Tuesday, 19 February 2008
Anniversaries that matter
16th of February 1918, a small country on the Baltic coast became independent and was embraced in its attempt to statehood by the international community.
It would seem only appropriate to celebrate this occassion on a grand scale in Lithuania and abroad. This surely has happened, but...
Historic anniversaries tend to become somewhat more formalistic and commemorative, rather than festive and that talks of our mentality and culture, but lets leave Lithuanian mentality aside...
It is fair to mention that the festivity that is only 18 years old, even if it celebrates events of 1918 do not move crowds and generations that have not heard of this occassion, neither they can associate themselves with it. Naturally there are only a few surviving witnesses of the proclamation of declaration of independence. The latter fact doesnt help eiter. So here we are it would seem at an important anniversary, but feeling somehow distant to the sensation of happiness and excitement.
In all this, the most dissapointing element of 90th Anniversary was that Lithuanian representation to the EU and Lithuanian embassy in Belgium have decided to host the event on Monday 18th of February and to my great dissapointment European Parliament members did not seem to be interested in taking any initiatives on this while in Strasbourg.
Majority of Europeans (I am making a blunt assumption here) would not be able to tell whether Lithuania has first appeared in the map in 1009, 1918 or 1990, I would guess they would say 1990, since recent memory serves us better than history lessons...
In these circumstances ignorance and self-isolation would not help our communication strategy or would not build greater awareness. So here you go, we are celebrating an important anniversary for Lithuania as a country and for Lithuanians as its citizens, but all we do is cry in the corners of our snowy streets or cramped halls, remembering the past and predicting the turbulent future ahead. So much for the ability to go beyond the notion that Lithuania is a centre of gravity of the world we know.
It is just a pitty. For those of you that have managed to read this entry until this very spot, I am offering a short presentation of the 1918 events in the following
My previous entry in the blog on it