Sporting massive tricolour flags, traditional costumes and attributes with Lithuania’s national colours, Lithuanian expatriate communities commemorated the 6th of July – the coronation of King Mindaugas – spectacularly this year, joining their compatriots around the globe for a rendition of the national anthem at exactly 9 PM (Lithuanian time).
The National Day of Lithuania in Chicago was memorable not only for more than a thousand people who gathered to sing the national anthem in the heart of the city, near the Cloud Gate sculpture, but also for Americans. The crowd, dressed in the national colours of Lithuania, was filmed by the American TV channel Fox News.
According to Vladas Linauskas, the producer of LRT Lituanica’s programme “World Lithuanian News”, this was a grandiose and undoubtedly successful initiative.
“Going for the postmodern flashmob effect, the organisers deliberately didn’t ask for a special permission – they wanted Lithuanians, bearing national attributes, to suddenly blend in with the general crowd and, when the time came, sing the national anthem. The Fox News crew came thinking that there would be a rally of some sort,” Linauskas said.
National-anthem-singing Lithuanians also stood out with their national costumes in the embassy in Moscow, in Kiev’s Maidan and in several other countries. Saluting Lithuania with the national anthem, they also celebrated the national costume day.
The Lithuanian tricolour flag was made the centrepiece of the event not only in Palanga, where the longest ever flag was stretched across central Basanavičiaus Street, but also in South London, in Croydon’s Lithuanian community. While singing the anthem, people wrapped themselves in a large flag they had dyed in colours of yellow, green and red.
Lithuanians singing their national anthem could be spotted in a sailing ship in Rotterdam, in a parking lot in Japan and even in Vilnius Lazdynai Hospital. In Greenland a solitary woman sang the national anthem in the breathtaking scenery of northern nature. It was Rasa Zuzevičiūtė, who is now working as an architect in the distant island.
“This year’s 6th of July celebrations show that there was a change in the tradition of singing the national anthem Lithuania worldwide. There is no longer the question, why should we do it? The National Day acquired a clear festive content that connects all Lithuanians,” said Raimundas Daubaras who authored the initiative “National Anthem Across The World”.
The first time the national anthem of Lithuania was heard all around the world at the exact same moment was seven years ago.