Riga Latvia (PRWEB) May 4, 2005
Patricia Tourist Office headquartered in LatviaÂs capital city announces a new program to locate people of Latvian heritage and motivate them to visit Latvia and experience first hand the culture and heritage that has influenced their lives for years.
Patricia Tourist office is recruiting journalists and travel club coordinators in North America and other cities around the world where Latvians have immigrated since World War II.
Working with these journalists we plan to prepare articles sharing the experiences of Latvians returning to their mother country and experiencing the delight first hand. We are identifing human interest stories that are unique and special to Latvians because of their rich and long heritage of a relatively calm and simple family oriented lifestyle.
According to Mike Johnson an American living in Latvia since 1999 and the Tourist Office General Manager, itÂs all about mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy.
ItÂs about a simple and honest lifestyle that many people of Latvian heritage have experienced somewhere in North America and in other countries around the world over the past years. Unlike other ethnic groups, Latvians have simply blended into the local American way of life of motherhood and apple pie.
Mr. Johnson recently had the pleasure of welcoming Mr. Andy Ruments (Illinois) back to the city of his birth some 60+ years after he fled to the United States as a small child. Mike said, "I took him to the small LIDO Latvian restaurant where he became emotional over mashed potatoes and some beef & pork cutlets all smothered with mushroom and onion gravy."
Wow, he told me, this is exactly the same as my grandmother used to make 40+ years ago.
Then he tried some pink colored sweet pudding like desert and he was speechless, as it tasted exactly the same as he remembered so many years ago.
As we sat at the table he mentioned that one object stuck in his mind all these years to remind him of the city of his birth. He wanted to see Freedom Monument the Latvian Statue of Liberty and the symbol of Latvian Freedom.
He made it sound like it was so far away and such a Âbig dealÂ. So I casually said, well lets take a walk and see it before it gets dark. So off through the park and over to the canal we went. As we approached the canal, I could see that the angle of the sun was just right for his next wonderful surprise.
Walking along, I said, take a look up there Andy - as his eyes caught the sparkle of the bright evening sun reflecting off the three gold stars at the very top of the statue.
Now I have tears in my eyes as he exclaims his excitement at being home in his birth city after being absent for so many years.
The story of Latvia is so powerful, even The United States President, George W. Bush is coming for a visit.
Mr. Johnson, believes that President BushÂs visit will do a lot to assist the average local Latvian citizen plant a little pride in their minds and souls and perhaps begin the change that will lead Latvians to meet the challenge of the future that lies ahead of them.
He says local Latvians have never experienced a visitor of the magnitude of George W. Bush. For 48 hours, the city of Riga will be paralyzed with street and airport closures; special passes being required to enter large parts of the historic downtown area. In fact there was such a shortage of hotel rooms in the city, the government had to charter a cruse ship to dock at the port to house all the extra guests in President BushÂs entourage.
As President Bush passes by them in his motorcade, the average Latvian will plant in their minds the thought that he (President Bush) is in My Country Â we are special and so I am special too.
Latvia is a country poised to develop into a serious European powerhouse. Second and third generation Latvians from all over the world will want to come and experience first hand the remarkable culture and heritage that has influenced their lives for all these years.
Patricia Tourist Office founded in 1992 by an experienced Latvian tourism professional has for the past five years been jointly American and Latvian managed. Our Clients tell us our family of products and services is meeting and exceeding their expectations. Striving to provide a delightful customer experience by being ... your friend in the Baltics is our brand image.
In addition to providing accommodation and tour services to inbound visitors, Patricia Tourist Office is the largest provider of English language information about visiting Latvia through our family of websites including:
Why visit Latvia: http://www.enjoylatvia.com
Photos of Latvia: http://www.latviaphoto.com
Latvia visitor information: http://www.seelatvia.com
Riga visitor information: http://www.rigalatvia.net
For more information on the Latvian Expat Story concept: http://www.latviatravel.info/expatstories/
Or contact us: http://www.patricialtd.com/contact/
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