I had a great time in Milwaukee - the Song & Dance Festival. A couple of observations from someone who has dropped out of triads latviesi for more than two decades:
1) Fantastic to see the number of youth and children participating. The community, which is obviously shrinking, is still a vibrant one.
2) The dancing performances were full of vigor. The energy, especially for the Jaundejas Performance was palpable.
3) Marupiesi from Latvia added a terrific element. Showmanship! (I wish that the disc that they were selling had been longer - more performance oriented.) But it was a joy to see them.
Some aspects may not have been as successful as others, but the fact that people continue to participate and care is fantastic.
Finally, I was pleased with the sale of the translation of The Golden Horse. There are plenty of families where a spouse in non-Latvian and/or the children do not speak Latvian. So, the reception for the book was very positive.
Also - great to see some friends from 25+ yrs back.
Living in W TX places me in a very isolated place without Latvians. But working on a Latvian project and visiting Latvia has kept the deep cultural ties alive.
I was pleasantly surprised!