Time loss extravaganza no one in his her right mind can afford with public funds or even own..

A less discussed issue in Latvia is how we expend our dire resources – namely suddenly surfacing new National days, and Birthdays and Name days, and what they do for the country’s economy, that already is challenged?!

I was speaking recently to a business friend of mine when I caught him in distress about all days we have to manifest and what happens if one does not go along with local practices – You see a name is just a name’s day, and if I use my own family for an example – we would share a coffee, my father would give my mother flowers, I would lay the coffee table and make the coffee, put up a flag – and it was just what was needed! When it was my turn on the Henrik-day January 19, coming home from school if mother was not working, we would share a coffee – I would probably have tea, and the gift would be a Crocus plant with a Swedish flag in it, and maybe a specially bought pastry. I felt so lucky!

My father was often away flying out to Japan, Korea or Hongkong for weeks on end, and name days were no large matter, his was early June, and similarly we would sit around the coffee table with a fresh cloth on, I would have written a card I had bought and had signed. -We never threw a party, and I had 3 names, my parents two each and it was only the first name really we commemorated. In those days the internet was not around, nor was the mobile phone so if there were longer stay-aways my father would organise flowers sent us both – more for mother, and a smaller one for me. I felt very fortunate when it happened! Birthdays were always the biggest, but if they occurred during the week we would move them for a Saturday, ask best friends over, buy some soft drinks, maybe sweets, and add Gin Tonic for the men or a sherry had – Bristol Cream always being a favourite.

If lucky, we would serve each other a breakfast in bed before normal hours when we rose, a special silver tray lovely parcels and a small flag or a flower in a vase, and a few cards written wishing you well. – When I look upon the extravaganza here in the Latvia, and the time put in business meetings cancelled or anger if you do not obey your spouse – I think we live very much different worlds! In my family we would consider any excessive use of time for such small things a waste, a disturbance and if it disrupts our work – very bad! -In fact my thoughts are, we can’t really afford this and the same thinking when Sweden won GOLD in ice hockey In Japan or Korea 2006, and then followed up and won the World Cup in Riga was a sensation! It allowed for the Government to come out and meet the ‘’heroes’’. either at the city center of Stockholm for half-an-hour, it was on TV, but then we moved on. Our society could not then, nor now, afford a production stand still, time loss and the inconvenience it created for all here at value 122 million Euro, even if I understand a country’s leaders are proud, we must refrain from such! It simply costs society too much and money belonging to tax payers just thrown out of the window plus
the after effects of COVID and its aftermath with inflation, better planned, shorter ceremony but not this! I personally a chamber event cancelled which I had planned put away all other commitments for and to my horror they did not put down their foot, no they accepted! And this in a year we write 2023…

With the costs for the War on, street lights switched off at night – who did the thinking, was it an sms’ gone awry, a twitter feed gone wrong? It looks we will never know and with two such sudden
celebrations in year, it is time to consider the consequence to all than just a select few…

Henrik July 28, 2023