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Event of the Year: International Bazaar

By Inese Timuka . 19.11.2009

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The annual International Bazaar, organized by the International Women's Club of Riga, is the ideal event to get to meet the Latvian capital’s international diplomats and business people, try dishes from other countries, and buy unusual holiday gifts. The most important detail – all proceeds will be donated to charity.

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Origins of the event

The idea of a social club originated in 1992 when energetic female expats decided to start organizing activities for the “international women” of Riga. It feels more like a social networking club, where newcomers to the city can make connections and meet people.
The club unites the wives of diplomats and businesspeople, where women can exchange ideas and discover more about Latvian art and culture. Members of the club often creat handicrafts of their own, becoming teachers to their group. Discussions took place on what to do with these pieces of art and the idea of selling some for charity came to the fore.
Nowadays the International Women's Club of Riga organizes fundraising activities throughout the year, but the peak is the bazaar in December. The first event took place in Riga back in 1992 and since then it has grown year by year.
Initially it was quite small and intimate in scale and was held at the US Embassy. Later, for many years, it was organized in the lobby of the Hotel de Rome. But this year the event will take place in the grand setting of the Reval Hotel Latvija conference center, on December 6th from 11:00 to 17:00.
All money raised from the Bazaar is used to assist the needy in Latvia, meaning that every one of us can give a personal helping hand to those who are in need.


Making donations

The club has a Charity Committee that decides how to spend the funds. The Charity Committee hosts several other fundraisers throughout the year, such as the Potluck Lunch, monthly lunches and charity concerts. The committee is responsible for finding truly needy organizations and assessing the amounts and form of assistance required. Various donations are organized throughout the year in cooperation with those who meet people in need on a daily basis.

At the International Bazaar 2009

The popularity of the event is growing as more and more Rigans attend the bazaar to buy their holiday gifts in an easy and relaxed atmosphere. However, it is also the place to feel and taste the true international holiday atmosphere, as it is not only handcrafted items that are sold but authentic dishes from all around the world will be on offer too, from Mexican burritos to Japanese sushi.
The organizers predict there will be around 20 different countries represented, with food and handcrafted items characterizing the nation. If you’d like some real authentic Canadian maple syrup, this is the place to find it.
It's also a great chance to say hi to many of the ambassadors, attachés and other diplomats who work in Riga.

Plus, this year, the famed former President of Latvia Vaira Vike- Freiberga will be dropping by to open the event.
There are charity-minded companies who have donated items for the bazaar auction. For example, Reval Hotels has donated five weekend packages at their hotels, while airBaltic has donated tickets to its newest flight destinations.

INFO:

International Bazaar

December 6, 11.00-17.00,
Reval Hotel Latvija, Elizabetes 55,C-2,

 




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