About a third of Latvia’s population will attend Independence Day ceremonies and another third will watch television programming devoted to the commemoration, but the remaining third won’t do anything special to observe the day.
So reports the Rīga-based market research company TNS Latvia, which recently surveyed Latvian residents about their knowledge of and participation in the Nov. 18 events. The company surveyed 510 Latvian residents between the ages of 15 and 74 from Oct. 31 through Nov. 6.
Of those surveyed, 82 percent knew that Nov. 18 is the day commemorating the 1918 signing of Latvia’s Declaration of Independence from the Russian Empire.
Other findings of the survey include:
- Latvia’s independence day is important for 32 percent of respondents, who reported that they always or almost always attend ceremonies. On the other hand, 26 percent said Independence Day does not mean anything to them and they don’t observe it.
- Of those who don’t mark Independence Day, the most frequent are youths ages 15-24, persons who are not ethnic Latvians, respondents with specialized secondary education, those with incomes of between LVL 100-200 a month, and those who live in families with five or more persons.
- The most characteristic symbol of Latvia, respondents said, is the national flag (30 percent), followe by the Freedom Monument (16 percent).
Last year in a similar survey, TNS Latvia found that 72 percent of respondents knew Nov. 18 is Independence Day. However, in the 2006 survey the Freedom Monument was cited most often as the most characteristic national symbol.
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