The Documentary Heritage Research Department of the National Library of Lithuania is participating in the virtual educational project “Lithuania-Washington,” initiated by the Lithuanian Saturday School in Washington, DC (USA). This year, Dainius Vaitiekūnas, head of the Lithuanian Studies Unit, and Jolanta Zabarskaitė, chief researcher from the same unit, have joined the project.
The project will run for seven months. Its main goal is to introduce students of Lithuanian origin with Lithuanian traditions, culture, history, folk art, and most importantly—to implement it in an accessible and playful way. Zabarskaitė is in charge of Lithuanian language lessons, Vaitiekūnas is responsible for literature. The project also collaborates with the Kaunas State Puppet Theater, folk artists Donata Griciūtė-Jutkienė and Laura Raine and history teacher Algis Bitautas. Ilona Strumickienė, head of the Adolfas Damušis Center for Democratic Studies of the National Library of Lithuania, has contributed to the development of the program.
Friendship is the theme of this month’s lessons. Vaitiekūnas’s first lesson was dedicated to the analysis of Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis’s work “Friendship.” The lesson also touched upon Romanticism and Maironis, one of the most prominent Lithuanian poets of that era. Zabarskaitė discussed the origins of the Lithuanian alphabet, talked about the first Lithuanian book and dictionary, the friendship with Czechs and Poles and the letters the Lithuanians borrowed from them.