Friday, December 26, 2008
2009 - a significant year for Lithuania
2009 will be a significant year for Lithuania - it will mark 1000 years since the written name has appeared in the "civilized" world - the Quedlinburg Chronicle mentions the death of Bruno of Querfurt along with the name of Lithuania. At this point in time it is clear that today's Lithuania is not the same as Lithuania then, just as the understanding of nationality and self-identity was not the same then as it is now.
Nevertheless, it looks that the people are very proud of the possibly first mention of the name of the country and that this year will be a spectacular year in Lithuania. Some online publications mark Vilnius as one of the Top 10 cities to visit in 2009, as in addition to the great architecture, theatre, and restaurant scene there will be a very rich cultural program throughout the year - take a look at www.culturelive.lt.
My wish at this point is that all cultures and people that lived in Lithuania throughout the ages come together and find peace in the land that they once shared. An excerpt from a poem by Sharon L. Joffe published in the last issue of Lituanus seems to suit the occasion very well:
And one day, I will go to the old country,
And see my fellow Lithuanians,
And claim kinship with them;
For they, too,
Are united with me;
Not by blood,
But by the link of shared love of our mother country
That joins and claims us all.
Sharon L. Joffe, "Viekšniai"