European Capital of Culture of 2014

2014 European Capital of CultureRiga is a capital city in Latvia, and a major center of culture in the North-Eastern Europe. I wouldn’t necessarily compare it to epicenters of the past like Alexandria, but it’s one of the most vibrant spots in the eastern world, let alone the whole country of Latvia. There are fairs, festivals and other gatherings that have people coming and going all year round. There are operas, orchestral performances and plenty of live exhibitions to see too, which is why I think Latvia’s capital city is one of the hottest spots in Europe today.

Summer is just getting started in Riga, which hosted a major event for book lovers back at the beginning of the year, right in the middle of January. Men, women and children, all joined hand in hand, passed books from the National Library of Latvia all the way to the Gaismas Pils, or Castle of Light, many kilometers away. That’s really old news though.

Still to come in July of 2014 are the World Choir Games, where tens of thousands of singers from nearly a hundred different countries will all gather together and let their voices be heard. That’s in stark contrast to the Born in Riga event, wherein a series of performers playing alone tried their hardest to outshine one another.

There are other events planned for later in the year, once the weather cools down and more people are willing to take to the streets, rather than stay inside in their air conditioning. For instance, the Staro Riga, the biggest and most expansive light show in north Europe, is coming up in the middle of November. Likewise, the European Film Academy Awards will be taking place in Riga at the close of the year, near December 13th.

These are just a few of the numerous events which have either already happened in Riga in 2014, or will be happening later on in the year. There are really too many scenes, shows, sights and sounds for me to list them all here. Instead, I want to close by sharing a short story about a time I went to Riga myself.

I already mentioned the event I attended – it was that book passing thing. I can’t remember the name of it, but I surely recall the long chain of people, stretching all the way to the horizon and rolling right over it, as far as my eyes could see and then farther still. It was at this event that I managed to visit with some local business partners who work for Citrus Solutions.

Naturally, I was somewhat surprised to see those two guys at the book passing event I attended, but it wasn’t so shocking in retrospect. They’re always going places with big crowds to be seen, be heard, spread the word about their business, that sort of thing. Anyhow, they told me about some changes they were thinking of making to www.citrus.lv, their company website.

Now, me, I’m a big fan of most human constructs. We aren’t just a part of history – we make history, each of us. They came to me for any advice on how they could make their website something that would withstand the test of time and they got what they came for, let me tell you. I should be seeing them again later this year when I revisit Riga for those film awards I spoke about.