Foreign student: On Lāčplēsis Day (Latvian Freedom Fighters' Remembrance Day), I saw how united Latvians can be
The national holiday week is approaching, which this year is going to be a little different than usual, without the festive parade and fireworks. Nevertheless, during this time we think more about Latvia and its history, becoming more patriotic. Foreigners living here also feel joy and pride about our country. Oybek Aynutdinov, a student from Uzbekistan at Turība University, says that by lighting candles on November 11, he realized how united Latvians can be. During the festive week, he wishes growth for Latvia, including in the economy, but calls on Latvians to remember how important the history of each nation is.
Feelings of November 18
Proclamation Day is a very important date for every country, especially Latvia. November 18 is associated with a beautifully decorated Riga, fireworks, and various events in the centre of the capital. It is nice to be in Riga during this holiday - seeing the city so beautifully decorated, I also feel a sense of belonging to this place. Even though there will be no festive parade and fireworks this year, the feeling of celebration will not disappear anywhere.
You need to know the history of your country
I would like to use the festive occasion to remind you that patriotism is not just a story about flags, parade, and lighted candles, but also about knowing the history of your country. Latvia has a very long and difficult history. There are also some similarities with my homeland. I fully agree with the saying that for the people to have a future, they must also know their past. So, I invite everyone, especially young people, to dig deeper and find out why one or another holiday is celebrated, and rediscover the history of Latvia. It will only increase patriotic feelings because Latvians do have reasons to be proud of their country!
Placing candles on the embankment
Last year, for the first time, I saw the embankment being illuminated by candlelight on Lāčplēsis Day, November 11. Many thanks go to friends from university who took me along and showed me this great tradition. Seeing how important this day is for Latvians, and how such moments of remembrance can become beautiful and aspiring - the emotions were truly uplifting. At that time, I clearly saw how united Latvians can be, and I, too, felt very proud of this country and the opportunity to show respect for those who fought for the freedom of Latvia.
Holidays and memorial days in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan's Independence Day is celebrated on September 1, when, like in Latvia, a festive procession and concerts take place with the participation of the country's most popular artists. Various craft fairs take place everywhere, and one can find entertainment in amusement parks as well. Uzbekistan also celebrates December 8 - Constitution Day.
With respect to the homeland and other countries
You can only call yourself a patriot if you are proud of your country, not only on holidays, but also in everyday life, and you know its history. You must respect your country, its people and its cultural heritage. Blasphemy is not allowed; the state must be treated with respect. A patriot must help his/her country and be part of the country's development. The real patriots are those who fought for this country to be free. These people knew what they were fighting for, and their courage was a real testament to patriotism. I think we can learn a lot today from these brave people.
Become a patriot
To call oneself a patriot, one must sacrifice part of oneself and work to enable the country to develop. I will admit that I could not call myself a patriot of Uzbekistan, because I don’t know the history of my homeland well enough, but I love my country and would not change its citizenship to anything, I know it for sure.
Wishes to Latvia on holidays
As the holiday approaches, I wish the people of Latvia to be ambitious and patient. There will always be difficulties, it must be understood, but it is not necessary to look for an opportunity in other countries at the first difficulty. There are also many opportunities in Latvia, you just have to be able to see them, because nothing comes easily and immediately. I wish Latvia to continue to develop, to become successful both in politics and economy. At the moment, Latvia is showing itself at a very high level in the global context, and it must go on like this - even better and higher!
Author: Turība Univeristy student Oybek Aynutdinov