Man patinka Lietuva

I like Lithuania – a visitor's point of view


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Turkish Delight – memories of Summer School in Kaunas

Those 5 weeks I lived and studied in Kaunas were memorable for many reasons not least the diversity of the students, mostly on Erasmus programmes.

The two Turkish agricultural management students enlivened the International party with their dancing skills.

See also Memories of Summer School


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Our experience working in Lithuania since 2006

We’ve worked with many of the universities in Lithuania. Chiefly Mykolas Romeris and Vilnius, where we are visiting lecturers, but also with the ISM and Kaunas Technical University and VDU in Kaunas.DSCN1502

We’ve presented at a couple of conferences (for the ICF and Vilnius University) and a breakfast seminar for the British Chamber of Commerce in Vilnius.

We’ve also collaborated with PK, a consultancy in Kaunas.P1010202

If you’re interested in what we’ve done click on this link here: SGA-LithExp2014


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Fond memories of the Lithuanian language Summer school in Kaunas

This is a blast from the past.  I’ve just had an e-mail from Greg, a fellow student at the VDU Summer School with me in 2008 (there were just fourof us who had English as our native language). Greg is an American who later married a lovely Lithuaniuan lady and now lives in Kaunas (their story deserves a blog post in itself).

Anyway he’d dug out a video onYouTube that was made during our Summer School featuring trips to Druskininkai and Grutas Park and our wonderful International Party where we enjoyed food from all the countries represented on the course and some traditional Lithuanian dancing (I’m in there somewhere with my own video camera).

 


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Perkūnas – a reminder of pagan Lithuania

P1010238Lithuania was the last European country to convert to christianity in 1386.

Before that one of the great pagan gods was Perkūnas, the god of lightning and thunder and storms.

He possessed many weapons including an axe or sledgehammer, stones, a sword, lightning bolts, a bow and arrows, a club, and an iron or fiery knife.

Perkūnas pursues his opponents in the sky on a chariot, made from stone and fire.  Sometimes the chariot is made from red iron. It is harnessed by a pair (sometimes more) of red and white (or black and white) horses (sometimes goats).  An important function of Perkūnas is to fight the devil (velnias).

He is also associated with the Baltic oak tree and you can see most of  these images depicted on the box of matches.

The name survives in Lithuanian as perkūnas (“thunder”) and perkūnija (“thunder-storm”).

In Kaunas Old Town there is a famous “Fiery Gothic” style house built of 16 different kinds of bricks on the banks of the river, not far from the Vytautas the Great Bridge at the old border with Prussia, called the House of Perkūnas (or the Thunder House).

It was built by Hanseatic merchants as an office from 1440 to 1532. It was then sold to the Jesuits who later built a chapel there. The house fell into ruins and was rebuilt in the 19c as a school house and theatre.

The house got its name at the end of the 19c when a figure of Perkūnas was found in the walls. It is a registered cultural heritage site in Lithuania.


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Musical statues in Kaunas

I lived in Kaunas, Lithuania’s second city, for 5 weeks in 2008 and saw these statues, among a number of others, on a grass plot next to a block of flats in  V. Putvinskio g. opposite the  Žmuidzinavičius Museum, commonly known as the Devils’ Museum  (Velnių muziejus).


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BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition 2013

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

Just switched on to watch this programme to find that Lithuania is represented by Eglė Šidlauskaitė.

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She was born in Kaunas and studied at the Lithuanian Academy of Theatre and Music in her home town and the Conservatorio di Musica Giuseppe Verdi in Milan.

Eglė has been successful in many international singing competitions, including winning first prizes at the Capriolo Franciacorta and G Cobelli competitions and being a finalist and special prize winner in the Competizione dell’Opera 2011. In 2010 Eglė won a scholarship to join the Solti Te Kanawa Academy to work intensively on vocal technique and performance.

She toured in Germany, Austria and France in 2010 as Azucena Il trovatore with Opera Italiana di Milano. In the 2011/2012 season she was a member of the newly-established Opera Studio at the State Theater in Kassel where roles included 3rd Lady Die Zauberflöte, 3rd Flowermaiden Parsifal and Sonjetka Lady…

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