Culture & Lifestyle

18 Iconic Songs to Help You Understand Latvia and Latvians

latvian songs

I was born in Australia to Latvian parents. Through music, films and stories they, my grandparents and wider community raised me to be and identify as Latvian. That cultural education sure helped adapt to life in the ‘Land that sings’* when we eventually moved when I was seven. At school in Latvia we sang to […]

How You Can Support Local Businesses And Volunteer During The COVID-19 Pandemic In Riga

support local businesses riga

Whether healthy enough to venture outside the house or currently in quarantine or self-isolation, we can all find a way to help others during this unprecedented crisis. Support Local Businesses Independent businesses contribute so much to Riga’s distinctive flair. I’m in awe of the business owners who’ve adapted to the sudden changes by offering contactless […]

Highs And Lows Of Being A Freelancer In Riga

freelancer riga

Thirteen months ago I became a freelancer. Encouraged by friends and family, I felt confident I had what it takes and knew what it would be like. I was wrong about many things! I’ve been loving the freedom to respond to bursts of creativity when they actually occur, walk my newborn nephew in the middle […]

Tried & Tested Things To Do In Riga To Find Calm

things to do in riga beach

The cult of busyness has infected Riga. Get on any bus, tram or trolley and you’ll see more eyes staring at screens than gazing out the window or casting shy glances at fellow passengers. But, gradually, as more and more flames burn out and reach painfully obvious conclusions, people are pulling the brakes on busyness. […]

Latvia’s Answer To Poland’s Milk Bar – The Ēdnīca

riga ednica

As I slowly savoured every piece of my pierogi on a recent trip to Warsaw, I wondered why Poland’s “bar mleczny” or milk bar has achieved cult status while its no-less-deserving cousin, the “ēdnīca” leads a much less celebrated life in Latvia. Here, it’s either a place we just don’t talk about or joke about. […]

Riga’s Art Nouveau Area From A Local’s Perspective

Ausekļa iela

Having now benefited from the literal quietness of Riga’s Klusais Centrs (Quiet Centre) or Art Nouveau area for over five years, I’ve developed a deep liking for more than the quality of sleep in this part of town. Light traffic, a high density of office spaces and no lack of greenery keep it calm. I […]

What Young People Talk About In Riga

young people riga

From quick exchanges by the office water cooler to heated, booze-infused debates at bars or sitting around a fire, there’s no shortage of intense and deep conversations in our lives. They’re amazing, those planned or unexpected conversations sparked by a simple cup of coffee, cocktails, the right mood or an odd mood. In Riga, I […]

The Latvian Firefighting Museum

firefighting museum latvia

My two year old loves neenaws. Of all the big life talks that await him and me, I’m fine with the genital-ly ones but fear I’ll scar him deep when I explain the link between neenaws and bad news. For now though, junior balls can’t get enough of those neenaws. So it’s a bit of […]

Riga Water Supply Museum: A Hidden Gem

riga water supply museum

One of the things I want for Christmas is for Riga Water Supply Museum to get the attention and investment it deserves. I mean, just look at those pictures! It’s such an incredible structure complete with impressive old pumping equipment and fragile stained glass windows worthy of their own Instagram gallery. And those floor tiles […]

But These Grey Peas Are Brown?

It’s not easy being a translator or interpreter. Sure, it isn’t dangerous, except if you work in eastern Ukraine, Syria or similar high-risk zones, or happen to be whispering in the ear of a political leader who’s being assassinated. But, fortunately, for most of us, life’s much safer. As with any profession, translation seems to […]