Thirty Years Ago, Lithuania Faced Its Moment of Truth

Victor Nakas. Imagine a world in which your local university offers a course in modern Lithuanian history. Of course you’ve enrolled and now it’s time for your final exam.  Your first essay question reads “What were the five most important milestones in 20th century Lithuanian history? Why?” How would you …

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Chicago’s Lithuanian Opera is Preserved for the Ages. Digital technology helps archive a major Lithuanian cultural achievement

Dr. Darius Kučinskas. To mark the upcoming centennial of Lithuanian opera, the Martynas Mažvydas National Library in Vilnius, in cooperation with the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, has initiated a project to digitize the videotapes of Chicago’s Lithuanian opera productions. Cameraman and photographer Aleksandras Plenys undertook the original videotaping from …

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Bestselling author Gediminas Kulikauskas: Publishing is like a lottery

Linas Jegelevičius, Representing Draugas News in Lithuania. There are books that are so riveting that you just can’t put them down. Two books by Gediminas Kulikauskas, Contraband of Oranges and The Lithuanian Code, both bestsellers, are among my favorite reads. Their author, who also wrote, Electricity Boycott and The Republic …

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Jewish and Lithuanian Cuisine. We eat the same things!

Several years ago, Draugas News featured a story on Nida Degutienė – businesswoman, food blogger, writer, and freelance journalist, who had just published a cookbook, Taste of Israel. Nida became immersed in Litvak and Jewish cuisine when her husband diplomat Darius Degutis was appointed Lithuania’s ambassador to Israel and South …

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Shtetl Love Song

Vin Katilius-Boydstun.     There is no universally agreed-on definition of a shtetel. According to professor of Jewish history, Yohannan Petrovsky-Shtern, what became known in Yiddish as the shtetel grew out of the “Polish private town,” the property of Polish magnates during the time of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, continuing as such …

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Viktoras Petravičius: Master of the Monoprint

By Izida Petravičiūtė von Braun In 1978, in the journal Lituanus, Professor Stasys Goštautas of Boston University, wrote about Petravičius and his art as follows: “Never since the delightful graphic art of the primitive and anonymous artists of the eighteenth century, has Lithuanian art exhibited such a pure and candid …

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Learning while Reading Grigory Kanovich

By Ramūnas Čičelis. It’s a great honor and pleasure for me to present and discuss the creative works of the Litvak author Grigory Kanovich (Kanovičius). Kanovičius grew up and was formed in the same town in which I was born and raised and in which I live still – the …

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Recreated Historical Clothing Worn by the Balts

By Daiva Steponavičienė. In 2009 we celebrated the 1000 year anniversary of the first mention of Lithuania in a written historical document. As part of the festivities, an array of reconstructed national outfits worn by Lithuanian tribes in the 1st – 12th centuries and during the period of the Grand …

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The Kurnėnai School and Laurent Radziukynas

By Gediminas Indreika. West of Alytus, between the Aniškis forest and Luksnėnu lake, lies the village of Kurnėnai. In the 1880s Laurynas (Laurent) Radziukynas trekked 8 kilometers daily to the nearest school in Miroslavas, a hardship that would leave an indelible impression in the boy’s mind. In 1934, as a …

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WHEN THE MOUSE REALLY ROARED. Remembering the 30th anniversary of the beginning of the end of the USSR

Victor Nakas. Walk to the White House As we approached the northwest gate of the White House, we expected that our Lincoln sedan would just drive through. Instead, the guards told us to get out and walk through the pedestrian entrance. There they checked our IDs and riffled through the …

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