I thought it would be good to put on sheet of paper few arguments to convince other folks from around the world, that Latvia is indeed cute...
1. We live in temperate climate zone. Storms are relatively gentle here, while previous signifficant earthquake we barely „touched” was back in 2004, originating in Kaliningrad, Russia. We have all for seasons, clearly distinguished. Cold winters with snow, springs with floods and hopes, summers with sun and swim in Baltic Sea, autumn with harvests.
2. We have under-but-not-too-under-developed economy (35% of Eurozone average GDP per capita), which means that there are plenty of opportunities for local market to develop). And we have public debt of only 44% to our GDP, check out here, how others are doing:
3. We have beautiful women and there are more women than men. Paradise for men. Not so great for women, but at least you know you are plaing in Majore league.
4. We are green. No nuclear plants, not oil fracking. We have drinking water. A lot of it. Good quality. And still a lot of agricultural, fertile land.
5.We have Latvian National Opera, „Jaunais Rīgas Teātris” and other similarly great springs of culture!! Well above average.
Only 5 my reasons, which, with some energy from your side also, would make it into thousands.. And most of them rock, solid… As the list above still did not touch decent education system, Riga, geographical location, multi-lingual culture etc..
So, if we are so great, why we are not happy? Why we run away? Knowing statistics on our declining population.. pools on our pessimism about the future… there must be barriers that stop from the reasons above tomaterialize into well-being of our nation… And one does not have to think long, to identify few significant barriers:
1. Key for us is to make sure that others do worse, not that we do better. Yes, our neigbors
Lithuanians and Estonians claim that they are the same, but it still is not a good excuse.
2. Sometimes lack of vision and ambition to reach for the stars. Vaira-Vike Freiberga, Ainars Slesers are the only 2, who come to my mind as visionaries… With none of them though I would climb mountains (for different reasons..).
3. Energy of Latvian nation is spent largely on unproductive things:
a. Latvians and Russians proving each other who is deserving more of what Latvia can offer and what language we shall speak when we meet (by the way great solution here was the example of how americans were communicating with Russions on first joint spaceship voyage – russians talking english, and americans talking Russian)
b. Trying to consolidate opinions of very fragmented political forces
c. „living” 2 hours a day in the Latvian Facebook version „Draugiem.lv”. Good for business of Draugiem.lv, but not promoting co-operation and socializing that we badly need.
4. Too much administration, less creation. While more than 20 years since our 2nd independence we have been led by right/center political parties, it has been busy time to „privatize”, „steal”, „create work”, resulting in non efficient administration of the state. Government spending, on other hand, at 38% of GDP does not look bad vs rest of the Europe, but it only makes us „one eyed king in the land of blind”…
5.Lack of confidence. Confidence comes with achievements, positive experience.
Unfortunately, like first list, this list also can go far beyond just 5 barriers, but… good news, these ones are under our control in most of the cases…Please share your opinions. Estonians, Russians and Lithuanians
also are welcome to share, how you see your neighbors – Latvians!