How American-Lithuanian couple chose to fight for Lithuania’s Freedom: “We gathered thousands of local Lithuanians”…

January 15, 2018

Not many will remember, but in 1984, the Soviet Union boycotted the Los Angeles Olympic Games because of “anti-Soviet hysteria in the US”. Antanas Tony and Danutė Mažeika were one of the main people “to blame”: for the longest time they urged US Lithuanians to protest, . Read full interview

Beekeeper Rokas Armonas discovered the beauty of a natural life in America: keeping the bees and fostering hospitality

January 4, 2018

Rokas Armonas cultivates beehives and produces honey in California, although he says he misses Lithuania quite a lot and would have wanted to live in the Lithuanian countryside. Jurgis Didžiulis caught up with Rokas while visiting California with the ToBeLT team . Read full interview

Kaunas native Bella Shirin: I want to spread a positive message about the Lithuanians who saved the Jews

December 22, 2017

Bella Shirin was born in Kaunas, after World War II, when her parents came back to the the city having somehow survived the concentration camps. When she was seventeen years old, her parents decided to go to Israel. But Bella says she always missed Lithuania, especially Kaunas. 

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NFL star Dick Butkus says he learned how to take pride in everything he does from his parents

December 17, 2017

Dick Butkus is frequently referred to as the meanest guy in football. He’s an NFL hall-of-famer, one of the greatest linebackers of all time, and also happens to be a Chicago-born Lithuanian.

He was a great player with an exceptional attitude. 

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Tea maker from California, Daiva: My husband learned to play the accordion to impress me

December 12, 2017

Daina Slekys-Trout is a California-based Lithuanian who has set up a successful Kombucha tea company. Kombucha is a natural fermented tea, the fastest growing non-alcoholic beverage market – growing approx. 25-35% each year in the last five years. Every bottle is adorned with Lithuanian coat of arms Vytis, and her husband, an American from New Jersey, has learned to play the accordion to impress her.

Jurgis Didžiulis together with the ToBeLT (To Be Lithuanian) mission spoke to Daina during his their  latest trip to the West Coast, California . Read full interview

Indrė Viskontas, American Lithuanian: our traumas can be cured by helping those in need

December 12, 2017

Indrė Viskontas, an opera singer and a neurological scientist, learned how to speak English when she was 7 years old. It wouldn’t be odd if she lived in Lithuania, but she wasn’t – Indrė was born and raised in Canada – currently residing in San Francisco, where To Be LT caught up with her for a chat.

Her parents and grandparents created such a unique Lithuanian environment at home, making Indrė feel like an outsider when she moved out on her own, as if she was a foreigner living in Canada. Similarly, she felt at odds with her environment when she visited Lithuania. Some interesting thoughts about the continuation of Lithuanian traditions when living abroad; being Lithuanian and the importance of that heritage in the context of what Indrė would like to pass on to her son . Read full interview

Daiva Navarette: how my American-Mexican husband fell in love with Lithuania

December 12, 2017

Daiva Čekanauskas-Navarette, born in Los Angeles, is an honorary consul of Lithuania and the director of Lithuanian World Arts Council (LWAC). Daiva is very active in Los Angeles Lithuanian community, and frequently visits Lithuania. During the US West Coast trip we visited Daiva and her husband Carlos Navarette’s home and sat down to chat about Lithuania . Read full interview

Small communities are stronger, because they need a bigger effort to survive. Wherever life has taken us, we have always been able to find Lithuania, perhaps because we always carry a small piece of her in our hearts. Throughout the past 25 years, we were taken to several different countries across the world.

Lithuanians have a unique sense of style and distinctive aesthetics – an observation I state with ever-growing confidence. Many people of diverse cultural backgrounds attend creative workshops at my Baltic Art Studio Co in Chicago, but Lithuanians stand out repeatedly.

Lithuania reminds us Shire – a lush green region described “The Lord of the Rings”. Small wooden houses, large forests, rivers, plenty of berries, and not so many people. Thinking about Lithuania creates a feeling of warmth and cozyness, a feeling of being cared for.