IN COLOURFUL COATS
Let me introduce myself. I‘m 18 years old girl, named Ieva (translation: Bird-cherry tree). I will become one of the new volunteers at „K.A.NE“ organisation. Soon, I‘ll step my cold Lithuanian feet on mysterious land of Greece for the first time in my life. Ελλάδα. What is it? How does it look, smell, sound?? What kind of people live there? All I have is dry facts and preconceptions, but do they match the reality..? Probably not all of them. We all have different views, so I decided to interview eight young Lithuanians (aged between 17-20 years) and ask them few questions about Hellenic Republic. None of them was there before, their opinions are influenced only by school, media and their own imagination.
Furthermore, I also asked them to share what they think about themselves and Lithuania. I‘m pretty sure that other people have lots of false/funny/weird prejudices about my country, too. It‘s a good opportunity for them to see how we - Lithuanians (ones who know how everything works and looks there better than anyone!) view our home and ourselves.
So, now...time to introduce you to Lithuanian youth and their interesting thoughts.
LITHUANIANS SPEAK ABOUT GREEKS:
What are you jealous for Greeks?
PAULIUS: Weather, Mediterranean sea and all the fun they have
POVILAS: Super long and awesome past
AGNĖ: Antique culture: architecture, the basics of philosophy, also mythology
JŪRATĖ: Warm climate and their beautiful beaches
How do you think Greek youth spend their free time?
RŪTA: Same like everywhere else - hang out with friends, read books, watch movies. And somehow I think, they like to party and go to clubs more often than Lithuanians:D
UGNE: Go to clubs
AGNĖ: Maybe because of different climate they spend more time by the sea, travelling to other islands, similarly like we travel to other cities
PAULIUS: Probably same like everywhere else – hang out with friends:D
What character features you would expect Greeks to have?
AGNĖ: „Burning“ temperament, more free and less conservative than us
UGNĖ: Persistent, „strong “ character
PAULIUS: Greeks, like other southerners, quickly „burn up“, ignite. They‘re rebellious and emotional. From other southerners they may stand out with their laziness (like their wish to live well without doing a thing)
RŪTA: I guess they are cheerful, passionate, sociable, outgoing
What do you think people eat in Greece?
POVILAS: A lot of canned food?
AGNĖ KATMANDU: Mostly „Greek nuts“ , then various weird living beings wich they catch while fishing. Also, they eat a lot of fruits, vegetables and drink vine instead of water
PAULIUS: I would guess that Greeks prefer rice, various vegetables, pastries and vine. And, of course, olives!
RŪTA: Lots of seafood and feta, lamb, olives. And I think they should eat Greek salad:D
Imagine how Greeks look like...?
JŪRATĖ: Long, curly, dark hair, big expressive eyes, soft tanned skin
POVILAS: Like Hercules and Xena
UGNĖ: Very tanned, dark haired, brown eyed, with big noses
AGNĖ KATMANDU: Nose. Black curly hair. Shiny skin (because of olive oil). All men handsome like Sakis Rouvas
Would you like to live in Greece? Why?
RIČARDAS: Maybe. Need to go meet Greek people and see the places first
RŪTA: Yes, but not for a long time. After few years i would start to miss colder climate, especially snow.
AGNĖ: I would love to. I like antique culture and I would be curious to see the things I read in books in reality. Plus, I would enjoy landscapes, warm weather, sun.
PAULIUS: No. There are many reasons: too many differences in nation‘s mentality, collapsed economy.
LITHUANIANS SPEAK ABOUT THEMSELVES:
What do you think Greeks should be jealous for Lithuanians?
AGNĖ: Economic situation.
RŪTA: Forests, cuisine, beer
POVILAS: Beer and Cepelinai
UGNĖ: Our diligence, beautiful girls, snow, green nature
How do you spend your free time?
PAULIUS: I spend my leisure time hanging out with friends, going to our popular „meeting points“ in my city, local shows.
AGNĖ KATMANDU: Last two weeks I‘ve been playing games on Facebook:D Also, I like to go for a walk, read, sometimes write, fallow my interests, be with friends (people with whom it‘s just good ‘to be‘), be lazy, eat, sleep, et cetera..
UGNĖ: Hanging out with friends, singing, playing music, travelling
RIČARDAS: It depends on my mood. I enjoy fishing, hanging out with friends, playing football and basketball
Define character/mentality of Lithuanian people.
AGNĖ KATMANDU: I could define Lithuanians to two parts: old generation, which experienced Soviet times and young generation, as their views and values differ a lot. „Old ones“ often lack self confidence, tolerance, they are distrustful of others and don‘t have enough of „nation consciousness“. While young Lithuanians are braver, more open to the world and changes. However, there still are some things that unite us all, such as Lithuanian modesty, jealousy, diligence, beer and victories:D
JŪRATĖ: Majority of Lithuanians are selfish, materialistic, angry at government and whole society, but you could also find good, conscientious, funny people, especially youth
AGNĖ: If I compared Lithuanians to other nations, I would say that we are more constrained, conservative, we have deep connection with our home and we don‘t like to be spontaneous. As for positive side, we‘re more responsible.
PAULIUS: Lithuanians – nation which is never content about anything. Majority of people care only about their own good (even if they try to hide that). However, our young generation, which hasn‘t experienced the effects of „Soviet school“ is more open-minded and little by little try to change the situation.
What is your favourite food?
RŪTA: Everything made out of potatoes, noodles, milk.
PAULIUS: I like traditional Lithuanian cuisine with various potato dishes, Italian cuisine
RIČARDAS: Cepelinai! And everything that involves potatoes (smile)
JŪRATĖ: Everything that looks tasty:D
What are the main facts Greeks should know about Lithuania?
AGNĖ: The most important thing – we are not a slavic nation and we have no relation with Russians. Also, our capital is Vilnius, not Riga
RIČARDAS: Lithuania is a basketball country!
JŪRATĖ: They should know how Lithuania looks, that we have many rivers and greenery. They should try to understand what it means to be a real old Lithuanian – one who lives in a small village, surrounded by nature
AGNĖ KATMANDU: In the first place, I think that everyone should understand the fact that our country is not Russia, but L i t h u a n i a. When you learn how to respect other country and its culture, a sincere interest will appear and help you to see „deeper“ than only facts, statistics or numbers. Then all 3 millions of Lithuanians will become individuals: smiling, sad, genial, degraded, creative, dreaming, disappointed and so on..
.... these beautiful Agnė‘s thoughts that she said above are like a perfect conclusion for this article. We are all unique, all different, all special. We should learn to accept it and respect each other for who we are. BREAK all the prejudices, BREAK all the walls, BREAK all the masks! We are all people, creatures who can feel, communicate, perceive the beauty and goodness. We’re just wearing different cultural “coats”, outer detail made of diverse fabric..but, however cliché that sounds, our hearts are the same. If people are fast to judge, hate or laugh at others, it means they simply can’t see “deep enough”. PEACE!
Article by: Ieva Medinyte, Lithuania