Baltic States – it’s time to take the informational space in our hands!

September 22, 2008 at 9:07 pm 2 comments

Since September 22, 2000 the Balts celebrate the Baltic Unity Day.  On September 20-21 the historians, cultural figures, journalists and diplomats gathered to discuss bipartite cooperation in a Lithuanian-Latvian forum in the town of Rezekne, southeastern Latvia.

There are few projects on bringing the two last remaining Baltic nations together.  The two Balts nations never really enjoyed a unity.  However, the last occupation brought us closer together.  After joining the EU the development of our cooperation moved to another level, it is largely initiated in Brussels; take it military, economic, social even cultural fields.  Last of such ‘unification’ took place this year when the New Member States acceded the Schengen.

This facilitates cross border communication between the two nations.  The folk interact more often, the Latvians are coming to Lithuania to buy food since it is cheaper here, and Lithuanians are buying something else in Latvia.  Now the two countries are working out a law that will allow the fire engines, ambulances or the police patrol cross the boarders without bureaucratic time wasting special permissions.  Recently a huge barn burned down on the Latvian side completely because the closest fire engine brigade was acutely on the Lithuanian side but the fire fighters had to wait for a permission to cross the border.

The youth is always way ahead in vanguard of process.  Hence, the frontier Latvian and Lithuanian youth are so integrated that they go and socialise together.  Even from time to time the fights brake out amongst them.  The causes are mostly the same, the girls…

The Lithuanians are very keen to buy property in the quiet and mostly untouched Latvian Baltic Sea cost.  After all 3,5 mln of Lithuanians have only 99 km of its own seacoast.  For many Lithuanians the Northern part of the country the Latvian Baltic seacoast is much closer geographically thaN the Lithuanian one.  Majority of the Lithuanians in the Northern part using Riga Airport since it is much closer than International Vilnius or Kaunas airport.

Having growing up in the Northern Lithuania I experienced this close interaction.  The first city I went to was not Vilnius; it was Tallinn and then Riga.  My classmates who spent their summers next to the frontier spoke fluent Latvian.  After all many Lithuanian deportees could still not return to Lithuania, hence many chosen Latvia.

We have much in common however; in practice we could do much more.  To put it simply; we don’t know about each other.  A common Lithuanian or a Latvian knows more what is happening in Russia that in the neighbouring Baltic state.  We must start creating a common informational sphere, which will bring us closer together.  And her I am talking about Pan Baltic information channels including of course our cousins Estonians.

As during the forum the Undersecretary to the Foreign Ministry Laimonas Talat-Kelpsa noted the Lithuanians ought to be more knowledgeable about Latvian literature, and Latvians about Lithuanian writing, with the same being applicable to cinema, music, and other phenomena of public life. It is important, noted Talat-Kelpsa, to warrant as many possibilities as is feasible for each of the countries to see the others TV channels, all the while encouraging cooperation among the countries’ national and regional press.

Yes, there is the Baltic Times, but it is a weekly not a daily, there are few monthly mags, there is the BNS.  There are few blogs in English about the Baltics.  Of course there is Delfi, which has the Russian language pages in all three branches.  However, it is not a secret that the most followed information channel is TV.  Why not so start with the national TV channels exchanging 5 minutes information blocks about each countries’ day events which would be broadcasted on the prime time news programmes?  Lets start from that, and lets get to know each other that way. 

Lets start creating our own information space in here!  The Romans noted that citizens refuse to feed its own army sooner of later they will clean the shoes of the enemy military.  We are already doing that.  The Moscow is in control of the Pan Baltic Information channels.  Maybe it is a time to take initiative!

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Entry filed under: Baltic States, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Northern Europe, Politics.

NATO to the Balts – don’t worry, you are safe! Really, are you sure? ii – NATO to the Balts – don’t worry, you are safe! Really, are you sure?

2 Comments Add your own

  • […] reports from a Baltic youth conference, where visions of bringing Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania closer together […]

    Reply
  • 2. bieksia  |  September 28, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    Ruslanas,

    Baltic brothers and sisters have been seperated for too long. In ansient times they were seperated by the desires and aspirations of the Royals and subsequent Ruling Classes. I believe the time has come for Lithuanians (to include the distinct people of Zematija) and Latvians to embark on a journey of mergence.
    Each branch of the Baltic family has the ability to make significant contributions to the prosperity and stability of the other. I also believe that each holds enough admiration and respect for the others cultural and historical and linguistical
    heritage that nothing will be lost in the process! There is only much to gain. The exchange of information and cultural awareness is the key to success. You are right on target with your comments and evaluation.

    Perhaps you think I am just joking…but I am waiting for the day when you answer your true call in life. Which is to represent and defend the interests of the Lithuanian People by committing yourself to public service. Yes, a decission maker.A Parlimentary Representative….perhaps even higher. I am envious of your ability to perceive any given situation and to address each issue with great thought and concern.

    Some people are concerned only with the basics of life and have no desire to expand their horizons. Others, like you are keenly aware of the ‘greater picture’ and desire to reach out and express themselves….to have their voices heard. This is evident by the fact that you have maintained ‘Lituaniaca’ and constantly strive to enrich it’s content. It is not a selfish endeavor…you share your love for Lietuva! You want to provide others with valuable information and insight…to encourage them to lay claim to their heritage and to help guide Lietuva into the future. My friend, think long and hard about how much positive change you can bring to your country.

    An English statesman (EDMOND BURKE) was once quoted as saying “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for enough GOOD MEN to do NOTHING!

    The same can be applied to the stagnation or eventual disapperance of Lithuanian Culture and Societly.

    You are a GOOD MAN.

    Mykolas

    Reply

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