October – Lithuanian diaspora month

2023-09-28

Vytautas Magnus University declares October the month of the Lithuanian diaspora and invites to pay attention to the Lithuanian diaspora – its history, the activities of communities, Lithuanian schools, and the works of diaspora creators.

It is a cycle of events that combines the initiatives of VMU, other organizations, institutions and individual representatives of science and creativity related to the topic of the Lithuanian diaspora.

We invite you to follow news about upcoming events!

2023 Events

We kindly invite Lithuanian and foreign Lithuanian schools to participate in the crossword contest dedicated to the topic of world Lithuanians.

Set yourself a challenge and check which class in your school knows the world Lithuanians' history, literature, and personalities the best.
We invite you to send the completed crossword to the address gerda.pilipaityte@vdu.lt by October 31.

From those who answered correctly, we will randomly select one class from Lithuania and one class from foreign Lithuanian schools. We will announce the results in November.

The winners will be rewarded :).

We are pleased to invite you to the screening of Jonas Mekas's film "Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania" (1972, 82 min.), which attracted great interest at the beginning of this year.

This time we meet on October 4. (Wednesday), 4 p.m. in the Library-Museum of the President Valdas Adamkaus, S. Daukanto str. 25. The film will be presented by the literary expert dr. Ramūnas Čičelis. A discussion will follow the film.

Jonas Mekas wrote about his film: "The film consists of three parts. The first consists of footage I shot with my first Bolex during my early years in America, mostly from 1950 to 1953. You can see what we looked like in those days. Various shots of immigrants in Brooklyn, picnics, dancing, singing, streets of Williamsburg. The second part was filmed in 1971. in August in Lithuania.

Almost all the footage is from Semeniškiai, the village where I was born. You see the old house, my mother (b. 1887), all the brothers celebrating the holiday in our house. You don't really see what Lithuania is like today: you only see it through my memories, coming home for the first time in twenty-five years.

The third part begins in Elmshorn, a suburb of Manburg, where we spent one year in a forced labor camp during the war. After that we are in Vienna where we see some of my best friends: Peter Kubelka, Hermann Nitsch, Annette Michelson, Ken Jacobs” (from Jonas Mekas diary).

 

Lithuanian heritage school teachers not only teach, but also learn! We invite you to talk about it on October 5 (Thursday) 3-5:30 p.m. in the ongoing discussion dedicated to the topic of teacher development in Lithuanian heritage schools.

During the event, it will be discussed what opportunities Lithuanian school teachers have for improvement, how they can be used effectively and what manifestations of leadership we can observe in Lithuanian heritage education.

In the discussion, teachers of Lithuanian heritage schools from the United Kingdom, Singapore, Canada, Colombia will share their experiences, representatives of Lithuanian universities, the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore, and Vilniaus lietuvių namai will talk about improvement programs and the opportunities they offer.

We invite teachers from Lithuanian heritage schools, teachers who have returned to Lithuania (or are planning to return) to participate in the event.

Discussion is organized by:Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, Education Commission of the Lithuanian World Community, Association of Lithuanian Heritage Schools, Member of the Seimas Dalia Asanavičiūtė, Ministry of Education, Science and Sports, Vytautas Magnus University.

The event will be held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, J. Tumo-Vaižganto st. 2, in Vilnius and online.

Registration for participation in person by e-mail kalba@urm.lt by October 2.

October 5 (Thursday) at 5 p.m. The presentation of Professor Egidijus Aleksandravičius' book "Colors and Sahes: The History of Lithuanian Academic Scouting, 1924-2024" will be held at the President Valdas Adamkaus Library-Museum (25 S. Daukanto st.).

The presentation will be attended by: Algirdas Antanas Avižienis (Vytautas Magnus University, University of California), Daiva Kuzmickaitė (Mykolas Riomeris University), Jolita Buzaitytė-Kašalynienė (Vilnius University) and the author of the book, Egidijus Aleksandravičius.

The presentation will be moderated by historian Egidijus Balandis (Vytautas Magnus University).

