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Taste of Childhood [Oct. 8th, 2017|01:02 am]

[Current Location |Berlin, Germany]
[mood |melancholymelancholy]
[music |Prāta Vētra. Tu izvēlējies palikt]

When I still lived in St. Petersburg in Russia (and earlier in Leningrad, as the city was called in the Soviet times), the Baltic sprats could be frequently found on our table. They used to be a real delicacy for our family - and not only for us. Today, I bought a couple of tins in Berlin — and this was exactly the taste of childhood - those sprats in oil. 

In Latvia, there is the whole concern — "Rīgas šprotes" — has been manufacturing the traditional delicacy right on the shores of the Gulf of Rīga. But also Lithuania has to offer its sea treasures to the world, for instance, produced by "Baltijos delikatesai" located in Palanga.

Enjoy your meal!

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Modern Baltic Spiritual Poetry [Sep. 23rd, 2017|04:48 pm]

[Current Location |Berlin, Germany]
[mood |lethargiclethargic]
[music |Ėjo bernai į bažnyčią]

As the next topic for an insight into the Baltic poetry, I picked up two modern authors from Latvia and Lithuania reflecting on God, church, and spirituality— Ruta Štelmahere (born 1965) and Ričardas Šileika (born 1968).


* * *
balts rūtī saules ugunskurs
es atgriezīšos. būšu tur
kur debess zemi plaukstā tur
un aizsargā lai nenobur
to čūska. kas visapkārt dur
es esmu melnai čūskai nē.
es atgriezīšos Ēdenē

* * *
Tik perdažytoj Deltuvos
bažnyčioj didžiuliai atlaidai

Jau žolės virtę šienu
prėsle sapnuoja lauką
Iš varpinės Trekšiukas
paskelbia Žolinę

Žali vainikai veržia
baltų statulų kojas
užsidega elektros žvakės
klapčiukai skambina dzvaneliais

klebonas veidu į švenčiausiąjį
išsišnirpščia nosį ir pasisukęs
parapijiečių pusėn praneša


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MikroTik Is Macro [Sep. 9th, 2017|11:16 pm]

[Current Location |Berlin, Germany]
[mood |surprisedsurprised]
[music |The Routers. Let's Go]

The statistics of the most profitable Latvian companies for 2016 was a great surprise for me. After the well expected first place for Latvenergo, the second place was taken by MikroTik (in fact "Mikrotīkls", or Micronet), a manufacturer of routers and wireless ISP systems.

Founded in 1996, MikroTik  now provides hardware and software for Internet connectivity around the world and counts over 140 employees in Rīga only.  In 2002, the company developed its own hardware and called that the RouterBOARD, which — along with the RouterOS software —  has become one of the major MikroTik products since then.

MikroTik organises user meetings and trainings virtually all over the globe — from Brazil to Indonesia and from Russia to South Africa. 

Professionals in the field are also welcome to join the team as trainers. The next Train the Trainer event is going to happen on 31 January — 2 February 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Let's go!  

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"Bridge It!": 'Time to Get Serious, and Yet Have Lots of Fun' [Aug. 26th, 2017|11:14 pm]

[Current Location |Berlin, Germany]
[mood |nerdy]
[music |Kadri Voorand. Armupurjed]

Taken from http://www.bridgeit.eu/en/news 

Second step of Bridge It! Programme has just finished. From 14-21 August, 25 active young people from both introductory seminar groups joined each other in Tartu, Estonia.  Main goals of this event was to meet, get new insights about project  work, practice and/or upgrade project management skills and on that  basis, finalise their pre-existing project ideas. 

Here is some insights about the seminar from Artjom Vazinger, participant from Russia. 

“At the very beginning of the Project Meeting, we were warned  that the seminar would not be as funny and “easy” as the first one. Now  was time for work. The main goal of this seminar was to have a concrete  plan for our project, to give it a form from the idea that had appeared  at the introductory seminar. 

Not all participants proceeded with the idea that they had come  up with at the first seminar. Some started to create a new project. And  to get the project ready for the implementation, the participants had to  work hard. They shaped and polished their ideas with the advice and  constructive critique from the facilitators; something was left,  something added. All projects were tested whether they meet criteria  such as: creativity, impact, feasibility, motivation, target audience.

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An Unexpected Prime Minister of Lithuania [Aug. 8th, 2017|09:45 pm]

[Current Location |Berlin, Germany]
[mood |enthralled]
[music |Georgi Sviridov. Time, Forward!]

In October 2016, the Parliamentary Election in Lithuania unexpectedly ended up with the victory of the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union. After a long round of debates with the Social Democratic Party, the electoral list leader of the former — Saulius Skvernelis - became the new prime minister of the republic on 13 December 2016.

Saulius Skvernelis was born in 1970 in Kaunas and graduated from the grammar school in Marijampolė (then Kapsukas). He holds a degree from the Vilnius Gediminas Technical University and from the Mykolas Romeris University (former Police Academy).

In the 1990-2000s, he had various positions at different police departments and services. In 2008-2011, he served as the Deputy General Commissioner; in 2011-2014 — as the General Commissioner of the Lithuanian Police. The latest step towards his position as prime minister was that of the Minister of Interior (2014-2016).  

Now it is already clear: After having been almost eight months in power, Saulius Skvernelis showed his strict but also consolidation-seeking way of governing and proved himself as an experienced politician, who is worth of this high position.

