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24 February 2018
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Get rid of your taboos. We are all just human beings…

 
Clifford Lont, Chairman of Klaipeda International Business Club, has moved the long way from Suriname in South America to a much colder climate here at the Lithuanian coast.

At the end of my interview with Clifford Lont, I said to him:

"Clifford, I have two remaining questions for you this Sunday afternoon here at the river edge in Klaipeda."

Question number 1: "Do you have something to say to all the young people who are about to leave Lithuania in an emigration flow that seems to have no end?"

Question number 2: "Have you experienced racism here in Lithuania, and what is in case your normal reaction?"

It should be noted that Clifford does not seem to be much hampered by his dark skin colour, even here where so few stand just as much out as he does. He flirts lightly with the waitress in the outdoor restaurant where we sit. He smiles and nods to people passing by. He has obviously become a familiar face to many over the years he has lived here. Then he answers my questions:

To question 1: "Do not run away. Because by doing that you contribute to emptying your home country for dynamic young people and good workers. Stay here. Those who dare to stay behind will be the winners in the end!"

To question 2: “Well, let me first say that many do not know that there are black people also in South America. And to those with racist tendencies I would simply say: Get rid of your taboos. We are all just human beings..."

Category : Lithuania today sidebar / Opinions

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    February 05 2018
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    • Thank you so much for the thought.

      November 24 2015
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      • Eugene Rangayah

        I have always maintained that I treat Lithuania as my second home country, but on the visit, I felt like I was a stranger. Gone are the days when people look at you with curiosity, because of your skind colour, now the look is of disgust and the comments are childish and immature. However, I find solace in the fact that my Lithuanian family members are always there to protect and stand up for me. The sad part is that the dream of one day having a house along the Neris in Kaunas is slowly fading away!

        September 01 2011
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        • Eugene Rangayah

          In jest, you know exactly what follows in relation to Clifford's answer to question one…most Lithuanians, in response to his answer would ask him why has he then left Suriname for Lithuania? I do not know his history, but I know I would ask the same question, but from the perspective of one "black" person to the other! The reason for this, is due to my recent visit to Lithuania, as recent as returning on the 28 August 2011. (Aage, I must apologise for not being able to have met with you, but I had an entourage of family members, as Mr Chaudhary, will attest to.) In all the years that I have visited Lithuania, I have never felt more stared at and been insulted at as much as I have been on this visit. It was very uncomfortable, fortunately, my mother, who visited for the first time, was never around at those times.

          September 01 2011
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