Much fun here, thanks to rq!
One of the more interesting and unusual Baltic-related sites of recent years has been Imaginary Latvians, started in 2014, a Medium-based project to compile as many references to Latvians in literature and film as possible, and which now has dozens of entries from all over the world. Examples range from imaginary “beautiful, proud and pitiless” witches to imaginary itinerant old men who give out cheques for thousands of dollars, to imaginary mice in Disney films.
Latvian-American Rihards Kalniņš, the chief seeker of imaginary Latvians, recently spoke to Deep Baltic about what he has learnt from the project.
The interview is here, and you can do much reading at Imaginary Latvians.
The photo, in case anyone is interested, is from one of the mega-folk-dancing shows they put on for the Song and Dance Festivals (major one every five years, but there’s local ones plus the junior one also every five years but five different years from the major one -- the most recent in 2013), where they get several thousands of dancers onto a football field and recreate dances usually meant for 6 -- 12 couples into massive, group drawings of traditional patterns and the like. If you ever get a chance to go see this, it’s quite amazing -- make sure you sit near the top of the stands, otherwise the patterning will be lost. When you have really good choreographers on board, the flow from one design to the next is utterly fascinating and beautiful. And the switch-off from one dance to the next (there’s a couple thousand on the field while the next couple-thousand are waiting in the wings for their turn) is something amazing in its own right, seeing as the switchover occurs within about 10 seconds.