Lithuania's 100th anniversary celebration of Independence
On February 16, 2018, Lithuanians all over the world celebrated the birth of a new Lithuania. This date is like a bridge between the old Lithuania born on July 6, 1253 and the new independent Lithuania restored on March 11, 1990. Had it not been for February 16, there would have been no events of 11 of March, nor the subsequent success story.
The Centennial of the new Lithuania is a success story. The main achievements are as follows: Lithuania has become a player of the European and world history, with its modern civil society aware of the importance of freedom and the responsibility that goes with it, and with new emerging vistas for action for the Lithuanian state and its people.
On February 17, 2018 members and friends of the Lithuanian communities of Cleveland, Toronto, Montreal and more gathered for a beautiful and meaningful ceremony at Cleveland State University.
5 pages of coverage with videos of the entire ceremony and hundreds of photos are as follows:
Grand Finale of Lithuania's 100th anniversary celebration of Independence in Cleveland
Ceremony of Declaration of Restoration of Lithuania's Independence at resting place of President Smetona
On February 10, 2018 members of the Lithuanian community gathered for a beautiful and meaningful ceremony at All Souls Mausoleum honoring the Declaration of Restoration of Lithuania's Independence, and its signatories.
Among the signers was President Antanas Smetona, who in 1919 became the first president of Lithuania and later returned to power as an authoritarian head of state for the last 13 years of his country’s independence. President Smetona died January 9, 1944 in Cleveland and is interned at All Souls with 6 other members of the Smetona family.
Paying respect to the signers. Eugene Dicevicius, Dr. Vik Stankus, Ruta Degtutis, officers of the Cleveland Lithuanian Community and scouts
Fashions from Lithuania at Cleveland multicultural party
A highlight of the 8th Annual ICC-WIN Cleveland Multicultural Holiday Celebration on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at the Global Center for Health Innovation in Cleveland was the International Fashion Show featuring almost 100 models from about 30 countries.
Kristina Vidžiunaite, Kristoforas Ciurlionis, Audrele Bielinyte, Martins Krebs, Gabriele Baltrunaite and Aras Stungys represented Lithuania.
Men's and women's Lithuanian folk costumes use a variety of colors, designs, textures, and patterns. Aprons embroidered with geometric designs cover long plaid skirts. Hats trimmed with ribbon and vests are also typical elements to Lithuanian traditional costumes. The men's clothing, while understated, is decorated with woven sashes and boots.
Vests are typical accessories for both male and female Lithuanian traditional costumes. Women's vests are often fitted with a ruffle at the waist. The shirts are worn over long-sleeved blouses with collared necks. The pillbox hat, which is often richly decorated and may be finished with long ribbons that trail down the back, is common to Lithuanian traditional dress.
Tracing Your Family's Path from a Displaced Persons Camp
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., has created a searchable database of information on the Displaced Persons Camps and the people who passed through them. Earlier this year, the Holocaust Museum partnered with the Ukrainian Museum-Archives in Cleveland to digitize the UMA's extensive collection of DP Camp periodicals produced by Ukrainian refugees from 1945-51. Working with Kyiv-based Archival Data Systems, researchers have scanned more than 75,000 documents archived at the Tremont museum, creating a resource that scholars and others will now be able to access.
Officials from the Holocaust Museum unveiled the new resource and its search tools at a special presentation in Cleveland, a city that resettled thousands of displaced persons. "Solving the Mystery: Tracing Your Family's Path from a Displaced Persons Camp," was presented at the Slovenian National Home.
International Cleveland Community Day at the Cleveland Museum of Art
Since the opening of the Atrium at the Cleveland Museum of Art, the CMA has hosted International Cleveland Community Day. It's a free festival featuring more than 50 groups and organizations that present their rich diversity through music, dance, and cultural displays. The Lithuanian community was represented.
Sisters Ieva Dudaite and Mariya Dudaite from Lithuania
John Carroll University served as host of the 2017 WUJA (World Union of Jesuit Alumni) Congress. This was the first WUJA Congress in North America and attracted 550 attendees from 30 countries. At the opening event of the conference, sisters Ieva Dudaite and Mariya Dudaite from Lithuania performed.
Ieva and Mariya Dudaite perform at WUJA event at John Carroll University in Cleveland
Juventus is a celebration of youth, dance tradition and Lithuanian cultural preservation. The third Lithuanian Folk Dance festival Juventus was hosted by the Lithuanian Folk Dance Group Svyturys and held in the Cleveland Ohio suburb of Euclid.
Stay informed about the local Lithuanian community by signing up for the free Lithuanian eNews mailings. You can select other specific groups as well. It's easy and free. Fill out the form for the free Lithuanian eNews.
