Roots and Ethnic Tourism in Lithuania

Karolina Tutlyte Ciaran Henderson Kevin Rouse Jack White

This presentation has been compiled by Ciaran Henderson, Karolina Tutlyte, Jack White and Kevin Rouse. There is also an accompanying report. If you would like to find out more about Ciaran; His LinkedIn Profile:

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• Introduction • Introduction to Ethnic Tourism • In Depth research- Traditional Lithuanian Festivals • Introduction to Roots tourism in Lithuania • In Depth research- Case study of Lithuanian roots • Questions

Lithuania is here

Lithuania • Population - 3,525,761 • Capital - Vilnius, population 546,000

• Ethnic groups - Lithuanian 84%, Polish 6.1%, Russian 4.9%, Belarusian 1.1%, other 1.1% Ethnic Groups
Lithuanian Polish Russian Belarussian Other

• Religions – Roman Catholic 79%, Russian Orthodox 4.1%, Protestant 1.9%, other or unspecified 5.5%, none 9.5% Religions
Roman Catholic Russian Orthodox Protestant other none

• Languages - Lithuanian (official) 82%, Russian 8%, Polish 5.6%, other and unspecified 4.4% Languages
Lithuanian (official) Russian Polish Other

• Lithuanian states were formed during the 11th Century • This was a result of the countries struggle for power due to the military and plundering activities • Lithuanian Wars of Independence 1919 – 1920 (3 in total) • Seeking independence from the Soviets

Ethnic Tourism vs Roots Tourism

History of Ethnic & Roots Tourism to Lithuania

Introduction to Ethnic Tourism
• Ethnicity is possibly one of the most important bases in order to perceive the distinction between the society/ human groups. • There are culturally distinctive groups in our society.

Introduction to Ethnic Tourism
• 1. 2. 3. 4. • According Smith (1989) the ethnic tourism involves four interrelated elements: Geographical setting (habitat) Ethnographic traditions (heritage) The effects of acculturation (history) Marketable handicrafts The four H’s

Ethnic Tourism in Lithuania

Geographical settings- Habitat
• • Lithuania the land of Amber. The Amber Road- route is very popular between tourists. Ethnic tourists are introduced to the amber traditions, including historic moments, extraction, processing and jeweller. (The Lithuanian Amber Road passes through Šventoji, Palanga, the Seaside Regional Park, Klaipėda, Juodkrantė, and Nida)

Ethnic Tourism in Lithuania

Geographical settings- Habitat
Via Hanza Routes: Architectural heritage sites The people of Zemaitija The architectural heritage sites of Western Aukstaitija 4. Cultural heritage sites in Zemaitija 5. Southern Zemaitija. • 1. 2. 3.

Ethnic Tourism in Lithuania

Geographical settings- Habitat
• • Zemaitija- Samogitia is one of the most popular regions of Ethnic tourists. Samogitia is attractive for many local and international tourists. Most popular tourist destinations are Palanga, Kretinga and Žemaičių Kalvarija. The majority of tourists come from Latvia, Poland, Belarus, Russia, Germany, Spain, Finland, Italy and Sweden.

Ethnic Tourism in Lithuania

Geographical settings- Habitat
• • • The are three Seaside Cycle Routes. The most popular and impressive is Curonian Spit in Klaipeda to Nida route (52km). It introduces to Klaipeda’s marine life and Curonian Spit National Park, which was recognized as one of the most unique natural and cultural heritage sites of the Baltic Sea region by UNESCO.

Ethnic Tourism in Lithuania

Geographical settings- Habitat
• • Curonian Spit in Klaipeda to Nida route: Ethnic tourists are introduced with ethnographic fishermen’s houses with reedy roofs and fishing nets drying nearby, seacoast beacons, wooden sculptures of the Hill of Witches.

Ethnic Tourism in Lithuania

Ethnographic traditions- Heritage
• • This section is one of the most important parts of ethnic tourism. Ethnic refers to the group of people who share the same heritage, - material artefacts, belief systems, customs, language, recreation, traditional housing style, etc.

Ethnic Tourism in Lithuania

Ethnographic traditions- Heritage
• Lithuanian village has always been a source of Lithuanian nation community, ethnicity, cultural vitality and authenticity Granary-Museum of Rural Life and Lithuanian Palms of Čekoniškės village It represents various types of traditional Lithuanian palms and domestic implements, specific to this area.

• •

Ethnic Tourism in Lithuania

Ethnographic traditions- Heritage
• • Rumsiskes-is the ethnographic open-air museum. This is a museum of People’s way of life. Rumsiskes is one the most famous places where locals (Lithuanians) and ethnic tourists are acquainted with authentic houses and typical interior. (Contains 140 buildings from the 18th–19th century)

Ethnic Tourism in Lithuania

Ethnographic traditions- Heritage
• The Lithuanian Song and Dance Celebration brings together artists from four ethnic regions of Lithuania. Certain folklore traditions are represented. While performers are engaged in concerts, craftsmen demonstrate their products of folk art offering spectators traditional food and drinks.

