Stories about Latvia from January, 2008
Belarus, Latvia: “Ploshcha”
Marginalia watches Ploshcha (“The Square”), a film about the March 2006 mass protests in Minsk – “and watching it is a good way to mark Ceauşescu's birthday and Suharto's death” – and muses on freedom in Latvia and the lack of it in Belarus.
Latvia: Law Firm's Name Change Attempt
Can you imagine a law firm with a name like this: “Viss mainījies skaļi klusēja migla virs pļavām aiz upes un jenotiņš to sajuta tik skaidri ka aizrāvās elpa un nosvīda uz ceļgaliem rātni uzliktās ķepiņas.” Latvian authorities cannot, either, according to Latvian Abroad.
Latvia: Old Believers
Aleks of All About Latvia writes about the Old Believers’ community in Latvia.
EU, Mauritania: Faraway Fishing
Polish, Latvian and Lithuanian fishers are robbing Mauritania of its fish – all because “the EU has methodically depleted fish stocks in its own waters, and now, it is buying fish quotas from poor countries in the third world,” Jonathan Newton reports.
Latvia: The Suiti
Marginalia writes about history, culture and songs of the suiti, the people of Alsunga in Latvia.
The Baltics: Missing the Borders 2
Lituanica has more on the story of the missing borders and one poor cleaning lady, who was on her way to work in Kaunas, Lithuania, but fell asleep and found herself in Tartu, Estonia, instead.
Latvia: Review of “Defenders of Riga”
Latvian Abroad reviews Defenders of Riga, “a feel-good patriotic movie”: “And watching a war movie in which bombs were falling on the familiar streets on which I've walked thousands of time, just a few hundred meters from the movie theater… was so much more intense emotionally.”
The Baltics: Missing the Borders
Latvian Abroad notes that the lack of borders in the Schengen Zone can be quite a nuisance: “A woman from rural Lithuania tries to catch a ride to Kaunas, the second largest city in Lithuania. A miscommunication with the driver leads to … her being dropped off in Tartu, Estonia!”
Soviet History: Fartsovshchiki
Window on Eurasia writes about a review of a new book on Soviet fartsovshchiki: “In the 1970s and 1980s, ‘fartsovka’ grew so large that Vasil’yev suggests there were six different groups involved in acquiring goods — hotel workers, sailors on Soviet cargo ships, long-distance truckers, participants in Interclubs, guides, and...
Latvia, Russia: Citizenship Scandal
Marginalia reports: “Latvia is embroiled in a stunning scandal once again – the sale of perhaps a hundred passports to wealthy individuals, mostly Russian citizens seeking to take advantage of Latvia's EU and Schengen membership.”
Latvia: Politicians’ Quotes
“Amusing quotes” from Latvian politicians (as well as one from Putin, on Latvia), over at Latvian Abroad.