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Culture and society issues in Lithuania


Lithuanians relied on Catholic tradition and memories of the independent Lithuania to preserve their national identity, a skill mastered through centuries of Russian and Polish domination. 

Lithuania has strong ties with its émigré community in the US, Canada and Australia. 


Social behaviour is fairly informal. Lithuanians are open and hospitable.

Lithuanian-Russian relations are not as tense as those between Estonians and Latvians and Russians, although care should be taken when discussing Russia and its role in the region. Lithuanians also dislike being described as members of the Baltic states, rather than Lithuanian.

There is no trash on any street/sidewalk/private property


Men wear their hair short, about ½-1 inch long; no facial hair. Their winter coats are diverse, but always black and leather. Pants are black, or any dark color. Shirts are usually a dark color. Shoes are blunt-toed boots/shoes which strongly resemble my grandfather’s wedding shoes, in 1915. No one wears ripped clothing. Pants are not baggy nor tight. Paints with crotch down-to-the-knees are unknown (thankfully). Body piercing /tattoos are rare. Women wear pointy-toed shoes that are extremely exaggerated. There are more women’s shoe stores in Vilnius than any other kind; cellular phone stores would run a close-second. Women look great in their fur coats of which no two are the same. On the coldest day, only 50% of people wear hats. 57.8% of the city’s population is very good looking; few people are fat; everyone has nice skin, acne is rare, as is makeup/perfume.


The Burdens of the Past The remains of the principles that sustained the Soviet cultural policy and the mentality of Homo Sovieticus can be traced even among the former participants of the anti-soviet resistance movement. There is a shortage of understanding and consensus among all the subjects of social relations: Lithuanian culture still represents a culture of the monologue. There are two trump cards in all kinds of monologues: patriotism and the foreign threat. Time zones have already been changed twice in Lithuania: it was considered that it was patriotic to live under Brussels but not under Moscow time, even if night then comes at three in the afternoon. However, Lithuanians are not the biggest fans of Euro integration. Lithuanian people are weighed down by unemployment and alcoholism in small towns and villages. Families, many of whom have very low incomes, have nothing to do and nowhere to go, nothing to expect and to plan.


The Choice Belongs to those who are Young
The younger generation in Lithuania makes sense of its reality in a way that is not pre-determined either by the traditions and the heritage of Lithuanian culture from the past, nor by the temporary difficulties of the present. The subculture of the younger generations is in a permanent state of construction, transition, and development. Some features in the youngstersí culture create anxiety. Frightening tendencies were in a latent hidden state in the Soviet era; it seems today that only freedom has its dark side: drugs, alcoholism, crime and violence. Other features give a brighter perspective and hope: young people are much more free; they have a much better environment for their creativity and self-fulfilment. The future belongs to the youngsters and the future of Lithuanian culture will depend on their choice.

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