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Bridge It! Programme Year Started with a BANG! [Jul. 24th, 2017|12:39 pm]

[Current Location |Warsaw, Poland]
[mood |angryangry]
[music |William Steffe. Solidarność naszą bronią]

See original at www.bridgeit.eu/en/news

When young people from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Russia join together, you know something is going to happen. On 5-13 July 2017, 27 participants took part in the first seminar of Bridge It! Non-Formal Education Programme. They divided into two groups - one near to Veliky Novgorod, the other to Glubokoe. The notions reflected by the end of the seminars were simply wonderful - participants felt empowered, full of ideas and ready for action.

The two remote areas gave the perfect possibility for getting acquainted with a slightly different side of Russia, places where you usually might not end up. Moreover, getting out from the urbanised environment helped to get a broader perspective on the two topics of this year introductory seminars - “Cultural diversity: connective rather than separative?" and  "Eco-communities: following a trend or a real need?"
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"Bridge It!". 2017 Edition [Jul. 8th, 2017|08:03 pm]

[Current Location |Berlin]
[mood |anxiousanxious]
[music |Gilus Depas. Tavo]

On 5 July 2017, the 6th edition of the "Bridge It!" Programme of non-formal education for young people aged 18-28 from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the South-East of Finland, and the North-West of Russia started. 

Two introduction seminars — "Cultural Diversity: Connective rather than Separative?" and "Eco-Communities: Following a Trend or a Real Need?" — will be running until 13 July 2017.

Good luck to the participants and facilitators of both events!

Read more...Collapse )
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Andris Piebalgs at the Baltic Development Forum [Jun. 24th, 2017|09:30 pm]

[Current Location |Russian Federation]
[mood |nervousnervous]
[music |Sīpoli. Lielā vienotība]

Last week I attended the 19th Baltic Development Forum (BDF) in Berlin. I met a lot of inspiring people there as well as at the 8th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR), which followed the format. Many of them were from Latvia, including Andris Piebalgs, former European Commissioner for Energy (2004-2010) and European Commissioner for Development (2010-2014) currently serving as the leader of the "Unity" Party (Vienotība). At the BDF, Mr Piebalgs was one of the panelists discussing the Political State of the Region Report prepared prior to the Forum.

Andris Piebalgs was born in 1957 in Valmiera. He holds a degree in physics from the University of Latvia. Initially, he worked as a teacher and later as a headmaster at the Secondary School No. 1 in Valmiera. Afterwards, he moved to the MInistry of Education and was quickly promoted to the minister's position (1990-1993). From that time on, his career as a politician has been blossoming. He used to be a Saeima deputy (1993-1994), a MInister of Finance (1994-1995), an Ambassador to Estonia (1995-1997) and to the European Union (1998-2003), Deputy Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2003-2004)... Before taking the office of the European Commissioner for Energy, he was apponted the Head of Sandra Kalniete's Cabinet.

In 2015, Mr Piebalgs came back to Latvia and became an Advisor to the President first. On 4 June 2016, one year prior to the self-government elections throughout the country, he was elected the leader of the "Unity" Party. He will be probably leading the party through the next Parliamentary Election on 6 October 2018 and the European Parliamentary Election in May 2019. Let us wish him good luck with this ambitious task.
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There is an "Ir" in Latvia [Jun. 3rd, 2017|05:28 pm]

[Current Location |Germany, Berlin]
[mood |crankycranky]
[music |Lai ir]

Whenever coming to Latvia, I always know, which journal is worth reading, - "Ir" (There Is in English). This is quite a new weekly released in 2010 and focused on social and political topics. In this short period of time, "Ir" has succeeded in attracting 7,650 subscribers and reached out to 79,000 people. It also may be proud of having received various national and international awards.

"Ir"'s founder is Pauls Raudseps, one of the co-founders of the biggest national newspaper "Diena" (Day), where he worked as the first deputy editor-in-chief, a "Diena.net" director, and finally an editor of the comments' page in 1991-2009. Journal's editor-in-chief is Nellija Ločmele, who worked as a political observer for "Neatkarīga Cīņa" (Independent Struggle, now "Neatkarīga Rīta Avīze", or Independent Morning Paper) in 1992-1993 and "Diena" in 1994-2000. Afterwards, she served as the editor-in-chief for various media and media outlets - politika.lv (2001-2006), "Diena" Regional Papers' Group (also its director, 2006-2008), and "Dienas Mediji" (Diena's Media, 2009).

In May 2017, the publisher also launched an economic journal - "Ir Nauda" (There Is Money), which appears once in two months. Both are highly recommended. 
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Upcoming Local Elections in Latvia [May. 20th, 2017|07:50 pm]

[Current Location |Germany, Berlin]
[mood |nostalgicnostalgic]
[music |Ночные снайперы. 31 весна]

On 3 June 2017, local elections of the city and municipal councils will be held in 9 cities and 110 municipalities of Latvia. The vote will also include the election of the deputies of the City Council of Rīga, the country's capital. The citizens from other EU member states are eligible for voting, once they have been registered in the Population Register 90 days prior to the election date.

The Central Election Commission has been well prepared for this country-wide event by creating a special website, where the voters can review the lists of candidates. Further information on the voters' activity will be available online starting from 31 May 2017. The results of the elections as well as the lists of the elected deputies will be published there, too.

The voters are welcome to come to polling stations starting from 31 May 2017, 5pm-10pm, for a voting beforehand. Two other slots for voting beforehand are on 1 June 2017 (9am-12pm) and on 2 June 2017 (10am-4pm). On the Election Date, the polling stations are open from 7am till 10pm.

Final countdown is ticking down. Steady!
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