Vermanes Garden 2018
Every 5 years the song and dance festival happens in Latvia. It is a huge event, spanning an entire week with participants in the thousands and the final concert boasting a choir of more than 15,000 people.
This year Latvia is celebrating its 100 year birthday and 25 years of freedom.
I was honored to get to sell my scarves in a week-long artist’s market in the lovely Vermanes Garden in connection with the studio Gundega that I get to paint with from time to time.
We took turns manning the booth with our scarves as the hours were long and one needs a break now and then. With 12 hour work days + transport that is a necessity. The memories made during this year’s event were INCREDIBLE! I love getting to talk with tourists and visitors. But the thing about this year’s market was how many Latvians were here who have been born outside of Latvia but were here to celebrate! I sold my art to visitors from all over the world and am so excited to know my art is going to Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, the UK, Chicago, Kokomo, IN. etc. It is always fun selling online but to get to talk to people and hear their stories is AMAZING!
I think I could write an entire book about the people I met, and the stories I heard. Every night I could hardly sleep due to thinking over the impressions of the day.
There was the 88-year-old Latvian producer, composer, and choir director who saw my Birch tree scarf and broke into her own composed song about birch trees. She knew she had to have my scarf and I was so pleased to have her wearing it!
There were the folks from Indiana- Latvian like me and visiting the land of their forefathers.
There was the lady from Wyoming, who just happened to be a professor who also teaches silk painting to the future art teachers. She was surprised I would know where Wyoming is, but considering where I have been and lived (Montana, etc) it is really no surprise.
There was the lady whose friend at home watering her flowers was one of my Grandma’s dearest Latvian friends, and who son was in my parent’s wedding. And I was so pleased to get to send a scarf to her in honor of her long time friendship with my Grandma now in heaven.
I met so many kind, friendly, amazing people from ALL over the world! Somtimes they bought from me, sometimes we just chatted. But what struck me the most was how truly small our wold is, and how far a dose of kindness and friendiness go. Because whenever we would say a simple, “Hello, Where are you from?” entire channels of connection and friendship opened.
So wherever you are- do as Cinderella’s Mother said, “Have courage and be kind.” And in that courage do what we did and be friendly! You never know who you might meet and the friendships, and even perhaps family friends you might uncover.