Last year, the center surveyed 6.2 thousand people who left Latvia on whether and in what way they maintain relations with other emigrants. The answers were that 26% of the respondents were present at a concert or other event organized for people of Latvian origin, but 25% of the respondents regularly participate in social network communication groups. 18% consider themselves members of a Latvian organization, 10% have chosen Latvians for any joint activities at all, but 8% work in Latvian choirs, dance groups or perhaps in another way very related to Latvianness.
The types of communication and joint activities listed here complement each other, but do not complement the number of people who have shown links with Latvian communities in their current places of residence at all. So – such links are shown by 1/4 of the respondents, who, in turn, are only a part of emigrants. The others have deliberately or accidentally arranged in such a way that they could not be found and addressed by any Latvians in common, including the sociologists hired by Latvia.
The findings already gathered by the Center indicate that in this case an equal sign should be placed between the participants of Latvian emigrant events and organizations and ethnic Latvians.
The number of Latvian non-Latvians who have converted Latvian citizenship or permanent resident status to the right to live and work in Western Europe, Latvian events and organizations does not exceed 5%. Most likely, these people come from families whose assimilation in Latvian life has taken place faster than it is reflected in the documents indicating their nationality.
The attention of the staff of the Center and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is focused on how not to lose at least the minority of compatriots covered by social networks, ie electronic communication networks, who want to cooperate or at least do not avoid cooperation. Mention is made as little as possible of the majority who deliberately accelerate their assimilation in the new home countries as countries or in the wider English (French, German, Spanish …) speakers, or in Western Europe (North America, South America …), or in any of their positions. visible communities. Whoever would like to blame them for this should think about their attitude towards foreigners who settle in Latvia. The sharpest controversy as to whether foreigners are allowed here, who, on the one hand, endanger the extremely valuable gene pool of Latvians, but, on the other hand, could compensate for the extinction of Latvians and prolong the existence of the Latvian state and nation, leads to a complete consensus that well what, but to build their own community of foreigners here should not be allowed. Latvians mostly go to countries where not only the authorities, but also the locals are more willing to endure the strangeness of immigrants in exchange for the fact that immigrants work instead of natives, but this tolerance also has its limits within which immigrants must adhere. In addition, there is an incentive for immigrants to merge with the local population in order to get rid of the obligation to do unpleasant work as soon as possible by passing them on to future immigrants.
Those officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other institutions whose job responsibilities include maintaining relations with compatriots abroad, reassure themselves that the diaspora of Latvian emigrants is large enough. Namely, so large that at least a quarter of it is an impressive number of people in Latvia, which justifies spending public money, including hiring civil servants and sociologists due to the diaspora. The current numerical inventory of the diaspora has been carried out by the Centre’s researcher Mikhail Hazans, drawing the number of diaspora participants to over half a million people. This number of people exceeds the number of people who have left Latvia, as it also includes those who were born abroad to those who left Latvia. Another way to achieve the maximum size of the diaspora is to include in the diaspora people born in the former Latvian SSR, who are not connected with Latvia by anything more than an entry in the birth documents. The number of such people could be rounded to 100 thousand, which is not much in relation to about 40 thousand newborns in the Latvian SSR every year. Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, noted that the Diaspora Law was drafted so neatly that such people would not be affected. Well, there are still 400 thousand correct members of the diaspora, of which 1/4 are 100 thousand, which virtually make up the second largest city in Latvia.