Genie out of the bottle…

The summer in Latvia is beautiful but it is difficult to take my mind off the UK news. On June 23 Latvians celebrated the most popular holiday called Ligo when people enjoy the shortest nights of the year. Being in the nature with lots of good food, singing, dancing but mostly good time with friends…Read more Genie out of the bottle…

Minnesota is a long way from Burma or Latvia

This is a photo from St Paul, Minnesota. Did you know that June 20 is a World Refugee Day? St Paul has become home to thousands of refugees. One of the ethnic groups settled in MN are Karen people from Burma (Myanmar). There are estimated 10,000 Karen in Minnesota and St. Paul currently has the…Read more Minnesota is a long way from Burma or Latvia

Should They Stay or Should They Go now?

I was watching two guys, very good friends to each other, having an intense argument about the British referendum on whether to Remain in the EU or Leave. Neither one of them was born British and only one of them lives and works in the UK. Still, they both care deeply about the current affairs…Read more Should They Stay or Should They Go now?

Shared European identity? Being proud and embarrassed together

Recently in Amsterdam I was invited to join a small group at a local pub. I am not a fan of beer, so my choice was a glass of red wine. But the rest of my new acquaintances knew their local beers - Dutch, Belgian, German... You gather a few Europeans and they can have…Read more Shared European identity? Being proud and embarrassed together

“Son of Saul” is hard to watch but so worth it

There are good movies and then there are special movies. There are stories and then there are powerful stories. I love movies that tell a good story and engage my emotions and imagination. A good story draws you in and helps you to relate to the main characters. It helps you to try to imagine…Read more “Son of Saul” is hard to watch but so worth it

Our renewed attraction to “greatness”

One leader has promised to make "Russia Great Again", one businessman has vowed to make "America Great Again" and others in Europe and elsewhere are declaring the same. Then there are those of us who have never been so "great" and just want to keep our countries the way they are. Or keep our countries...…Read more Our renewed attraction to “greatness”

It could be me, it could be you…

I want to talk about Ukraine in a very personal way and this story starts in Thailand... of all places. My former home in Chiang Mai was in a small and quiet neighborhood close to Chiang Mai University. There were not many foreigners living there. So, when a foreign family moved in, everyone took notice.…Read more It could be me, it could be you…