Photos from our ongoing efforts to improve our little house and paradise in the country. Periodically updated. The photos are shown in more or less reverse chronological order.
These are images from the Latvian seashore Toms has taken over the last two decades.
First, the background information: on June 14, 1941, more than 14,000 people were forcibly deported by Stalin’s regime from Latvia to Russia – families were separated, the men sent to hard labor camps, women and children sent to work and fend for themselves on the Siberian taiga and tundra. Teachers, doctors, government workers, members of
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
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
[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
About 20 years ago a young couple on an outing to the far reaches of Latgale [eastern Latvia] met and recorded a couple of local traditional musicians and singers. Ilmārs and Janta Mežs kept in touch with one of the musicians – a violin player – and this past summer Janta invited me and another