French and Latvian soirée 01|02|2012

Mentality, character, weather, education  – I am not quite sure which of these is responsible for party traditions. But one thing is clear, Latvians and French don’t party the same way. If I would offer a film evening, it wouldn’t cause any problems for my Latvian friends. Quite recently half of the nation was gathered around TVs with their families and friends for the last staging of a theatre play which has run for last 15 years. The same offer for French is slightly uncomprehensive. Why would anyone on earth want to watch a film instead of having a conversation? I have been accused of talking too little, maybe that’s the point. Sure, I am speaking with my friends, it’s not like we watch films when we meet. But some of the best evenings I have had, have been spent while playing society games or “truth or dare” type games. Anyway, when we are having a home party in Latvia, everyone is with everyone. We don’t do French style of moving around the house, joining different groups and conversations. We focus on everyone at the same time. Still, I like both ways. Last time I was in Riga and had a home party, I tried to make it French way and I think it worked. I mixed different groups of friends together and I didn’t offer games or films.  Just one big difference.

Latvians are the nation that historically has celebrated birthdays, national days, Christian holidays, pagan holidays with family around a table that is on the edge to break from amount of food on it. And, yes,  it’s not wine we are having as a main drink on the table. I’m very sure that if wine gives wings to fly, all the vodka style drinks makes an inner elephant to wake up.  And he can get angry. But people with wings tend to be happy. As I wanted my guests to be happy, I offered them some nice red wine, which was not as appreciated as I had imagined. My fathers cognac was welcomed in warmer way. And I don’t blame my dear friends, it is -25 these days, we have to compensate by having something of 40 degrees.

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