With temperatures this winter dropping 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.
While we would all like to follow the advice of the classic pick-me-up tune “Don’t worry – be happy,” that’s often easier said than done. But one Latvian has worked out a system for putting smiles on our faces.
Angkor Wat, the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China and… Kuldīga? The beautiful western Latvian town is seeking to join these icons on the world’s most prestigious preservation list. And this is a tribute to the passionate efforts of its people to preserve their cultural heritage.
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.
With its spectacular views, leafy walking trails and storybook castles, Sigulda has been sweeping lovers off their feet for generations. One local artist has turned the region’s romantic legends into an artform and is finding deeper meaning through them for our troubled times.
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.
The Covid 19 crisis is more than just a medical issue, as many people face poverty and hunger in the economic downturn. Fortunately, one young Latvian is organising his peers to help those most in need.
With over half the country covered by forest, trees are a vital part of Latvia’s economy and national identity. Meet a man who also finds art, music and poetry in the woods.
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.
Almost 30 years have passed since Latvia’s Lenin statues were consigned to the dustbin of history. But in one intriguing corner of Riga, Vladimir Ilyich lives on…