Features
The Riga-Vilnius train: notes from traveling on the new route
The Riga-Vilnius train: notes from traveling on the new route
Look, I totally get it: it’s hard to tell Latvia and Lithuania apart. It’s the ultimate sibling rivalry: they’re good at basketball, so we must be good at basketball. We consume ungodly amounts of potatoes, so their national dish is potato dumplings. Little wonder, then, that soon after Latvia finally got its new trains, Lithuania had to send in their own.
Rule changes to expect in Latvia for 2024
Rule changes to expect in Latvia for 2024
This time of year is usually full of reviews of the year just gone and advanced guesswork about what might happen in the year to come. Here on the LSM English-language service we try to avoid both, on the basis that you were there in 2023 too, and probably remember what happened, while our crystal balls are no more transparent than yours.
How to make your own seasonal Latvian decorations
How to make your own seasonal Latvian decorations
If your tinsel is sagging, your candles are crumbling and that box of seasonal decorations you keep on top of the closet looks like it needs a kick in the baubles, help is at hand! More fun, more beautiful (and much cheaper for any yuletide Scrooges) is making your own traditional Latvian decorations.
Along the Latvia-Estonia border: Northernmost Latvia
Along the Latvia-Estonia border: Northernmost Latvia
Thankfully the Latvia-Estonia border is not the cartographically satisfying but extremely boring straight line such as one finds between certain of the United States or countries owning shares in the Sahara Desert. On a large-scale map it looks fairly consistent, but the closer you zoom in, the more irregular and oddball it becomes.
The Latvian taking care of fintech interests at the European level
The Latvian taking care of fintech interests at the European level
Previously, she worked at the Permanent Representation of Latvia in the European Union (EU) in Brussels and for several years also advised financial institutions and fintech companies on EU law. Now, the Latvian Linda Strazdiņa is co-president of the European FinTech Association and EU policy and government relations director of the fintech company Wise. In these positions, she takes care of representing the interests of fintech companies at an EU level.
Along the Latvia-Estonia border: Valka-Valga Express
Along the Latvia-Estonia border: Valka-Valga Express
In 2024, Tartu – or rather, Tartu and a large chunk of southern Estonia – is a European Capital of Culture, and as LSM has already reported, a concerted effort is being made to attract as many Latvian residents as possible to the party. However, it would be misleading of me to say that's the reason for this series of features. It's not the reason, it's the excuse. Some of us have had the Northern Latvia/Southern Estonia bug for a long time already and need no new invitation to explore the quirks and kinks of the Latvia-Estonia border.
Latvian Startup Roundup: November
Latvian Startup Roundup: November
Labs of Latvia's Jūlija Gifford provides us with a roundup of all the latest action in the bustling Latvian startup scene.
Furrowed brows at the World Ploughing Championships in Latvia
Furrowed brows at the World Ploughing Championships in Latvia
It's much more than a simple agricultural necessity: ploughing has become a source of both entertainment and sporting rivalry between farmers. This could be seen at the World Ploughing Championships 2023 in Kuldīga where ploughmen turned Latvian soil over two days.
Flying discs are taking over Latvia
Flying discs are taking over Latvia
“It's too far”, “that's a ridiculous angle”, “this disc just isn't right for me” – my first time playing disc golf, I kept blaming everything but myself for the dire lack of decent throws. I did, however, appreciate the scenic surroundings on the banks of the river Aiviekste and the opportunity to be outside moving about after a day of screen time. While I was skeptical, I did slowly start to understand why people might like the sport that involves lobbing discs towards long-legged metal baskets trying to get them in with a minimum amount of strategic throws. 
Rīga return for Anatole Lapine, visionary Latvian automotive designer
Rīga return for Anatole Lapine, visionary Latvian automotive designer
Some designers and their works are trendy for a short while before being forgotten, while others like Anatole Lapine (1930-2012) set timeless trends. The native-born Latvian left a remarkable mark in the automotive industry – as chef designer of an iconic German premium sportscar brand.
Liepāja 2027: creative rest and unrest
Liepāja 2027: creative rest and unrest
Rīga’s stint as European Capital of Culture back in 2014 was a success. In a few years, a second Latvian city will be given the honour to present itself as a cultural hotspot: Liepāja. Both the city and the cultural program are ready to go – and there is a lot to expect.
Latvia: the next hikers' paradise?
Latvia: the next hikers' paradise?
Travel brochures, promotional videos, and photos position Latvia as a place to venture into the wild and connect with nature. With more than 50% of the country covered in forest, it is undeniably green and enriched with lakes, rivers, swamps, and the coastline. But how accessible is this natural wilderness? Can you just hike wherever you like?
Latvia and Germany singing together in the same choir
Latvia and Germany singing together in the same choir
Enjoying the power of song, the German Bundestag President Bärbel Bas recently attended the Latvian Song Festival anniversary celebrations. While visiting Riga, she also held political talks with five other speakers of parliaments, congratulated the newly inaugurated Latvian president and found a moment to talk to LSM.
Dancing together, in life and on stage
Dancing together, in life and on stage
For Song and Dance Festival performers the actual 10-day spectacle is the culmination of months or, more likely, years of preparation. It means finding time for several rehearsals a week – a major commitment, which comes in addition to the choir, dance, or folk group's everyday activities, such as weekend performances. How do people juggle such an intense schedule with their other duties in life like being a parent and partner? 
Latvian Radio investigates LGBT+ issues in eastern Latvia
Latvian Radio investigates LGBT+ issues in eastern Latvia
The LGBTQ+ community in Latvia is often subject to intolerant comments and sometimes violent attacks. Not only do the comments come from social media but also the parliament. Latvian Radio's investigative broadcast Atvērtie faili analyzed the situation in Latvia's eastern region Latgale, where surveys have shown people to be the least tolerant with regard to LGBT issues.
How volunteers help the Latvian Song and Dance Festival happen
How volunteers help the Latvian Song and Dance Festival happen
Along with over 40,000 performers, the organising team and all the paid service providers, another group contributes greatly to the Song and Dance Festival – volunteers. This year, 1,000 people are dedicating their free time to ensure the festival's success. The youngest among them is 16 and the oldest 82. They were chosen from more than 1,500 applicants.  
Latvian project 'She Rebuilds the World' makes an impact in Africa
Latvian project 'She Rebuilds the World' makes an impact in Africa
In the scope of the first ever Latvian development cooperation project in Africa under the name ‘She Rebuilds the World’ there are currently 73 young ladies from Zambia and Namibia enrolled in the entrepreneurship program at the Riga Business School, Latvia.
La Lettonie en revue: Avril 2023
La Lettonie en revue: Avril 2023
Les articles ont été sélectionnés pour traduction au mois de mars et au début du mois d'avril et portent sur l'actualité politique et culturelle en Lettonie
How will Latvia's President be chosen on May 31?
How will Latvia's President be chosen on May 31?
The decisions of Latvia's parliament, the Saeima, on May 31, 2023 will reveal the identity of the country's head of state for the next four years. But what are those decisions, how are they made, and what happens afterward?

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