Yes, we can
In Riga the street cafes were buzzing with people who were enjoying the seemingly never ending warmth and beaches in Jūrmala packed with dark tanned crowd.
What stroked me was the number of quality cultural events given the population of the country. Latvia was pulsing with number of summer festivals, from Latvian Youth Song and Dance Festival in Riga to Medieval music festival in Rundāle palace; from Opera music festival in Sigulda to Arts Festival in Cēsis and Inese Galante Summertime concert series in Jūrmala.
From the other side, I saw hundreds of hectares of uncultivated land and depressed areas like in Latgale. There is no doubt that Latvia needs a heavy boost in its economy. The good news are that first signs of economic recovery are visible, with growing exports and manufacturing output.
For me the hardest thing was to listen to people in Latvia who kept talking about gloom and doom that Latvia face. The funny thing, it is very easy and somehow more natural for humans to notice bad things around. As we keep talking about negativity, we somehow notice more evidence that supports it.
The opposite is true as well. I see that golden key to Latvia’s future prosperity are entrepreneurial people who are able to think and act globally. There are already many bright, positive minded and energetic people who are starting to shape the country. There are some examples:
Inventors and manufactures of the first vertical wind tunnel for human flying. From 2006 Olympics in Torino to World Expo in Shanghai 2010 – Aerodium
Old idea, creative interpretation – Handmade soap and body products with shops all around the world – Stendera Ziepju Fabrika
Fashion designer Alise Trautmane, former corporate executive turned fashion designer in few short years with fashion shops in Riga, Moscow and London and regular fashion shows internationally, including New York on September 2010- Narciss
As Henry Ford said: If you think you can’t do it, you are right, but if you say you can do it, you are also right. I prefer the second part.
Have a great day! Don’t be shy and share your thoughts.