THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA
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Lost Birds by Birute Putrius
Published by Birchwood Press
Lost Birds tells the stories of the generation of Lithuanians who, like lost birds, flee the advancing Soviet Army at the end of World War II. They land in displaced persons camps in Germany and later are given refuge in America.
It’s the story of their children, Irene Matas and her friends who struggle to become American and yet not lose their identity in their tight-knit Lithuanian Communities. But as they grow and spread their wings, they begin to rebel in their search for a wider world.
These stories are in turn tragic, funny, magical and elegiac. In the last story, when Lithuania regains its freedom, a group returns to visit relatives, only to find the country sadly changed by the many years of Soviet occupation. And Irene finds something surprising there.
The paperback book is $16.00, while the Kindle and Nook version is $9.99. Both can be found on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online, and Booktopia in Australia.…
By Žygimantas Pavilionis,
Former Lithuanian Ambassador to the United States of America
I am deeply grateful for the exceptional honor and privilege to serve my country in Washington D.C. for five consecutive years (2010-2015). I guess it was the peak of my diplomatic career that inspired me to take my final step towards politics (I am now running for office in 2016 parliamentary elections), but most importantly, it was the period when I met and learned so much from my fellow Lithuanian Americans.
Why was this encounter so important for me personally?
First of all, I had an immediate connection to the strong and vibrant civil society of interwar independent Lithuania, preserved in Chicago and other great U.S. cities, strengthened by the great American spirit. The sense of human dignity, solidarity, Lithuanian heritage, our common mission was tremendous, inspiring, and breathtaking.…
Have you heard about the
South African “Pencil Test”?
By Karina Simonson
If you are not South African, then, probably, you haven’t. It is a test performed in South Africa during the apartheid regime and was used, together with the other ways, to determine racial identity, distinguishing whites from coloureds and blacks. That repressive test was very close to Nazi implemented ways to separate Jews from Aryans. Could you now imagine a Lithuanian mother, performing it on her own child?
But that is exactly what happened to me when I came back from South Africa. I will tell you how.…
From Chicago to Paris – then by
car through Europe to Lithuania!
AMERICAN-LTUHUANIAN DIANA PAULIŪTĖ CLARISSE,
WITH HUSBAND AND SON, ON THEIR WAY THROUGH EUROPE
By Diana Pauliūtė Clarisse
Phd in Chemistry, Chicago USA
For about an hour now the two GPSs have been cooing two different directions. Our Tom Tom brought from home was telling us to ”turn left when possible”, while the GPS mounted in the rental car is having us move ever Northeast. My husband is saying we should listen to our Tom Tom. That would have been a good idea I think as we come to an abrupt standstill. The cars in front of us line up in a row looking like it goes on forever. Some of the drivers are standing next to their cars chatting away with other drivers as though they had been there all day. There must have been an accident, I say. The time is late in the afternoon, we have been perhaps 20 hrs on the road.…
Tour guide, writer and photographer: Aage Myhre, Editor-in-Chief
Click the READ buttons or the article headlines below to access the articles:
Italy – Monaco –
France – Spain
Alsace – Germany –
Benelux – England
Norway – Denmark –
Sweden – Finland
Poland – Czech R. –
Slovakia – Hungary
from east to west
Estonia – Latvia –
Turkey – where
Europe meets Asia
Last Friday the summer season opened here in Vilnius Old Town, for many pleasant encounters between Lithuanians and Lithuanian-related people from all over the world! Amatininku Užeiga (The Craftsmen's Tavern) on the corner of Rotušės aikštė (Town Hall Square) and Stiklių street was the place where we met – representatives of the World Lithuanian Community, Vilnius International Club and VilNews – this warm, velvet soft early summer evening. Amazing night! Wonderful people!
|1.1||“Put your heart, mind, and soul
into even your smallest acts”
|2.1||PAIHIA – the Jewel of the
Bay of Islands, New Zealand
|3.1||Once they were young
and fresh as paint
|4.1||Making Lithuanian sausage
- me and my mom
|5.1||The three Renaissance
Capitals of the World!
A recent guadian.co.uk article on Lithuanians in the UK discusses how well Lithuanians integrated in the British society and made Britain their home. At the same time, the Guardian outlines a new trend of UK-educated young professionals; many are now moving back to Lithuania!
It also mentions Lithuanian government’s initiatives to encourage Lithuanians living abroad to look for opportunities back home, such as the new Junior Professionals Programme „Kurk Lietuvai“ (Eng. “Create for Lithuania”) that was initiated by Invest Lithuania.