Questions about the beginnings of Lithuanian academic scouting can be raised with patience, calm tolerance, and skeptical wisdom. First of all, it is important to seek a compromise between the general features of the civil society development of the reborn February 16th Republic (as an analysis of one prominent case) and the undoubted uniqueness of Lithuanian academic scouting, which depended on the self-determination and will of several free individuals. That means it's worth trying to identify the names of those who started it all. And then try to find out what circumstances influenced them, what individual psychological factors could have worked. Now we would think that at least a few thought-provoking levels would help to clarify this: firstly, the national characteristics of Lithuanian scouting, which would allow us to get caught up in the unique nature of academic scouting, then - the characteristics of the maturity of Lithuanian civil society, and thirdly - the formation of the academic layer and the challenges of the culture of student corporatism in Lithuania (since 1930 - Vytautas Magnus University).

Maironis Museum of Lithuanian Literature organizes a distance reading competition for foreign Lithuanian schoolchildren.

The contest is dedicated for commemoration the authors of 2023. Therefore a reader should prepare two pieces: one – written by the jubilee author  (J. Baltrušaitis, V. Mykolaitis-Putinas, K. Binkis, K. Barėnas, A. Matutis, B. Pūkelevičiūtė, J. Degutytė, M. Vainilaitis, H. A. Čigriejus, B. Vilimaitė, A. Mikuta, V. Palčinskaitė, V. Jasukaitytė, S. Geda, S. T. Kondrotas, D. Kajokas), second– written by other author or personal piece.
Up to 6 minutes are allocated for the performance of one reader.

Registration for the competition is open until September 25 by filling out this form: https://forms.gle/Hgeq8NdzWqdk7hRn6

Contest rules:

  • the competition will take place remotely via Zoom;
  • 7-19 year olds are invited to participate. (grades 1–12) students studying in foreign Lithuanian schools, foreign Baltic and Lithuanian centers or participating in the activities of foreign Lithuanian communities;
  • the number of participants is limited. A maximum of 5 students from one institution can participate;

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We kindly invite the schoolchildren of 6th-12th grades of Lithuanian schools to education on the topic "The spirit of nobility in the Lithuanian diaspora: the lessons of L. and F. Mockūnas.

Education and introduction to the exposition dedicated to the memory of Liūtass and Francoise Mockūnas will take place on October 13. 3 p.m., at the representative office of Vytautas Magnus University, Žygimantų str. 5a-6, Vilnius.

Patronage, philanthropy, altruistic non-remunerated activity, the desire to give are values ​​that we seek to form in the consciousness of a young person. Manifestations of such values ​​abound in the history of the Lithuanian diaspora, so we invite students to deepen their knowledge of the Lithuanian diaspora, which members of many of our families were or are a part of, and to familiarize themselves with the attitude of Lithuanians of the diaspora towards support, gratuitous help to others, and sharing available resources.

Participants of the education will learn about Liūtas and Francoise Mockūnas, who lived in Chicago, USA, and returned to Lithuania in 2005; their philanthropic activities in Chicago and Lithuania.

Liūtas Mockūnas is a critic of Lithuanian literature, publicist, editor of the monthly magazine Akiračiai. Being in the ranks of Santara-Šviesa, he participated in the program "Face to Lithuania", delivered books and periodicals to the intelligentsia of occupied Lithuania.

Francoise Marie Puzyna - Mockūnienė - founder of the named L. and F. Mockūnas scholarships for students of Vytautas Magnus University, patroness, initiator of the establishment of the representative office of Vytautas Magnus University in Vilnius.

VDU World Lithuanian University invites you to a discussion about science fiction texts written in the Lithuanian diaspora and their creators, among whom the most famous name is Algis Budrys.

A. Budrys is included in the list of 25 most famous fantasy writers of the second half of the 20th century. His novels and short stories are recognized as classics of science fiction and his texts are mentioned and analyzed in articles and books. During the Soviet era no one knew about the A.Budrys, possibly because his father was an anti-Soviet person. However, even now in Lithuania, this famous writer of the Lithuanian diaspora is not very well known.

