’s deeds and decisions.

Jānis Strenģis

The dad’s role in the upbringing of a child is very important. The dad can provide an equal share in the upbringing. In our times, it is very important to plan time so that everything runs smoothly. Everything should be in balance. The most important thing is not ”how”, but ”how much”. Thanks to my dad, with whom we still go fishing together. I will certainly give my daughter the good things I have received from him. Love yourself and the love will reach the child.
Family is power:)

Lauris Kārkliņš

When you have to work but oh how you don’t feel like doing it!
I am proud of being a dad. Teaching my daughter her first steps, her first words, teaching her how to build a toy house, coping also in those moments when laughing is succeded by tears.
Being a dad is a great responsibility. With my actions and my example, I can raise a happy, loving and sincere person. This means not only my daughter but also myself. Because it is not only us that raise our kids; the kids teach things to us as well.

Māris Baranovskis

Being a dad is life’s most excellent experience. My dad is an example to me and I try to be an example to my boys. I experience my importance in my children’s life every day — with a heap of hugs, kisses, questions about things and events, shared activities, bedtime stories, and more, and more. The children have torn down the boundaries between the possible and the impossible. Everything is possible, indeed!

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