32 episodes

I first lived in Latvia as a diplomat from 1996-1999. I returned to live in Latvia in 2022. This story-telling and reportage podcast is my personal observation of aspects of life in Latvia and things to see and experience.

An Englishman in Latvia Alan Anstead

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

I first lived in Latvia as a diplomat from 1996-1999. I returned to live in Latvia in 2022. This story-telling and reportage podcast is my personal observation of aspects of life in Latvia and things to see and experience.

    On Mežaparks

    On Mežaparks

    Mežaparks is a suburb of Rīga, Latvia's capital. It is a beautiful area of villas, a forest park, and a zoo. The Englishman George Armitstead, while Mayor of Rīga, created it in 1901 as the first Garden City in the world. Join me as we explore this delightful neighbourhood of Rīga and learn of its fascinating history. Walk with me through the park, as people have done for over 100 years. Join me on a visit to the zoo. Let’s also dig deep into what the great man George Armitstead accomplished ...

    • 32 min
    On Sir Stephen Tallents

    On Sir Stephen Tallents

    Sir Stephen Tallents was a distinguished British civil servant and a trailblazer in public relations. I focus on his work in Latvia between 1919 - 1920. Due to his skill and determination, he assisted Latvia and the other newly independent Baltic States to achieve peace and prosperity for 20 years. His story is fascinating. Join me as we learn more about the man and how he operated, like how he created the Tallents Line border between Latvia and Estonia. We will even visit the tow...

    • 26 min
    On music

    On music

    Latvia has a rich music scene, from classical music to the internationally acclaimed Song and Dance Festival, ancient folklore dainas, and a thriving popular music culture. In 2000, Latvia even came third in the Eurovision Song Contest! Not bad for a country of 1.8 million people.In this episode, we will explore the folklore, classical and popular music of Latvia. I will tell a few stories from the 1990s and the present day. Join me on a musical journey! Thanks for listening!

    • 35 min
    On public transport

    On public transport

    For a visitor to Latvia, there is a massive choice of public transport. From trains, buses, smaller mini-buses, trolleybuses, trams, and coaches. There are also a few taxis. A few of these forms of public transport are brand-new. Many give you a feel for life during the Soviet occupation. There was even a song written about my favourite tram line! Let’s take a deep dive into public transport in Latvia. With a story or two to bring the topic to life. Thanks for listening!

    • 26 min
    On sport

    On sport

    Latvia is a nation that loves sport. it has achieved outstanding sporting success. We will examine that success. We will look at the most popular sports in Latvia, some Latvian sporting heroes, and share some of the proud glory from 2023’s success in ice hockey and basketball. Above all, I wanted to discover why this small country was so good at certain sports. Thanks for listening!

    • 45 min
    On the Suiti

    On the Suiti

    The Suiti are a 400-year-old ethnic Latvian group. They are Catholic people in the centre of the Kurzeme region in western Latvia, surrounded by Lutherans. They preserved their culture over the years by never marrying someone from a different ethnic group or religion. This has resulted in the Suiti developing distinct traditions. The Suiti are creative people with fantastic fabric designs. Their culture has been recognised internationally by UNESCO.We explore Alsunga and find out more a...

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
5 Ratings

5 Ratings

x8845 ,

Great and differentiated podcast

Great podcast with lots of thoughtful and differentiated content on Latvia — thank you so much for putting this together. As a minor improvement would be nice if pronunciation were taken a bit more seriously though. Most of the sounds that the podcaster routinely butchers exist in English as well so require no particular skill to render. One gets the impression that despite being sympathetic to Latvia, the podcaster is not even trying to pronounce the most basic Latvian words like Jāņi with any fidelity :). So keep up the good work but perhaps spend a few minutes per episode looking up how the key vocab is pronounced.

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