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When I came to live here three and a half years ago, I was familiar with the typical list of an outsider’s superficial observations of Latvia: frequent gruff answers, bureaucratic absurdities, a nation-wide fear of drafts, and so on. These things were often frustrating, but as already said, superficial. Something you’d better get used to…or

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VEĻU LAIKS — DIEVAINES Late autumn – October, November – the leaves have fallen, the field work is done, the weather is often foggy, there is time for reflection…. This time of year, once the wolves begin to howl in autumn, is called Veļu laiks (“The Time of the Spirits”) or sometimes Dievaines. The same

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[As the result of a 1921 international border agreement, half a county of ethnically Latvian inhabitants along the Baltic Sea coast ended up in Lithuania instead of Latvia. One positive outcome of this situation that culturally isolated the people there is that their singing traditions survived more or less intact until very recently. For the

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