De-industrialisation was the most painful for older workers. The employment service has directed these men to do community service at the local water supplier (photo by Dalia Mikonytė)

Creativity and boredom in a Lithuanian town coping with globalisation

Having joined the eurozone this year and successfully advertised its natural and urban wonders, Lithuania has become a new darling of international travel ‘listicles’. Its brushed-up capital, ambitious start-ups and emerging foodie hotspots make many visitors wonder if this is really one of the poorest countries in the European Union. Much of the country’s hardships, however, have been cushioned by de-industrialised peripheral towns – like Alytus. Having lost most of its industries, the town is looking for new, global inspiration. […]

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Hanukkah in Kaunas with Chassidic pop and traditional latkes

Residents of Kaunas and exchange students curiously glanced at a crowd, standing outside despite the cold around an imposing metal menorah next to the colourfully lit Musical Theater. Holding Bengal lights, members of the small Jewish community in Kaunas, their ethnic Lithuanian friends, and Israeli students gathered on Tuesday to celebrate the third day of Hanukkah – the festival of lights. Chassidic techno-pop music in Hebrew was blasting from loudspeakers. […]