Lithuanians at Cleveland Multicultural Event
The Cleveland Lithuanian Community was represented at the 7th annual International Community Council - Worldwide Intercultural Network (ICC-WIN) holiday party on December 14, 2016.
120 people participated in the fashion show and each walked the runway to music from their country. Click on the white arrow to watch the short video of the Lithuanian models, Rene Kizys, Gabriele Baltrunaite, Madeline Kaunas, Edita Kuizaitiene and Ruta Degutis.
Guests enjoyed delicious Lithuanian food from Gintaras
The Lithuanian Cultural Garden is one of the 29 and counting nationality gardens in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. It was dedicated on October 11, 1936 so the 80th anniversary of the Lithuanian Cultural Garden was celebrated on Sunday September 18, 2016.
Members of the Lithuanian community and dignitaries such as US Senator Rob Portman spoke and the Exultate Choir performed Lithuanian songs.
Baltic Communities remember Senator George Voinovich
Erika Puussaar, a Director of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation and delegate to the Estonian Garden, told how grateful the people of the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were to Senator George Voinovich for his work to get the Baltics into NATO.
Lithuanian Ambassador Ginte Damusyte-Damusis in Cleveland
The Lithuanian community of Cleveland celebrated the 98th anniversary of Independence at the Lithuanian Club. The special guest and keynote speaker for the weekend was Ambassador Ginte Damusyte-Damusis.
Ambassador Ginte Damusyte-Damusis
She spoke about Independence, NATO, energy, the diaspora, Soviets, Russia and more
The ClevelandPeople.Com Passport Adventurers travelled to Lithuania via the Cleveland Lithuanian Club.
They learned about Lithuanian history, language, music, culture and, of course, food. They listened to Virginija Juodisius-Rubinski play traditional Lithuanian songs played on the kankles which is a Lithuanian plucked string musical instrument of the zither family.
The entrees included Cepelinai, the national dish of Lithuanian along with Kugelis (potato pudding), Vedarai (potato sausage) and a more familiar sausage and sauerkraut.
Baking a šakotis (Lithuanian tree cake) or Baumkuchen
The ClevelandPeople.Com Passport Adventurers travelled to Lithuania via the Cleveland Lithuanian Club. They not only sampled the famous Lithuanian tree cake in their meal but got to see one being made the traditional way by baker Dainius Zalensas of the Lithuanian Club Bakery.
The ClevelandPeople.Com Passport Adventurers travelled to Lithuania via the Cleveland Lithuanian Club. They learned about the Hill of Crosses which is a site of pilgrimage about 12 km north of the city of Šiauliai, in northern Lithuania. Estimates put the number of crosses at over 100,000.
Hill of Crosses in Lithuania By Pudelek (Marcin Szala) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17124232
Following the country's annexation by the Soviet Union during the war, Lithuanian players frequently formed the core of the Soviet national team? The most prevalent example was the 1988 Olympic basketball gold medal-winning team which got most of its scoring from four Lithuanians: Valdemaras Chomicius, Rimas Kurtinaitis, Šarunas Marciulionis and Arvydas Sabonis.
Dan Hanson tells the story of the 1992 Olympics where the Lithuanian team, clad in Greatful Dead jerseys, beat the Russian team and won the Bronze Medal in Barcelona.
Arvydas Sabonis playing the 1988 Olympic semifinal against the United States
The ClevelandPeople.Com Passport Adventurers travelled to Lithuania via the Cleveland Lithuanian Club. They learned about Jadwiga (St Hedwig) who reigned as the first female monarch of the Kingdom of Poland from 1384 untill her death. Her marriage to Wladyslaw-Jogaila enabled the union of Poland and Lithuania, establishing a large state in East Central Europe.
After becoming widowed, Eve Bates earned an Associate of Arts degree at age seventy-five. College teachers told her she had a flare for writing. Her first book was Sudiev! Goodbye!: Joys and Hardships of a Lithuanian Immigrant Girl, a family saga published in 1978 which is now in the permanent collection at the Statue of Liberty Library on Ellis Island, NYC. Complementing Bates second book, My Speckled Tales and Other Dimensions, her third, More Speckled Tales, recounts additional colorful, fantastic stories.
Traditional Lithuanian Clothing
A highlight of the 6th annual Holiday Celebration of Cleveland's Diversity held in the atrium of the Global Center for Health Innovation in the Cleveland Convention Center by the International Community Council-Worldwide Intercultural Network (ICC-WIN) was the multicultural fashion show.
