Survey: Most in Latvia know meaning of Nov. 18

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.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

2 thoughts on “Survey: Most in Latvia know meaning of Nov. 18

  1. First off, I am not Latvian, but I do know the meaning of days like today. We have a Remembrance Day that gives us the chance to think of all the people that suffered and lost their lives trying give us a better life. Nowadays some individuals are more absorbed in themselves,trying to outdo each other, forgetting important values that were taught to them. It happens all over the world. People should never forget where they came from and the people that helped them be free.

  2. as fast as number of russian “latvians” grows, the same speed grows number of people, who don`t know the meaning of 18th of november and not celebrates it. but of course – for them this is more like mourning day. this is my truly belief. and i hope that here will come the day when i`ll be able to say – the number of persons, who celebrate Latvias national celebration, grows as fast as number of russians decrease in Latvia.

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