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Vilnius Yiddish Institute
Vilnius Seminar Series on Eastern European Jewish Heritage
Sponsored by the Dutch Jewish Humanitarian Fund (www.jhf.nl)
Date: April 30, 2008
Speaker: Dr. Grigorijus Potasenko [Faculty of History, Vilnius University, Lithuania]
Lecture: Ethnic Minorities in Lithuania: Political to Cultural Integration.
The changes over the last 18 years related to the political, social and cultural state of ethnic minorities in Lithuania are too complex to be discussed in a single lecture. The specific focus of this lecture was on the social organisation and ethnic processes in Lithuania after 1990, with particular attention to problems concerning politics and the adaptation of ethnic minorities.
Lithuanian public opinion has bought into a convenient proposition – that ethnic minorities in Lithuania have successfully integrated politically, and now are in the process of cultural integration. The speaker tried to criticise the image and myth of this supposed assimilation.
There is a socially and legally but not constitutionally diverse strategy or strategies in current Lithuania. This diverse strategy or strategies of course require applying different ways to protect minorities and different sorts of tolerance. Moreover, diverse modes of tolerance of a double or triple nature exist in the country. This evaluation reveals the actual complication of ‘real life’ in Lithuania. It is also clear that the ethnic politics of the Lithuanian government does not pay adequate attention to this problem and as a result, the political attention associated with minority integration is not sufficient. There are many ongoing concerns regarding the different issues and conditions of various minorities.
The project of social engineering in Lithuania has not produced a multinational society; rather, it gave way to the nomenclatural tradition of ‘integration’. The knowledge of how to create a positive image and how to make this matter profitable was acquired. Financially supported initiatives of ‘integration’ have little in common with – and do not result in - manifestations of real integration in Lithuanian society…
|2005 VILNIUS YIDDISH INSTITUTE. Solution: Neosymmetria|