We share a love for the same thing, but have very little for one another
Lithuania’s people have been through a lot. Forced displacement, deportation, mass murder, discrimination, ethnic betrayal and cultural estrangement have left their mark. Recent studies reveal that Lithuanians are amongst the least empathetic in the world. We top the charts when it comes to alcoholism and suicide. People are leaving in mass numbers and not looking back. Although our history bears witness to a place and people that are uniquely tolerant and cosmopolitan, these days we are suspicious of our minorities, and have little empathy for those who have made their lives elsewhere. Many of those who have left still harbour a longing, a bitter-sweet yearning, to maintain and pass on something that is undeniably “Lithuanian”. They search for belonging, and wish to make sense of their roots in a foreign context. In many cases, traditions and customs have been carefully preserved outside Lithuania for over 3 generations. There is a sense of duty, a desire to maintain a connection, a commitment to serve.
Empathy, understanding, and solidarity are the key to achieving a sense of oneness.
And yet, despite a common passion, there is little unity and understanding amongst those outside of Lithuania and those who remain. Although we share a love, we have little love for one another. Ironically, each party has something the other craves. Each can heal the other’s ailments. Some can bring Lithuania to the world, whereas the others can bring the world to Lithuania. Those abroad can help locals understand their place in the world and open doors. Those at home can provide connection to the source.
Five to eight individual 10-day trips to Lithuanian communities all over the world over the next two years.
Each trip will:
The aim of the project is promote unity and values in line with a vision of a global Lithuania that spans beyond her national borders.
We will do so by:
Stirring empathy by highlighting what we have in common and embracing the uniqueness of our differences.