Latvian Tattoos Survey of Latvians living abroad

The aim of this survey is to find out about those who live outside Latvia and have Latvian tattoos. Who is getting them? Is it only Millennials and Gen Zs who are getting them or are previous generations now coming on board too? Are more men than women getting Latvian tattoos or viceversa? Why are Latvians living abroad getting a Latvian tattoo? And what do their friends and family think of this? Are tattoos replacing Latvian jewellery as a symbol of ethnic belonging?

During the Latvian Song Festival many Latvians who live abroad and have Latvian tattoos were visible on the streets of Riga. Some were very prominent on their wearers’ bodies, others were only visible on hot short-sleeve shirt days. This led to my interest in finding out more about Latvians (of all generations) living abroad and their interest in Latvian tattoos and what these tattoos mean to them. 
If you live anywhere outside Latvia, are of Latvian descent (1st, 2nd, 3rd or even 4th generation), or have an affiliation to Latvians and have a tattoo which you consider to be a Latvian tattoo (or plan to get one), please fill out this survey! Please complete the survey by October 10th, 2023.

Daina Gross is editor of Latvians Online. An Australian-Latvian she is also a migration researcher at the University of Latvia, PhD from the University of Sussex, formerly a member of the board of the World Federation of Free Latvians, author and translator/ editor/ proofreader from Latvian into English of an eclectic mix of publications of different genres.

11 thoughts on “Latvian Tattoos Survey of Latvians living abroad

  1. If I was ever to get a tattoo it would only be a latvian symbol like Jumis. I would want something timeless and to show my family roots. I am 60 plus

  2. I have a tat of a Latvian flag crossed with the Royal Australian Navy ensign on my left shoulder. I g
    Had it done in Riga, the girl doing it said that she had never done a Latvian flag. When I expressed surprise she responded with ” mums tādi patrioti šeit nav”! I was 60 years old at the time. I’m in Australia.

  3. I am a 43 year old woman and my father is 100% Latvian. I obtained a large Latvian tattoo on my back at the age of 18. It symbolizes strength, which was perfect at the time because I was going through a very hard living transition. I liked that it looked tribal, was meaningful and was part of my heritage.

  4. I have had shoulder tattoo since 90’s just redone and considering to embelish with Latvian ornament next time in Riga

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *