18 February 2018
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Evaldas Zvinys

“There are significant cultural differences
between LT-Americans and Lithuanians
that grew up in the Soviet Lithuania”

Just a couple of short notes to your article
“Healing the wounds between LT-Americans and the homeland”

Item 2. There are significant cultural differences between LT-Americans and Lithuanians that grew up in the Soviet Lithuania. In my opinion there is not enough appreciation of the lifetime dedication and work of some of the people outside of Lithuania. In my opinion press likes to focus on negative experiences (e.g. events with LT-Australian Petraitis) while ignoring genuine contributions to Lithuania. My own Alma Mater - Vytautas Magnus University is there in big part because of Lithuanians who grew up outside of Lithuania. IMHO Grybauskaite's comments of course miss the point and are rude. 

Item 5. <"...ending the noxious practice of the Uzgavenes holiday when people dress as Jews and beg on the street.” > In my life I have not seen a person dressed up as a Jew and begging on the street. I would be really surprised if I would see this. On the other hand, during the Uzgavenes people go from house to house and ask for pancakes, coffee or money (similar to Halloween tradition in the US?). I guess the idea was that the person who knocks on the door is not known - and you share what you have with a stranger (the stranger could be a Jew, Roma, or a generic stranger). Is that offensive and should be eradicated? In the Soviet times I've heard the following chant in my Samogitian hometown Telsiai "mes Zydukai is Maskvos (Rygos), duokit blynu ir kavos" - "we are the Jews from Moscow (Riga), please give us pancakes and coffee" - not sure why Moscow/Riga is there, perhaps to indicate that the person came from afar? I am not certain how it was during the Interbellum - but as I said - in my opinion the old traditions are going away - be it good, bad or indifferent. 

Evaldas Zvinys

Category : Blog archive

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