Programme “Kurk Lietuvai” attracted a lot of attention among young Lithuanian professionals abroad and was noted by the guardian.co.uk as a fine effort to encourage the young professionals to return home. The pioneering project was successfully launched in September last year, offering one-year internships in the heart of government ministries and public institutions. “The project is aimed exclusively at young Lithuanians with degrees from the best foreign universities and will undoubtedly woo some of the brightest back”, - writes the guardian.co.uk.
Lithuania promotes its highly qualified labour pool as one of the key factors attracting foreign investment to the country. Multinational companies consistently identify the high quality of staff as the most positive aspect of their experience in Lithuania.
Read the full article here
Lithuanians are now returning home from the UK. On the River Thames?
Photo: Aage Myhre
Following Lithuania’s Independence and especially after European Union and NATO membership more and more Lithuanians have chosen to live and work in the United Kingdom. There are more than 100,000 Lithuanians in London and over 200, 000 in the UK. The largest Lithuanian communities can be found in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, Bradford, and in Scotland. As a result of this, there are numerous Lithuanian organisations (such as a Lithuanian newspaper, schools and Lithuanian Churches) working in the UK. If you are interested in practicing your Lithuanian or just would like to meet Lithuanians, to know more about our culture and traditions, or even to participate in some cultural events, why not try looking at these two websites:
www.lithuanianembassy.co.uk – this is the Lithuanian Embassy’s page on cultural events in the UK. This is the best place to look for information on various events.
www.headleypark.co.uk - Headley Park estate belongs to the Lithuanian community and is the hub of all cultural activities. So, if you want to experience St. John’s Day, Christmas or any other celebrations Lithuanian style you should contact them and ask for more info. Headley Estate also has a hotel, a Lithuanian food restaurant and a camping site with a lake full of fish nearby which is ideal for a summer weekend break.
www.britanijoslietuviai.co.uk - official website for Lithuanian association in the UK.
www.toplanguagecommunity.com/lithuanian-portal/ - this is a Lithuanian community site for Lithuanian speaking people in London, UK and Ireland. The site is available in both Lithuanian and English.
Lithuanian Communities in the UK
www.jkljs.ahost.lt - Lithuanian Youth Community in the UK
www.midlitcom.org - Midlands Lithuanian community
bhamlietuviai.org Lithuanian community in Birmingham
www.manchesteris.org - Lithuanian community in Manchester
www.lithuanianchamber.co.uk - Lithuanian chamber of commerce in the UK
Anatanas Sileika, Canadian-Lithuanian author of the highly-acclaimed novel Underground
By Jon Platakis, National Lithuanian American Hall of Fame
Electricity filled the air as the audience packed the main hall of the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture in Chicago, Illinois on Saturday, November 3, 2012.
As Jon Platakis, founder and chairman of the National Lithuanian American Hall of Fame which sponsored the event, began his introduction, first, second, and third generation Lithuanian Americans, along with a contingent of students from Daley College, sat in eager anticipation.
Marija Danguolė Navickienė, new President of the Lithuanian World Community (LWC) interviewed by Aage Myhre, VilNews Editor-in-Chief
A new Board of Lithuanian World Community (LWC) was elected during the 14th World Lithuanian symposium held in August 2012 in Vilnius. Marija Danguolė Navickienė was elected new President for the organisation, replacing Regina Narušienė who chaired the LWC Board for six years. Here is our interview with the fresh LWC President.
Congratulations as newly elected President of the Lithuanian World Community (LWC)! For the next years you will lead the huge Lithuanian nation-outside-the-nation representing almost as many people as the country itself. What are your visions for this important job?
My vision is one of attaining mutual understanding, respect and cooperation between the people of Lithuania and its diaspora, as well as among the many different countries of the world where there are Lithuanian communities.
Gintė Damušis, newly appointed Ambassador at Large for relations with the Lithuanian World Community interviewed by Aage Myhre, VilNews Editor-in-Chief
After recently completing her posting in Ottawa as Ambassador of Lithuania to Canada, Gintė Damušis returned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Ambassador at Large in the Department of Lithuanians Living Abroad in charge of relations with the Lithuanian World Community. Her duties include strengthening ties with Lithuanian organizations abroad, engaging Lithuanian communities through joint projects in the implementation of the “Global Lithuania” strategy, also rallying diaspora support for strategic Lithuanian interests. This is our interview with Ambassador Damušis.
