Latvia in the News

05. novembris, 2007


Mark Case

I've always enjoyed seeing what foriegn coverage events in Latvia manage to get overseas. Sadly, it often seems that the events most well covered are those that portray the country in a fairly negative light, as demonstrated by the fairly light coverage of Saturday's protests. Without any blood or fireworks, arrests or police brutality, it seems that a country taking advantage of its rights to protest about the way the government works is of little interest to the rest of the world.

However, I was somewhat more concerned to see this story on a South African website. A search through their archives showed no other articles about Latvia in the last couple of months, other than sports scores. So what is the South African readers’ only exposure to this Northern country. Blood. According to the story (and I have no idea about, or interest in, its veracity), 100 people were given free tickets to a sneak preview of a horror movie, in exchange for donating some blood to the Latvian Red Cross.

I appreciate, of course, that this is not a negative story. No one reading it will be sighing in despair at the corruption/naivety/arrogance/violence (delete as appropriate) of this “small Baltic republic”. But its not exactly positive publicity either. Surely somebody, somewhere can find something more significant to tell South Africans about Latvia than this.

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