Cherry Blossom Princesses visit Lithuanian Embassy in Washington, DC
Ludo Segers | the Lithuania Tribune
Thursday, April 9, 2015
It is a rare event to have 50 princesses visit the Lithuanian Embassy all at once, but the annual Cherry Blossom is a magical event in Washington DC. Although Japan is the natural home for the annual cherry blossom festivals, Washington, DC with thousands of trees, mostly donated by Japan, comes a close second. Every year, since 1948 there is also a State Society organised Cherry Blossom Princess contest. The princesses are the highlight of the Cherry Blossom Festival, this weekend, in the capital's centre and a major event in the US Capitol building.
Cherry Blossoms at Tidal Bassin with the Washington Monument Photo Ludo Segers
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Ambassador Žygimantas Pavilionis welcomed the Lithuanian community and many friends. Looking at his watch, he informed the audience that it was already 11 March in Lithuania and that the 25th anniversary of re-establishing the modern state of Lithuania could officially start.
On Wednesday, the prestigious Library of Congress in Washington DC turned out to be the perfect backdrop to start the 25th anniversary celebrations of the reinstatement of Lithuania’s independence on 11 March 1990. Close to 200 dignitaries turned up, including Professor Vytautas Landsbergis, Linas Linkevičius, the Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rokas Masiulis, the Minister of Energy, and Congressman Michael Turner of Ohio. Among the dignitaries were also the Deputy Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament Andriy Parubiy and the former Georgian President, Mikheil Saakashvili.
Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis promised that the Lithuanian government would provide greater support for ethnic Lithuanians living in Poland and other neighboring countries as he visited Punsk, a town in northeastern Poland, on Tuesday.
Members of the Lithuanian national minority living in Poland expect to voice their concerns to Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis over the education situation, such as a lack of Lithuanian-language textbooks in local schools and proposals that may restrict Lithuanian history and geography classes and support from Lithuania.
Some members of the ruling political group of the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union and the Social Democratic Party on Tuesday proposed establishing the institute of the Lithuanian passport as an alternative to emigrants who do not have Lithuanian citizenship.