Congratulations on your new position and duties. What is your vision for this important job?
I discussed the goals of this new assignment with the Minister. The vision is to actively engage the diaspora by promoting joint projects and activities for maintaining Lithuanian identity through educational, cultural, economic and other programs. We want to expand connections by encouraging communities to think locally, but act globally by sharing expertise and building business and other professional networks for promoting trade, investment, scientific and other cooperation. We are encouraging direct engagement with Lithuanian civil society so that the Lithuanian people can benefit practically from more active ties with the diaspora. More people-to-people contacts will open doors and expand horizons. Promoting volunteerism and the sustainability of diaspora activities abroad are issues that will continue to receive attention, also help raise public awareness about the diaspora. These may sound like ambitious tasks, but many fine initiatives in the diaspora and Lithuania alike are already underway, an entire Foreign Ministry department is dedicated to facilitating this work and 13 Government agencies are mandated to support these and other programs under a “Global Lithuania” action plan. We need to build upon these initiatives, strengthen and expand these efforts, multiply their scope and impact, so that the untapped potential of the diaspora is better utilized.
In a meeting held in Atlanta Georgia on the 28 and 29th of September, the Lithuanian American Community made history by appointing its first ever 3rd Waver (Trečia Bangė) as President. The XX session of LAC elected Sigita Šimkuvienė-Rosen a recent immigrant to the highest office. Sigita came to the USA just eleven years ago and has been very active in LAC circles. The 3rd wave refers to the Lithuanian Émigrés who left Lithuania after independence - up to now most Lithuanian exile organizations have been run by the 2nd Wave which refers to those who left during WWII. Sigita broke the mold.
By Kestutis J. Eidukonis, VilNews CEO
Just prior to my joining VilNews, I was elected as a Board Member to the Lithuanian American Community (LAC) representing Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah in the Western District.
According to the LAC web page;
"Since its founding in 1951, LAC has sought to preserve the Lithuanian cultural identity for future generations. LAC is also in the forefront of fostering the growth of the democratic institutions of the country of our heritage and of assisting Lithuania in numerous other ways.
The Lithuanian American Community, Inc. has about 60 local chapters in 27 states and the District of Columbia. We encourage entrepreneurial individuals to form new LAC chapters where there presently are none.
By Rimgaudas P. Vidziunas aka "Rim", Mesa, Arizona, USA
At a book signing that I was photographing earlier this week, I was surprised to hear that so many Europeans come to America just to tour Historic Route 66 in tour buses, rented cars and even Harley Davidson Motorcycles. This inspired me to create "Historic Route 66 Photography Forum" for everyone to share their pictures and memories.
We share a passion for Historic Route 66, sharing our images, imagination, memories of the "Mother Road" for the world to enjoy.
U.S. Route 66 (US 66 or Route 66), also known as the Will Rogers Highway and colloquially known as the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was a highway within the U.S. Highway System. One of the original U.S. Highways, Route 66 was established on November 11, 1926—with road signs erected the following year. The highway, which became one of the most famous roads in America, originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, before ending at Los Angeles, covering a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km). It was recognized in popular culture by both a hit song and the Route 66 television show in the 1960s.
Route 66 served as a major path for those who migrated west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and it supported the economies of the communities through which the road passed. People doing business along the route became prosperous due to the growing popularity of the highway, and those same people later fought to keep the highway alive in the face of the growing threat of being bypassed by the new Interstate Highway System.
Route 66 underwent many improvements and realignments over its lifetime, and it was officially removed from the United States Highway System on June 27, 1985 after it had been replaced in its entirety by the Interstate Highway System. Portions of the road that passed through Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, and Arizona have been designated a National Scenic Byway of the name "Historic Route 66", which is returning to some maps. Several states have adopted significant bypassed sections of the former US 66 into the state road network as State Route 66.
Lithuania has put more footprints in the world sands than you might think. We've therefore followed some of them (see below articles) in order to let you know and to spread the word… We have met India's leading Sanskrit experts, telling us about the many similarities to Lithuanian language... We have travelled through 26 European countries and found lots of Lithuanian footsteps... We have been to South Africa to speak to the enormous population of Lithuanian Jews there… And we have, last but not least, discovered a huge range of Lithuanian tracks in the USA!
VilNews e-magazine is published in Vilnius, Lithuania. Editor-in-Chief: Mr. Aage Myhre. Inquires to the editors: editor@VilNews.com.
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