The Splendid Palace

This post was first published on this site on October 9, 2008. It has been updated  and it is being republished today.  RIGA – A location of the cinema Riga on Elizabetes iela has long offered city dwellers bread and … Continue Reading →

Sweet Sugar Propaganda of 1935

RIGA – On April 14, 1935, about 3,000 people gathered inside the main city theater in Jelgava, the home of the sugar factory. They came to hear presentations about benefits of sugar consumption during an event that would become the launch of the nationwide campaign to promote sugar consumption in Latvia for the next several months. Continue Reading →

On the eve of Latvia’s birthday

RIGA — The following is my translation of the editorial published in the Russian-language newspaper Segodnya on November 18, 1925, Latvia’s 7th independence anniversary. I kept the original emboldened text. Seven years of independence, seven years of independent existence … … Continue Reading →

It’s Genocide!

RIGA – Words are a powerful tool. They paint a picture. They persuade. They dissuade. They arose people to war. They declare peace. They matter in a public discourse. They set the public mood and reveal the mindset of its … Continue Reading →


Bear Slayer’s Day

RIGA – I discovered this picture in my family photo archive several days ago. The second from the left is my great uncle, my great-grandmother’s brother, Vasily. He is wearing the interwar Latvia’s uniform, though I don’t know where he … Continue Reading →



Before his death, the Latvian national poet and social democrat Rainis pens an article on national minorities in Latvia. Its echoes are felt today. Continue Reading →


A first-hand history lesson

RIGA – Russian-language signs adorn the walls of the narrow low-ceiling hallways that zigzag through a dirty, dusty basement under dim lights between tight cells in the most notorious building in Riga.
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Grandpa’s Funeral or Old Believers in Latvia II

RIGA – Wearing head scarfs and skirts, women flock to a church on a cold and lazy Saturday morning, hours before the winter sun shows its rare face in the Latvian capital. Continue Reading →

Old Believers in Latvia

Fleeing the mighty axe of the Russian czar, Old Believers, the splitters in the Russian Orthodox faith, settled in eastern Latvia more than 3 years ago, managing to preserve their culture and heritage. Continue Reading →

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