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Culture & Identity of Lithuania

Introduction

Lithuanian Culture - Hill of Crosses
Hill of Crosses

The Lithuanians are relatively quiet and modest people whose lives revolve around family, and for some also their Catholic faith. This family focus means many people prefer to stay in to have fun with family and the vibrant nightlife in many places is a bit muted in Lithuania.

The people are also heavily urbanized, with nearly 70% of the people living in cities. There are people in the rural parts of the country, many of whom are farmers, as nearly 10% of the work force works in agriculture. For these farmers their daily way of life is dependent on the sun and weather; for nearly everyone else, their daily schedules are focused on their jobs and families. Nearly three quarters of the people work in the services industries and many of them have fairly regular working hours. The normal work day in Lithuania is 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, although shops tend to stay open a bit later.

Much like the family focus, education is important to the Lithuanians and most children attend school from about 7:00 or 8:00 am to about noon or early afternoon. The school year runs from September to early June.

Evenings are almost always spent with family, often over dinner, while weekends (Saturday-Sunday) and vacations, especially summer vacations, tend to be more diverse. During these times every individual and every family has their own idea of how to spend the money they worked hard for. For many young single people going out to a bar, restaurant, or dancing with friends is a common activity, but even amongst these young people, spending time with family is common. During the summer months it seems everyone wants to get outside, even if just to go shopping.

Identity

Lithuanians tend to identify as Lithuanians, an identity that is first and foremost based on their ethnicity. However, the people and country have a long history and over time the people have developed a distinct history, language, and culture. This culture is more pronounced to differentiate the people from some of their past affiliations with Russia and Poland. The ethnic minorities in the country also tend to first identify with their ethnicity, but the number of minorities in the country is small and generally consists of Poles, Russians, and Belarusians.

This page was last updated: November, 2013