In recent years, an increasing number of foreigners has been interested in the Lithuanian language and Lithuania. People want to learn the language for different reasons. If in the past a lot of foreigners wanted to study the Lithuanian language because it was the mother tongue of their significant other, today a large number of students search for their Lithuanian roots and identity.
On January, Vytautas Magnus University Academy of Education, in cooperation with the National Library of Lithuania, organized a virtual forum, “Teaching the Language in the 21st Century: Current Experiences and Future Trends,” in which researchers talked about multilingualism, language learning, the survival of a native language in the 21st century, Lithuanian education in the world, and the importance of creativity and innovations teaching the language.
This year, the researchers of the National Library of Lithuania have been giving lectures to students of the Lithuanian Saturday schools abroad on the topics of Lithuanian cultural history, language and literature.
In January, the Academy of Education of Vytautas
Magnus University (VMU) organized the Lithuanian Language and Culture winter
course. Students from more than fifteen countries came to Vilnius to learn the
language and get acquainted with Lithuanian culture and history.
On January 14, students visited the National Library
of Lithuania. They listened to the lecture on Lithuanian diaspora and its most
prominent representatives in science, politics, economy, culture, and art given
by Dr. Dalia Cidzikaitė, chief researcher
of the Lithuanian Documentary Heritage Department of the National Library of
Lithuania. Afterwards, the students were given a tour of the library, followed
by a discussion about the image of Lithuania created by foreigners studying
On November 8, 2019,
on the initiative of Vytautas Magnus University, the Society for the Study of World
Lithuanians was established.
The president of
the Society, Dr. Ilona Strumickienė,
says that the name was chosen in memory of the Society for Aiding the
Lithuanians Abroad which was active in Lithuania in 1932-1940. The Society
provided aid to and maintained contacts with Lithuanians living abroad. It also
contributed to strengthening of the Lithuanian identity among expatriates. In
1935, the Society organized the first World Lithuanian Congress in Kaunas.
By following the
example of the Society for Aiding the Lithuanians Abroad, the newly established
society hopes to build a network of and disseminate message about Lithuanians
around the world, share discoveries and research results, and help
strengthening civil society in Lithuania.
The first event
organized by the Society was a discussion about how Lithuanian schools receive children
who have returned from emigration which took place on December 13, 2019.