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Busking In The Shade

It was so hot on the shores of the Baltic sea that August that we had to look for shade everywhere we could, just like this street piper in Riga, Latvia.

Eurovision Contestants 2015: Latvia

Latvia ran in 15 editions of the Eurovision Song Contest since its first participation at the turn of the millennium. The former Soviet satellite failed only to qualify in 2004 with expand=1] this song — we have no idea why it didn’t work, people probably forgot what real rock’n’roll was at the time.

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Freedom Skyline

Five years after Latvia's independence was recognized by the Soviet Union (one of the last things the dying Union got to do), we toured the Baltic states, still then in the early stages of painstaking de-Russification.

But from above, Riga, the largest city in the three Baltic republics, looked as beautifully Latvian as ever.

Klaus Brill

Latvia And The Euro: A Bittersweet Achievement

Latvia becomes the 18th member of the European single currency zone, adopting the euro just as the small Baltic nation starts to enjoy economic growth. Will Latvians come to regret it?

RIGA — In Latvian, it is called the eiro, not the euro. But on the new European single currency coins that Latvians are exchanging for their beloved lats, the value is given in "euros" — spelled the same way as it is in the rest of Europe. The other side of the coins still show either the trusted emblems of the national coat of arms or Milda, a young woman in national costume who symbolizes the fight for independence.

These symbols always resurface in the small Baltic nation whenever a new era begins, so it is fitting that they will appear on the Latvian euros. Today, Latvia becomes the 18th member of the European single currency zone, and its entry is more than welcome.

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Soviet Legacy Looms Large Over Latvia's Upcoming Russian Language Referendum

Latvians will decide this weekend whether to make Russian the country's official second language. Demographically, doing so makes sense. A third of the population is Russian. Many Latvians, however, still associate the language with their years u


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