Ever heard of Lithuania? Something about his great beers, even major basketball traditions or strange? Amber, flax or Hill of crosses? If the answer is no, this article will give you a brief summary of the country and what you can get from it, even if you decide not to visit. It is a good chance that you already have something by Lithuania at home … without even knowing it!
The Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe with little more than 3 million inhabitants. Most of them are ethnic Lithuanians-a nation that has experienced a lot of highs and lows during its history. Currently Lithuania is a member of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and is experiencing probably the most stable and prosperous period in its history.
Geographically, Lithuania is located on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, Latvia to the North, Poland and the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad and Belarus to the Southeast. Land of the country consists mostly of plains with lots of lakes, rivers and forests. These characteristics, together with a mild climate has made the soil of Lithuania perfect for agriculture, which was the main industry of the country’s economy until the mid-twentieth century.
Lithuanians as a nation emerged in around 2000 BC, when the Baltic tribes formed in the area of modern-day country. The first reference to the name of Lithuania (Litua) came in 1009 ad, in the annals of the monastery of Quedlinburg. In 1253, the tribes that lived in the Lithuanian territory were United by Mindaugas, who became the first and only King of Lithuania. Paganism was prominent Lithuanian lands until the 14th century, when the country was baptized, the last one to do it in Europe. At that point in history, Lithuania was the largest country in Europe, stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea. Unfortunately, there were a lot of dark moments in the history of Lithuania. The country was occupied by various countries, for the most part of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union during most of the 19th and 20th centuries, with a brief period of independence in 1918-1940. Finally, Lithuania regained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1990 and is a fully sovereign country since then.
The importance of agriculture, the periods of paganism and Christianity and its rich history with lots of ups and downs-all these aspects have left a deep mark on Lithuanian heritage. So, now that we know is what kind of a country Lithuania, let’s review what the country could be yourself.
First of all, think of your friends, neighbors, acquaintances – any people you know-if you can’t pronounce their names without breaking your language, there is a good chance that some of them are Lithuanians. There are more than 1.5 million ethnic Lithuanians living outside the country, most of them in the English-speaking countries like the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Basketball may not be as interesting as soccer, but it is still a sport top of the world, and Lithuania has made some significant contributions to the sport. If you like basketball, names like Sabonis, Marciulionis, Ilgauskas or Kleiza should ring a Bell and guess what-they are all Lithuanians! Basketball is known as the second religion of the country and virtually every child’s dream is to become a basketball player. This pays off, as champions of Lithuania became European basketball in 1937, 1939, and 2003. The most recent Lithuanian basketball successes are medals bronze in 2010 World Cup and the privilege to organize the 2011 European Basketball Championship in Lithuania.
Do you like beer? If basketball is the second religion of Lithuania, beer could also be the third. All types of beers are made in Lithuania with some beer traditions from the middle ages. If you like beer, light or dark, small or great, Lithuanian beer brewers have much to offer. Probably the most famous Lithuanian Svyturys beer is Extra, a dortmunder which is available in many countries around the world.
If you don’t know any Lithuanians and doesn’t like basketball or beer, you look around your House. If you have some amber jewelry, may be found on the coast of Lithuania-about 80% of the world’s Amber is situated near the Baltic Sea. Jewellers and Lithuanian craftsmen are well known for the production of all kinds of decorations from amber and had a significant portion of exports of the country since the Roman Empire. If you wear clothes of linen, linen towels use or decorate your home with Linen tablecloths, also could be genuine those Lithuanians. “For a very long time, was a linen fabric used for clothing and decoration mostly farmers-the poorest and the most numerous class in Lithuanian society. Ironically, nowadays not everyone can afford linen clothes, but still are prized for their durability, quality and naturalness. It’s a good thing that Lithuanian linen weaving traditions are still very much alive and kicking. “-Cinzia says Stanisauskiene, owner of the only Lithuanian flax babies oriented e-store LinenKids.com.
In conclusion, Lithuania is a very small country, but has a very long and interesting history. Becoming more modern every day, the country maintains its traditions-both those who came from a thousand years ago and those that formed more recently. Should consider visiting Lithuania, but if you don’t have time to do it or don’t want, don’t hesitate to visit all kinds of Lithuanian online stores on the internet. In this way you can get a small portion of Lithuania and the history and traditions you-I bet you’ll love it!
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