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Baltic Dialogue Initiative

UPF-Russia Has Baltic Dialogue with Lithuania

Vilnius, Lithuania—Talented performers as well as masters of folk and applied art gathered at the eighth Light of the Christmas Star festival.

As in previous years, the UPF chapter in Northwest Russia organized the international cultural festival as part of the Baltic Dialogue Initiative, a UPF project that seeks to foster understanding and appreciation between Russians and their neighbors in the Scandinavian and Baltic nations.

The 2016 version of the festival took place from December 8 to 11, in the hospitable halls of the city of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.
Despite the rainy weather, the participants in full measure felt the warmth and cordiality of the host country. We visited the most interesting corners of Vilnius, walked through the streets of the old city, and were introduced to the ancient history of the Trakai Castle. Our wonderful tour guides Maria and Ingrid told us interesting things about their city, so that we also fell in love with it!

In a small restaurant we were treated to the Lithuanian national dish known as kybynai. Absolutely everybody liked these pastries, which were saturated with a delicious meat juice. And there was a special Lithuanian dessert, šakotis, which resembles a tree. This is a national delicacy of the Lithuanian and Polish cuisine and is listed in the Lithuanian National Culinary Heritage. According to a legend, a young chef, Jonas, baked šakotis for Queen Barbara and received a medal, which he gave to his beloved.

The main event of the festival took place on the wide stage of one of the Vilnius schools. Participants gave their best efforts in demonstrating their talents. They all were just great! Many groups received incentive awards and prizes from the strict but fair jury.

At the end of the contest, Tatiana Krasnosumova, the secretary general of the Northwest Russia chapter of UPF and an Ambassador for Peace, took the floor. On behalf of UPF, she thanked tour guides Maria and Ingrid for the interesting stories about Lithuania. For their active work in promoting peace and friendship between our peoples, Tatiana Krasnosumova awarded each of them an Ambassador for Peace certificate Then she gave to them a big bag full of letters and origami doves that were sent to the Lithuanian students from the students of St. Petersburg School No. 358.

The day before, on the opening day, Tatiana Krasnosumova held learning games on "Tolerance Means a Culture of Peace" and "The Relationship between Adults and Children."

The participants discussed the issues:

  1. Why does the community need children?
  2. What are adults needed for, and especially grandparents?

Participants actively discussed in groups the answers to the above questions. Especially active were the children. The games ended with a cheerful general dance!

At the end of the festival, children received certificates of Young Ambassadors for Peace, and were invited to the Guiding Star camp near St. Petersburg, Russia.

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