When in Riga…

Recently, I found myself in Riga attending a EuroNGOs meeting, discussing “Investing in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Times of Economic Crisis.” As the title makes it sound, it was by and large a pretty serious meeting, with a focus on making economic arguments for the kind of work we do.

But, knowing the people working in this field, we can’t be all work and no play. So they arranged a dinner for the conference participants – an opportunity for us to experience Latvian hospitality. All was proceeding as expected for most of the meal – we ate too much food, sampled delicious Latvian beer, enjoyed pleasant conversations. But then, out comes a group of Latvian dancers and musicians. While we unfortunately do not have video of Wendy’s folk dancing performance, another interesting feature of Latvian society was documented:

Latvian_phallusThis lovely creation (that’s two onions and a carrot…) was apparently used in the bawdy fertility songs in Latvia’s more pagan times. It was supposed to come with a string, enabling the user to “strap it on” (see me demonstrating, after the jump).

Mine was missing the string, so it had to be held...

Mine was missing the string, so it had to be held...

Pretty exciting! Not to mention that it makes great soup after the party is over…

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