Lith pg 1 6-13-19


Inside the American Lithuanian Cultural Archives. Courtesy photo.

PUTNAM β€” After renovations and hard work the American Lithuanian Cultural Archives (ALKA) opened its doors for a tour that showcases the history of the Lithuanian people.
Ten people from Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts gathered at Mary Crest Drive facility to get acquainted with Lithuanian culture and history.
Tour participants were given a brief overview of Lithuanian history, then guided through the ALKA museum, where they viewed works by Lithuanian artists, ethno-cultural objects of art, and memorabilia from days past.
Participants were enthusiastic about the tour. One participant, a veteran of the Vietnam war, enjoyed viewing the traditional folk costumes. He commented that Lithuanian folk costumes are similar to those of the Finns, Estonians and Latvians.
Another participant was gratified by the concentration of culture at ALKA. Viewing a Lithuanian cross may be interesting from an artistic point of view, but viewing it with many other diverse cultural objects in the context of Lithuanian history brings meaning that is not possible otherwise.
Participants said: β€œThe museum brought to life the history of Lithuania – its pagan roots and its struggle to maintain its identity, being geographically positioned between the Russian and German super-powers.”
Participants were touched by Lithuanian pride in their democratic Constitution and the tragedy of Soviet occupation, which taught them to value even more the democracy they had built and then lost.
The tour was organized by Sarah F. White and led by Dr. Mirga Girnius. Tours are planned every fourth Thursday of the month, the next one taking place on June 27 from 1 to 3 p.m. Anyone interested in participating can call Mirga Girnius at 978-692-4625.
By Dr. Mirga Girnius, ALKA president


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