Ethnic Tourism in Lithuania

Ethnographic traditions- Heritage
• • • Language: Learning simple phrases The are schools established Authentic cuisine: can be tried in most restaurants in all Lithuania

Ethnic Tourism in Lithuania
• • • Language: Learning simple phrases The are schools established Authentic cuisine: can be tried in most restaurants in all Lithuania

Ethnic Tourism in Lithuania

Effects of acculturation- History
• • • Ethnic tourists are visiting most important historical places of Lithuania. Trakai. The Island Castle in the middle of Garve Lake is now the museum of history. The Kernavė archaeological site represents an exceptional indication to the evolution of human settlements from the Stone Age to the 13th–14th centuries and is one of the best-researched settlements in Lithuania.

Ethnic Tourism in Lithuania

Effects of acculturation- History
• Vilnius Old Town is one of the largest surviving medieval old towns in Europe, it is included to UNESCO World heritage list. The Hill of Crosses

Ethnic Tourism in Lithuania

• • Weaving is one of the oldest Lithuanian folk arts. Black pottery is another important folk art. Cross crafting is important part of Lithuanian Ethnology. Handicrafts workshops are organised by private organizations such as ‘Amatu Gildija’ in Vilnius.

Lithuanian Festivals

Lithuanian Song and Dance celebration

Shrove Tuesday

St. Jonas Festival

Water Pouring


Kupole Staff

Iron Saule

Roots Tourism has been defined as “using travel as a means to forge deeper connections with the places associated with ones family, ethnic or religious group” - Meethan, 2007

Reasons for People Returning

• • • • • Festivities Food Music Culture Genealogical

• Three King’ Masquerade:
• St John’s Day:
   

 6th January  ‘KMB’ written on locals doors
24th June Burning of Bonfires Festivities and Feasting Celebrating Men Named Jonas

• Mindaugas Festival:
 6th July  Recreations of war  Folk Music

• Velines and All Saints’ Day:

 1st November  Honouring the dead  Tending and visiting loved ones graves

• Folk Songs, Dance and Instrumental Music:

 Many people still remember songs, dances and music from their youth  Many music festivals are held in villages across Lithuania

• I plunged straight down into a colourful, vibrant spectrum of music, entirely unknown to me, which to a great extent was rooted in indigenous, partly national origins • I was able to visit the home of the cult figure of Lithuanian music, Bronius Kutavičius, who staged myth and history in provocative musical rites to lead the Lithuanians to their roots and to strengthen their Lithuanian identity. He played for me fragments from an oratorio celebrating the 750th anniversary of the coronation of King Mindaugas.

 CIVIL RECORDS Information given: birth, marriages, deaths Genealogical Relevance Research in the indexes Living relatives Late registrations, army records, etc. World War I Draft Registration Cards Using civil records with other sources  CENSUS RECORDS Censuses from 1795-1855 Imperial Russian Census of 1896-97 Censuses from 1918-1940 Nazi Census 1942  CHURCH RECORDS Catholic records Jewish records Lutheran records  LAND RECORD

Americans Going Back to Find Their Roots


Why Lithuanians emigrated

Matt Gross (Grossmitz) • Writer for the New York Times •Travelled to Vilnius (the capital of Lithuania) in search of ancestors past

Travel Packages

Vilinus •Find his ancestors past, who came from lithuania

First break through • Meeting Regina Kopilevich at a cafe. •Regina Kopilevich is a Tour Guide and Professional Genealogist providing research in genealogy and related subjects. •Has helped more than 150 families find history about their ancestors

Vilinus Archives • Records kept by Russian Government • Details on births, deaths and marriages in the Jewish community • Here Matt found information on his Great-Grandfather, Morris from Marijampole • Family began 9th of Feb 1829 with the marriage of Mowsha to Dobra • Also found out that his potential great-great-great grandfather was a tailor.

• After 1874 the trail of records ran dry, this then failed to show a great insight of how his Great-Grandfather fit into the Grossmitz lineage. •Why he left Marijampole? •Regina (the Professional Genealogist) theory, fled due to Russian Conscription. •Only document that gave Marijampole as birthplace was Draft card. Found on

Killing site of Marijampole
• 90 to 95 percent of Lithuania’s 250,000 Jews were murdered. Went to the killing site of Marijampole The 11 surviving tombstones had been set in a ring around a mound of earth Writings were engraved in Hebrew, but he spotted the name Moshes a number of times, great-greatgreat-grandfathers name . Here lay a number of his ancestors. • •

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