Welcome to the IWCR!

May 2, 2013By

ina_forandeDear Ladies,

Spring is here at last, and I hope you are enjoying the lovely weather. The birds are chirping and the sun is shining. Not only will May bring in better weather, it will also bring people together for a good cause -the Potluck Lunch that will be held at Iwona Rowlette’s house. Iwona is our Charity Committee Deputy, and on the 1st of June we can get together, enjoy food from different countries, and raise some money for very needy causes.

Since I joined the IWCR 9 years ago, I have been on the Board in many different positions  but I never before thought of being President, so I am grateful to be given this opportunity to serve as your President and I do look forward to working with our Board. I would like to thank the outgoing Board for all their hard work, especially Marina Fricke, Kathryn Soper, Annie Durham, Fatima Gruben, Iwona Rowlette, Denise Wirth, Arita Featherstone, and Marina Le Clere – these ladies who will not remain on the Board in the next year.

To the many Ladies who have been my constant supporters I say ‘thank you’ for your support and confidence in me. I’m really looking forward to another year of working together with all of you, for more achievements for the IWCR.

To start your summer in the best Latvian way, I can recommend some activities that you really must not miss. First, the biggest Annual Artisans Fair, from 1-2 of June, takes place each year at the Ethnographic museum in Riga and features craftsmen from all over Latvia. It is the best opportunity to buy beautiful handmade things, and if you want the pick of the items, it is best to get there early on the first day. Second,is the traditional Latvian Midsummer Festival of ‘Līgo day and Jāņi’, 23-24 of June. This is the biggest traditional Latvian festival, having a deep symbolic meaning for Latvians and known in other countries, too. Līgo Eve is on the 23rd of June, with Jāņi on the following day – the 24th of June. It coincides with the summer solstice and the festivities include many ancient traditions, like gathering flowers and cutting boughs, making wreathes of oak leaves and flowers, decorating houses, cars and even animals, burning ceremonial bonfires and singing songs with a Ligo refrain. The food includes Jāņi cheese with caraway seeds and barley beer. Third, the Latvian Song and Dance Festival is happening this year, and it takes place only once every five years.  It will be held from the 30th of June till the 7th of July. This is a nation-wide event, bringing together Latvians from all over Latvia and the world.  The Song and Dance Festival tradition is, in itself, an ongoing creative process, which involves folk groups, professional artists, and experts in traditional culture.  The Latvian Song and Dance Festival has traditionally been a manifestation and celebration of Latvian national culture and identity. The Festival brings together local choirs and folk artists to explore and present the richness and diversity of Latvian culture. You can find out more about this event on the website www.knmc.gov.lv

Enjoy the last days of spring, and the first breath of summer!
See you all soon.
Ina Forande, IWCR President (incoming)

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