WanderLearn Podcasts on Lithuania

General posts about Eastern Europe and NOT directly related to Francis Tapon's upcoming book, "The Hidden Europe."
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WanderLearn Podcasts on Lithuania

Post by FrancisTapon » Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:57 am

Here is what one person wrote these thoughtful comments about my podcast with Dalia on Lithuania.
The idea of those podcasts that you are doing is very appealing to me. I absolutely love getting to know different cultures, and i truly appreciate your work. Here are some more specific comments:

-Both of the songs that were played on this podcast are absolutely amazing, especially the first one- as it is one of my favorites. The lyrics are even better!
Yet you mispronounced Jurga (it's "Yurga"), "Nebijok" (it's "nebiyok") and angelas ( the letter G is pronounced as if G in "English", not as if G in "gym")

-Like most countries, we only have ONE national anthem (at some point you were both saying, "people were singing national anthemS")

-Lithuania is usually considered to be Eastern European country, but this isn't very true. Even more so, we are not a part of Western Europe either- that's freaking obvious. Geographically, the very center of Europe is located near Vilnius. According to UN, Lithuania belongs to Northern Europe. Visually, when you look at the map, it's kind of hard to tell. So i'd rather say we are a small country in the Baltic region, or in the Northeastern Europe.
What she was probably meaning to say, is that basically we are more westernized than the Eastern European countries. And even though we do have similarities with Slavic countries, we are more like "one of a kind" (together with the Latvians, though)

- Oh and, about our neighbor Latvia. The relationship with our "brothers", as we often call each other, are pretty warm. We do have many things in common, we sure can read each others language and understand some words (at least approximately) (though we couldn't have a normal conversation without learning each others' language fully). The two languages are the only living ones from the Baltic group of languages (which, years ago, included Prussian and some others that are now dead), and then The Baltic group of languages belongs to the Indoeuropean group of languages. And it IS scientifically proved that Lithuanian and Sanskrit are related. Lithuanian is the most archaic living language in the world now.

- Lithuania's name was mentioned for the first time back in 1009 (not in 1047 or 1050, like that lady was saying), so we have a big celebration this year- it's our country's 1000th birthday! We are announced the European Capital of culture 2009, too!!! There will be big festivities going on.

- Lithuania was the biggest country in Europe by the end of 14th century- it's territory reached the Black sea. This happened when Vytautas the Great was the Grand Duke of Lithuania. That didn't last very long, though.

- The words "dėkui" and "ačiū" are perfect synonyms and are not really considered either formal or informal. They are just to words meaning "thanks", though "ačiū" is slightly more popular.

- "Cepelinai" and "didžkukuliai" are not the same exact dish. They are made a little bit differently, that's why called differently, too. Some people are still getting confused about it.

- I don't know about the other senior people, but my Grandma always emphasizes how much better she lives now than she did during soviet years. Anyway, everybody's experiences are different anyway. Nobody of our family identifies themselves with Russians probably because of such facts as them taking my grandparents and shipping them to Siberia for no reason and making them live there as dogs , or shooting my father who as a customs officer was guarding the country's border. But personally, i don't hold it against regular Russian citizens, i have many friends from Russia who are very dear to me.

- Lithuanian people are not cold. They might be shy, quiet, not giving away fake smiles and such, but in the end when you get to know them better, they are honest, friendly, and very hospitable.

-There are actually more Poles than Russians living in Vilnius. Klaipėda has bigger density of Russians. Each of these nationalities makes somewhere around 7 % percent of the country's population.

-Kaliningrad used to be called "The Little Lithuania". The history behind it is very interesting, but i'm not gonna go into details now, especially because i'm afraid i don't know all the facts fully.

- We have 5 national parks in Lithuania, and all of them are truly beautiful.

I guess that's all i have to same this time.. Thanks for reading my feedback , if u did :) And thanks for doing this in the first place. As i said above, i greatly appreciate it.

Best regards,

A Lithuanian
I appreciate the comments and I welcome others! Also, please listen to the 2nd podcast on Lithuania!
- Francis Tapon

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