Models: sisters Rita Kizys and Rene Kizys
These are two Lithuanian folk dance costumes based in design from the northern region of Lithuania. They were woven by a seamstress in Panevezys, Lithuania whom also sews modern bridal and ball gowns. Although both of these were woven in 2013, they have been made the same way that traditional dance costumes have been made for the past century. The costumes consist of a crown, blouse, vest, slip, skirt, apron, and juosta (yo-stah) which is a Lithuanian woven sash. Intricately woven fabric is one of the biggest parts of Lithuanian culture. The colors are vibrant to represent nature and stand out at dance performances, festivals, and celebrations.
Lithuania‘s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius' First Visit to Cleveland
The Republic of Lithuania's foreign minister Linas Linkevicius arrived in Cleveland from Lithuania on Sept. 25, 2015. It was the Minister's first visit to Cleveland, home of a vibrant Lithuanian community.
The Minister was met at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport by City of Cleveland representatives and the Lithuanian Ambassador from Washington to the USA Rolandas Krisciunas, the Honorary General Consul of Lithuania in Cleveland Ingrida Bublys as well as representatives of the Lithuanian Community.
Consul General of the Republic of Lithuania in Chicago Marijus Gudynas, Lyra Puisyte-Bostroem, Honorary Consul Ingrida Bublys, Republic of Lithuania Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius, Dr. Vik Stankus and Ambassador Rolandas Krišciunas outside St Casimir Church.
Senator Portman Meets with Cleveland Eastern European Communities
U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) traveled to Ukraine to meet with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, as well as other government officials. Portman has repeatedly called for increased U.S. military assistance to Ukraine as they continue to face Russian aggression.
Senator Portman and Cleveland Eastern European leaders
Portman also traveled to Latvia to meet with Latvian officials, U.S. troops and discuss the importance of the U.S.-Latvia relationship. Prior to his trip, Portman met with Latvian Ambassador Andris Razans to discuss recent developments in U.S.-Latvian relations.
On Friday, April 17, 2015 Senator Portman, co-chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, met with members of Eastern European communities in Cleveland to discuss his recent visit to Ukraine and Latvia.
A wonderful program of traditional Lithuanian music and dance was held at the St. Casimir Parish Hall in Cleveland Ohio. Introductions were both in Lithuanian and English and the performers wore traditional Lithuanian costumes.
Grandis Lithuanian Dance Group came in from Chicago to joing the local performers. Lots of videos and photos from the event.
Relationship between Lithuania and Poland
Dr. Vik Stankus told about the relationship between Lithuania and Poland at a celebration of Polish Constitution Day at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Dr. Stankus told of the 500 years the two nations had been allies and how Lithuania took in 60,000 Polish officers and soldiers during World War II and refused to assist the Nazis. The event featured an unveiling of a statue of Tadeusz (Thaddeus) Kosciuszko who was a hero of Poland, Belarus, Lithuania and the United States and fought in the Polish uprising against Russia and the American Revolution.
Later in the program, Ben Stefanski introduced Dr. Vik Stankus of the Ohio Lithuanian community and then told of the close relationship between Poland, Lithuania and Hungary.
Organizations and Resources for Lithuanians in Cleveland
The Lithuanian Consulate has opened its new office in Willoughby. The Lithuanian Consulate serves Lithuanians in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.
On August 19, 2010 the Honorary General Consul of the Republic of Lithuania, Ingrida Bublys, met with the Mayor of Willoughby, David E. Anderson. At that occasion she shared information about Lithuania as well as the duties of the consulate. The Mayor was presented a book about Lithuania,”Millennium of Lithuania.”
Willoughby Mayor David E. Anderson and Honorary General Consul of the Republic of Lithuania Ingrida Bublys
Tell us about the music, food, holidays, traditions, costumes, language and other qualities that make Lithuanians so special.
Vincas Kudirka bust in Lithuanian Cultural Garden
Lithuanian lands were united under Mindaugas in 1236; over the next century, through alliances and conquest, Lithuania extended its territory to include most of present-day Belarus and Ukraine. By the end of the 14th century Lithuania was the largest state in Europe.
An alliance with Poland in 1386 led the two countries into a union through the person of a common ruler. In 1569, Lithuania and Poland formally united into a single dual state, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. This entity survived until 1795, when its remnants were partitioned by surrounding countries.
Lithuania regained its independence following World War I but was annexed by the USSR in 1940 - an action never recognized by the US and many other countries. On 11 March 1990, Lithuania became the first of the Soviet republics to declare its independence, but Moscow did not recognize this proclamation until September of 1991 (following the abortive coup in Moscow).
The last Russian troops withdrew in 1993. Lithuania subsequently restructured its economy for integration into Western European institutions; it joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004.
Read more about the Lithuanian and other Ambassadors. If you are interested in being considered to be an official ClevelandPeople.com Ambassador to the Cleveland Lithuanian community, please contact us.