BHN Newsletter 2023, no.4

December 20, 2023

Baltic Heritage Network Newsletter 2023/4 Editorial 

What keywords could describe this past year? Economies are in a downfall and the world is restless. Wars and natural disasters are forcing people to leave their homes. The Israel-Palestine conflict arose in addition to Russian aggression in Ukraine. The constant war-related news stories forcibly call to mind the events of 80 years ago which led to the Great Escape of the Baltic peoples in 1944. History tends to repeat itself. How do we break free from this cursed cycle? 

During the Christmas season, we talk about peace, Yuletide peace. But how can this peace be enjoyed if the world around you is so restless? There are small and large conflicts. How can we cope with it all? It might be appropriate to recall an old tale which is attributed to the North American indigenous peoples. 

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two “wolves” inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee replied, “The one you feed.” 

Wishing a peaceful Christmas season to you all! May 2024 bring positive solutions for the world’s woes and good fortune to us all! 

Advance notice
In 2024, we will be commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Great Escape of 1944, during which hundreds of thousands of Baltic peoples had to flee the Soviet occupation via land and sea. New homes were created abroad; language, culture and historical heritage were kept alive. The year will be full of various events where the fates of those refugees and the historical events that led to them will be remembered, and the present day and future of the Baltic diaspora will be discussed. The 7th BaltHerNet conference will also be dedicated to these themes. All of the network’s long-time and new friends are invited to Vilnius from June 26th-29th, where the conference will take place in cooperation with the M. Mažvidas National Library of Lithuania. The conference’s call for papers will be announced at the beginning of 2024. Keep your eyes open for upcoming ads!

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