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Twenty three years since Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to proclaim independence, calls are being proclaimed to cherish and protect the Lithuanian language.

Irena Andrukaitienė, a signatory to the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania, told a Seimas sitting that the Lithuanian language was an important part of European culture and could be considered “a trunk out of which many European languages grew” as other Indo-European languages were much younger. “It’s sad that we, and a large part of Europe, do not realize the value of this treasure,” she said.

Andrukaitienė thinks bigger nations are “making us let their language systems into our language. And we are succumbing to their influence helping ourselves to erase Lithuania from the map as bigger nations are making us to let their language systems into our language, making us to feel embarrassed, I would even say they are making us to feel embarrassed of the fact that we are Lithuanians and that we are Lithuania,” she said.

The good news is that 3,000 residents support the idea to cherish the Lithuanian language, by testing themselves as part of the 6th National Dictation Contest. Taking place on February 23rd of this year, the Contest was arranged in all Lithuanian municipalities, 26 foreign representations of Lithuania, Vilnius Book Fair and even in Lithuanian communities abroad in Ireland, Poland, and UK.

Professor Zigmantas Kiaupa believes there is a bright future ahead for Lithuania, saying that despite all faults “there’s a real life and growing changes inside the depths of the Lithuanian society” and there’s a basis for hope of a stronger civil society.

Kiaupa goes on to say: “A civil society should be made of smaller cells. And there are more and more of those cells in Lithuania. I mean the communities of villages, towns and cities. Their activities are pulling the civil society together from the very bottom. It’s better and more fun to live where active communities are.”

Photo courtesy: The Lithuania Tribune

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