Note: This is part two of a two part series, to view the first part click HERE.
The following is from a speech which Janis CIRKSIS delivered detailing his experience as a Latvian returning home after 50 years of Soviet occupation. It was written in around 1997 so most likely a lot has changed since then. It is a deeply personal account of his experience and by no means is it intended to be indicative of a more general experience. Having said that, it does express many of the daily struggles of Latvians as they tried to reestablish their independence after 50 years of occupation.
The original document is written in a script font and thus I have had to transcribe it manually. In order to publish something this week, I have decided to break it (arbitrarily) into 2 halves. As per usual, I would love to hear from you. In particular How do you think life in Latvia has changed since 1997?
Life after 50 years in Latvia: Part 2
One of my younger day lady friends, a retired schoolteacher, has suffered a stroke. She is unable to converse, cannot walk, and is restricted to bed in a place which use to be the main general hospital in Liepaja. Today these premises are in a deplorable condition. The care and medical attention in the ward where my friend is situated is tragically deficient. In comparison, living conditions of the old Latvian people in out Retirement Village in Melbourne would be considered by those in Latvia as “a paradise on Earth”.
Among other of my friends and acquaintances in Latvia are medical practitioners, lectures, teachers, shop assistants, trades people, actors and students from schools, colleges and universities. For as much as they are engaged in positions under state control, their life is in most cases a continuous battle for their daily survival.