In the discussion, we will raise questions, why Ignos Šeinius's novel Siegfried Immerselbe rejuvenates is popular, and Klemenas Jūra-Jūraitis's Oceanida is not so well-known?
Can we also find traces of leaving home in the science fiction literature of the Lithuanian diaspora? What caused the popularity of A. Budrys abroad?

Literary expert Pranas Vaičaitis, a researcher of A. Budryas science fiction novels, and science fiction literature expert, historian Vaidas Dačiola will seek answers.
The discussion will be moderated by literary scholar Gerda Pilipaitytė.

The event will take place at cafe-museum RetroBytes, K. Donelaičio st. 65.

We kindly invite you to the screening of the film "The Story of the Baltic University" at the President Valdas Adamkaus Library-Museum (25 S. Daukanto Str.) on October 25 at 4 p.m. The film will be commented by historian dr. Egidius Balandis. A discussion will follow the film.

Duration of the movie: 52 min.
Language of the movie - English.
Language of the discussion: Lithuanian/English.

The "Story of the Baltic University" is a documentary film about the Baltic University in Hamburg, which operated in the post-war years 1946-1949.

Autumn of 1945. In almost razed Hamburg, a group of refugees, university professors from the Baltic countries, share their ideas about founding a new university. Having lost everything, they work for free in the name of this goal and in 1946 Baltic University opens its doors in March. This event is not only welcomed and difficulties soon begin. Former students of this university from the three Baltic states tell their stories. Rare film footage, documents and photographs provide a glimpse into an institution that should not be forgotten.

A discussion "From the golden age to the crisis: the destinies of the Lithuanians of Venezuela" will be held on October 27 at 4 p.m. in the library-museum of President Valdas Adamkaus (25 S. Daukant str.). It will be focused on the stages of prosperity and decline of Venezuela and the Lithuanian community operating there, the virtualization of the community, and on the present situation the emerging community of Venezuelan Lithuanian repatriates in Lithuania.

Participants of the discussion: Venezuelans living in Lithuania Gabriel Orentas, Antonio Baronas, Audronė Surošaitė; historian Giedrius Janauskas, visual material about today's Venezuela will be presented by Irmantas Škėrys.

The discussion will be illustrated by the photo exhibition "Venezuela's golden age through the eyes of Lithuanians", which will consist of the works of the Venezuelan-Lithuanian photographer Gediminas Orentos made in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as moments of the life of the Lithuanian community in Venezuela captured in a similar period.

Languages of the event: Lithuanian, English, Spanish.

Friends: VMU art gallery „101” and VMU Faculty of Arts.

2021 program, 2022 program

Ever since 1989, VMU has operated and has been recognized as the university of the Diaspora. Almost every one of its faculties has established close relations with the scientists and artists of the Lithuanian Diaspora and has implemented projects that were a result of joint efforts by Lithuanian and Diaspora scientists.

Over this time period, the university’s community has been joined by such world Lithuanians as Algirdas Avižienis, Bronius Vaškelis, Liucija Baškauskaitė, Arvydas Žygas, Milda Danytė, Viktorija Skrupskelytė, Algis Mickūnas, Birutė Galdikas, Emilija Sakadolskienė, Romas Vaštokas, Violetta Parutis, Dovilė Budrytė and many others. Organized events have included the Lithuanian Language and Culture Course, training for teachers of Lithuanian schools, project of Baltic centres, summer courses, and a traineeship programme for world Lithuanians.

In 2013, the university launched the platform of World Lithuanian University (WLU), whose main activities include a diaspora education programme for the Lithuanian society and the world Lithuanian community, promotion of the history of world Lithuanians, focus on the cooperation between world Lithuanian scientists and researchers as well as students and world Lithuanians who seek to educate and become educated.

This year, as the synergy increased between VMU and its partners who also devote special attention to the affairs of the Lithuanian Diaspora, the event series in October will aim to promote and reinforce the perception that the Lithuanian Diaspora is a part of Lithuania.