Slovakians around the world commemorate their annual Freedom and Democracy Day on November 17 each year. Today’s Doodle highlights the events that led to Slovakia becoming a nation ruled by its people and commemorates the national holiday.
A group of Czechoslovakian students sparked a series of occupation protests on November 15, 1939. On November 17, people demanded liberation from foreign powers’ persecution, and this show of national resilience reached a fever pitch. On November 16, fifty years later, peaceful protests inspired by these events started in Prague and Bratislava, Slovakia’s modern capital.
The demonstrations, which were mostly led by students and artists, began what is now known in Slovakia as the “Gentle Revolution.” The administration declared the transfer of power on this day in 1989, one day after a peaceful protest in Bratislava came to an end. Thousands of people jingled their keys in response to the momentous news, a symbolic act that represents the unlocking of a democratic government and is still utilised in public demonstrations today.
Happy Freedom and Democracy Day, Slovakia!