Exhibition “I Choose Lithuania” Lietuviškai
The first time that the photographers’ club “Fotokablys” (eng. “Photohook”) exhibited was five years ago, when we displayed our work on the banks of Vilnele river in the Uzupis area. The exhibition was called “Vilniaus zvilgsniai” (eng. “The glances of Vilnius”) and it featured portraits of the inhabitants of the capital. Some of them were well known to us all, others – new, but all were individual, familiar, reflective of the life that goes on in our city.
Today we turn to a human being once again. In a way, it is the same person – a neighbour, a colleague, an inhabitant of Vilnius or Kaunas. However, at the same time (s)he is little known to us. We photographed and conversed with those people who made Lithuania their new home. We asked why they chose this country.
What we heard we put into pictures. Which often was: “It is good to live in Lithuania”.
Anita (Photo by Ausra Barysiene)
Anita, a psychologist, arrived from Iran.
She has now lived in Vilnius for three years. She is studying the Lithuanian language, and is already able to speak and understand some. She likes the people in Lithuania. She says that the people here are warm and honest, just like in her home country.
Wilfred (Photo by Loreta Margele)
Wilfred from Cameroon has now lived in Lithuania for six years.
He works as a lecturer and enjoys the opportunity to broaden the worldview of those he meets.
Nikita (Photo by Laima Asakaite)
Nikita. Father – Jewish, mother – Russian.
Born in the north of China, raised in the south of Russia, lived in the east of Ukraine. Family moved to Lithuania in late 1991. The reasons for emigrating are political and aesthetical. Why Lithuania? Similar mentality. Small and cosy.
Donatus (Photo by Miroslav Cerniuk)
Donatus is from Nigeria.
He has traveled the whole of Europe because he works as a long distance lorry driver. Sees a lot of changes and investment in Lithuania. Feels optimistic and is not prepared to swap Vilnius for London.
Sergi (Photo by Laura Vanseviciene)
Sergi is an illustrator from Catalonia.
He has now lived in Lithuania for 12 years. When asked, what brought him to Lithuania, he was brief: love and opportunities.
Chunwei (Photo by Natalija Ranceva)
Chunwei from China.
He arrived for a temporary job in a cafe and has been living here for 5 years. Is an enthusiastic collector of amber. Polishes it himself.
Cagri (Photo by Evelina Venckauskiene)
Cagri from Turkey:
“I live alone, but the people are very good. I don’t feel alone. I am a professional barber (Turkish barber). My Hobbies are swimming, golf, basketball, dancing, cycling, running. I have already lived in Lithuania for 10 months. I liked it here, so I moved here 🙂
Lithuanian people are very good. I have been here for 10 months. I haven’t seen bad people here. I like everything here. I don’t have plans to leave Lithuania. I can say: Myliu Lietuvą. Ačiū.” (eng. “I love Lithuania. Thank you”)
Jan (Photo by Diana Uldukiene)
Jan, a psychiatrist, arrived in Vilnius from Germany in 2005.
“Me and my wife chose to live in Vilnius because professionally here we can both do what we love. It is much more difficult to arrange it in Germany. I like Vilnius very much, because it’s a city that’s quite green, dynamic, a city of culture. The city is surrounded by amazing forests, lakes and rivers, which allow one to take a breather and enjoy the wonderful world that God has created.
I admire Lithuanian modesty, simplicity, flexibility, the retained connection with nature. I am also impressed by the Lithuanians’ ability to pick themselves up and build a free society after extremely painful experiences.”
Kai (Photo by Edvinas Kazakevicius)
Kai from Finland.
“I’ve been living in Vilnius since autumn 2015. “Telia” company offered me an interesting position in Lithuania and here I am. I work in “Telia” to develop our business. For a few decades now, my hobbies have been music and sport – more specifically, singing and basketball. Nowadays I also run regularly and go to the gym. I really like my colleagues. They are driven, smart and deliver great results. So I like the people here in general. Although Vilnius has great ambitions on the modern business side, I have to admit that it is also very attractive as an old city. I do not plan on leaving Vilnius/Lithuania.”
Patrick (Photo by Ausra Barysiene)
Frenchman Patrick – Patrick the CrazyFrench.
He runs zumba classes in Lithuania. Although he was always drawn to large cities, he enjoys living in Vilnius. According to him, Vilnius is small, but lively and cheerful. Therefore he finds living here both comfortable and not dull.
Marco (Photo by Loreta Margele)
Marco from Italy. A writer.
“When love led me to Lithuania in 1988, I fell in love with the country as well. I can only do creative work in Lithuania. Only here I can write books.”
Anna and Michail (Photo by Rasa Pakalkiene)
Russians Anna and Michail.
“Lithuania has comfort, safety and stability. We like the Lithuanian manner of speaking. It is fun to communicate to people, to have discussions. Here people hear each other’s arguments despite holding different views.”
Pavel (Photo by Miroslav Cerniuk)
Architect Pavel arrived to Lithuania with his family from Russia 10 years ago.
Here there is a lot less bureaucracy, he enthuses.
Bayram (Photo by Bronius Duoba)
Bayram from Turkey – the owner of “Anatolijos Bistro” (eng. “Anatolian Bistro”) – has lived in Lithuania for 10 years.
One day his wife and friends encouraged him to open a Turkish restaurant in Vilnius.
Eileen (Photo by Edvinas Kazakevicius)
“My name is Eileen, I am from Taipei – the capital city of Taiwan. After I finished university I worked in Taipei for 2 years. Later on I moved to Brussels and now to Lithuania. I have lived here and have worked in an IT company in Vilnius for around 1 year now. Even though my lovely country is on the opposite side of the world, I think people’s hospitality and the beautiful nature makes Lithuania a great place to live. Here I feel like home.”
- Migration Information Centre (MIC) “I Choose Lithuania”. MIC “I Choose Lithuania” consults anyone who wishes to move to Lithuania.
- The Republic of Uzupis