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What Women Want

Women make up more than half of the Lithuanian population. Statistically, that would also mean they make up half of the working class but they do not. Women still tend to get paid less then men if they have the same job. On top of that, it is more difficult for them to get access to high-level company jobs: two good reasons to find out more about the position of women in Lithuania.

Posted by Bruno

The post-Soviet economy

Money lets the world go round but it is not a very welcome subject of conversation in Lithuania. I have taken a look at Lithuania`s recent economic growth and asked around for people`s experiences.

Posted by Bruno

Compulsory army service

I have come to know Lithuania as a peaceful country, with hardly any police and soldiers around to keep the order. Knowing about the compulsory military service for young men, I was expecting to see at least some uniformed young lads in the street, but have not been able to find any of those today.

Posted by Bruno

Discovering Lithuania

With so many emigrants coming back to Lithuania after they earned some pocket money abroad, there must be something about Lithuania that makes it distinctively different from other countries. I have not come across a lot of nationalistic rituals, but there is definitely a feeling of national pride. Today`s question: why should people come to Lithuania and what should they go see and do?

Posted by Bruno

Preparing for the future

English is not as widely spoken in Lithuania as it is in Ireland. Which is logical, but not always convenient for my project. I am speaking to fewer people here, and consequently try to obtain more information per single person. Today, I am trying to find out how the Lithuanian educational system is roughly set up.

Posted by Bruno

Road@Safety.LT

Lithuania does not have the best possible reputation for traffic safety. Out of all European countries, it registers the highest number of fatal traffic accidents per capita per year. Other European nations even fear Lithuanian drivers on their roads as the drivers are said to export the problem along with them. Unlike the drivers, the roads in Lithuania are claimed to be able to `compete with the best in Western European` and Lada cars have largely been replaced by a more modern fleet of Volkswagens and Audis. So, what is still going wrong?

Posted by Bruno

Lithuania has an exciting history and ownership of the territory has shifted in all directions from the 14th century onwards. Many struggles for independence have taken place over the last centuries. Once part of a Polish-Lithuanian Empire, then temporarily independent, subsequently occupied by Russia, then conquered by the Germans, and after World War II, involuntarily included in the Soviet Union. In 1990, it declared independence again and in 2004, it even joined the NATO and the European Union. While Lithuania`s roots go a long way back, it is one of Europe`s youngest nation. Today, I am interviewing young people about how much they remember of the separation from the Soviet Union, and which traces were left behind as the Soviet troops withdrew.

Posted by Bruno

Healthcare and Hospitals

Below photo shows Julija (26), a friend of my host Vilda, in a university hospital of Vilnius after she fell on her back earlier on the day during an excursion to the Centre of Europe Park. She got her spinal cord injured and has to stay in hospital for two days. By the time she is allowd to leaves, she will have to wear a corset for a month in order to recover properly. I already planned to write about the healthcare system in Lithuania, but am now using her accident as an introduction to the rest of what I have been finding out.

Posted by Bruno

Mass marriages in Kaunas

Today is my first entire day in Lithuania and it has already become clear that I need other techniques here to collect information. Simply asking questions about topics is not so easy here and even more so than in Ireland, people wonder who you are and where you are from. That may have something to do with the history of eavesdropping, investigation and social infiltration by the KGB, although I have not been able to carefully verify this. What I do know is that I need to have a good excuse to talk to people. While looking for such an excuse in the centre of Kaunas, I walk past the city hall where a mass production of weddings is going on. I am delighted to see so many young and happy people and take my chance to look around and ask questions.

Posted by Bruno

Introduction to Lithuania

Ireland was a great place to start my big trip and travelling around the island was a very pleasant experience. But there`s an end to everything and I am excited to move on to the next country. I have been using most of today to get myself transported to the other side of Europe: Lithuania. I expected to collect my first pieces of information at Dublin airport, from some of the many Lithuanian people who accompanied me on the flight. Intially, I was faced with some plain `no`s` in reply to my question whether they could tell something about their country. Not very promising, but I still managed to speak to four people who provided me with a wealth of facts and figures about Lithuania.

Posted by Bruno