“Library book chain,” across the city of Riga to celebrate the opening of Latvia’s new national library after twenty years of construction. Twenty-five years ago, Latvians formed a Menschenkette, a human chain, to protest the Soviet dictatorship.
Riga, Latvia, and Umea, Sweden, will be the European Capitals of Culture for 2014. Umea will be focussing on the regional Saami heritage, while Riga will be celebrating music and theater.
Update on 18 Jan 2014: Fireworks and dancing in the frozen streets kicked off the three-day opening celebration in Riga. Since the start of WWI a century ago, said ZDF heute journal, the twentieth century was a torture for Latvia of one dictatorship after the other, including occupation by the Nazis. Which is why Riga scheduled a cheeky performance of what is said to be Adolf Hitler’s favorite Wagner opera this week, Aufstieg und Fall eines Tyrannen, in very bright costumes and with a live horse.
(Beeb lee oh tay CAR-R-R ish ah BEE chheah ket tah.)