The face-to-face meeting of the presidents of Lithuania and Poland, the first one since Poland's Andrzej Duda took office a year ago, has raised hope of ending the chill in Vilnius-Warsaw relations. However, a big break is hardly in view, political analysts say.
Lithuania remained pagan until the late Middle Ages and, as such, was an object of curiosity as well as hostility for Christian Europe. Paganism, wrote thirteenth-century Franciscan scholar Bartholomew the Englishman, was "ritus mirabilis". Christian scholars who described pagan rituals did not shy away from negative stereotyping, although sometimes their writings give neutral, almost ethnographic descriptions.To read this article, try a €5.99 monthly subscription by clicking here.
Emigration has been a perennial headache for the Lithuanian government and businesses for more than a decade now. Departures of young and educated people are a particular drain on the country's resources.
Mimicking and copying Western Europe was one of the main strategies that Lithuanians used to cope with the socio-political and existential chaos after the collapse of communism, says Dr. Rasa Baločkaitė of Vytautas Magnus University. In her research, she applies the concepts of Postcolonialist studies to describe some absurd practices of the 1990s.
Posters on bus stops across Vilnius remind us that, this autumn, we are celebrating the 25th anniversary since most countries in the world resumed diplomatic relations with the Republic of Lithuania. The events will probably also celebrate the relations between Lithuania and Poland. Although there is little to celebrate: looking at the last five years, we must state that there has been considerable regress.