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Song and Dance Celebration significant to more than a third of Latvia's population - survey

RIGA - The nationwide Song and Dance Celebration is significant to more than a third, or 39 percent, of Latvia’s population, whereas 52 percent do not care about the traditional festival, a survey conducted by Kantar TNS pollster shows.

The survey confirms that the Song and Dance Celebration is much more important to Latvians (ethnic Latvians and people speaking Latvian in their families) than non-Latvians. The festival is seen as significant by 54 percent of Latvians and 16 percent of non-Latvian respondents.

The ethnic aspect is also connected to lifestyle, as residents of rural areas more likely to consider the Song and Dance Celebration important than residents of cities. Kantar TNT representatives explained this by saying that most ethnic Latvians live in the countryside while ethnic minorities mainly live in cities, particularly Riga and Daugavpils.

Since more than half of respondents in the poll find the festival unimportant, more than half of the surveyed people are neither thinking about the festival (11 percent) nor planning to attend or watch the performances. (47 percent). In this case, too, ethnic minorities tended to be less interested in the festival.

The online survey was conducted from June 19 to 21, interviewing 814 people across Latvia, aged 18 to 60.

As reported, the XXVI Song and XVI Dance Celebration is taking place in Latvia until July 8.

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