This year, Rīga’s oldest park, Viesturdārzs (also called Viestura dārzs), celebrates its 300th anniversary. A scholar with green thumbs is researching its eventful life and sharing the stories with the latest technology.
If life seems too rushed and virtual these days, meet a man who spends years chipping at rocks to express some very sane insights.
When families crack under the strain of unemployment and addiction, it’s the children who suffer most. For almost 30 years, one courageous woman has been giving a helping hand to Latvian kids in dire straits.
“It’s not a question of if you will be a target of a cyberattack, but when? So, it is smart to be prepared”, says Baiba Kaškina, the General Manager of CERT.LV – the Information Technology Security Incident Response Institution of the Republic of Latvia.
Policing is a tough job even in the best of times, and the pandemic has added new complications. Meet a senior cop doing his best to keep order in a society weary of restrictions.
With temperatures this winter dropping well below minus 20 degrees, you might think Latvians have all been snuggling in bed with a steaming mug of tea. But a growing band have embraced the season by plunging into freezing water.
For many people, chimney sweeps are relics only found in the novels of Charles Dickens. But the profession is alive and well in Latvia, and its practitioners keep modern homes safe while nurturing ancient traditions.
For many Latvians, the house in the country is the ultimate battery recharger, where long summer days are spent tending the tomatoes and splashing in the pond. Few do it with more style than Dita Balčus and her daughters, who have turned an old aristocratic pile into a hotel and cultural hotspot.
What does the Biden presidency in the United States of America hold, not only for the USA itself, but for the wider world in general and the Baltic states in particular?
In one famous Latvian folk song, a maiden declares “I walked through the silver birch grove, without breaking a single twig.” Of course, not even Latvians are perfect, but our mushroom gatherers, sauna switch makers and Midsummer Eve lovers do try to disturb Mother Nature as little as possible.
Sadly, crises in families leave far too many children in urgent need of care. But one Latvian municipality has come together to make sure that no youngster ever has to go to an orphanage.
God is said to have made Adam out of clay, showing how vital pottery has been to humans since time immemorial. Meet a Latvian couple who are shaping beautiful things from this sticky earth and spreading lots of good vibes.
Almost 30 years have passed since Latvia’s Lenin statues were consigned to the dustbin of history. But in one corner of Rīga, a familiar face lingers on.
There’s an old saying that the person who builds a better mousetrap will be very rich indeed. But what about revolutionising the way pianos are made? Philip Birzulis meets someone who has done just that…
Agris Kociņš, from Bauska, central Latvia, is an ex-policeman who received Latvia's highest civil decoration, the Order of the Three Stars, twelve years ago. He was awarded as one of the eight Bauska policemen who defended the Interior Ministry on January 20, 1990 from an assault by an OMON special police force at a pivotal point for Latvian independence.
Writer Philip Birzulis meets a young Latvian who has inspired a team to do something really positive during the Covid-19 crisis. Helping vulnerable people with their shopping has uncovered a treasure trove of energy which can hopefully find more outlets to make life better.
If you wish you could wave a magic wand and make 2020 just go away, you’re probably not alone. But one talented Rīga clan has a sleeve full of tricks to banish the Covid blues.
An image of Latvia is impossible to create without a view from the outside. However, Latvia's diaspora has not been involved in creation of this image for six years since an Image Policy Coordination Council has been formed, LSM's author in Germany Zane Pudule wrote November 9.
Constant news about the pandemic and COVID-19 virus tend to worry and bring people down. Social sciences expert, Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) professor Anda Rožukalne has conducted a study on Latvian society’s attitude towards COVID-19 related news.
From processions of medieval monks to Olympic opening ceremonies, torches have lit the way throughout history. A passionate Latvian wants the world to rediscover its soulful glow.
From the Japanese onsen to the Turkish hammam, humans have devised many marvellous ways to get clean. Latvians have been doing it for millennia in wood-fired bathhouses called pirts, and the tradition is the perfect antidote to stressful modern life.
Writer Philip Birzulis meets more interesting personalities for the Latvian Institute as one of a series of 'Latvia's got personality' blog posts.
Grassroots issues are on the agenda for the Behmanis farming family in this piece written for the Latvian Institute as one of a series of 'Latvia's got personality' blog posts.
Latvian bank Citadele has put together a list of the most frequent recent scam approaches noted by the bank and reported by its customers.
Latvia has a long tradition of building houses from natural resources. Wooden architecture is preserved in abundance in Riga, but also elsewhere in the Baltic State it has withstood hard times. Many beautiful wooden houses can still be admired in their original setting, writes Alexander Welscher, in this feature from Baltic Business Quarterly magazine which is published by the German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce (AHK) and is reproduced here with permission.
Writer Philip Birzulis heads into the forest with a trustworthy guide on behalf of the Latvian Institute as one of a series of 'Latvia's got personality' blog posts profiling interesting individuals.
We have another 'Person of Interest' podcast produced by the Stockholm School of Economics in Rīga for you.
After opposition activists set up the Coordination Council in Belarus, some started guessing that it could, in the future, serve as the basis for creating an alternative Belarusian government. Such a government could potentially operate in exile, too. At the same time, an organization called the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic is operating as well, abroad. It is currently based in Canada, led by Ivonka Survilla. Latvian Radio was unable to reach her but Aleś Čajčyc, Presidium member and Information Secretary of said Rada, agreed to an interview. Čajčyc is a Latvian citizen and lives intermittently in Rīga.
My name is Alexey Murashko and I'm a book designer. I have been living in Rīga for many years, but I was born and grew up in Belarus. I have never been a political activist, I'm more of a craftsman simply doing his job. But the time has come to express myself publicly. Such are the times, such the circumstances. First of all, I want to thank the many people in Latvia who have written to me expressing their support or asking me about the situation in Belarus. I was very touched by the multitude of people who arrived to the protest at the Embassy of Belarus in Rīga on August 12. Your interest is very important and I'm "forwarding" it to compatriots in my homeland. Many acquaintances here are asking me what's happening. I need but a few words to explain it: the authorities are waging war against the people.