A New Look at Ancient Pastimes

The Council for the Safeguarding of Ethnic Culture recently highlighted an interesting branch of culture: Lithuanian ethnic sports. At its meeting earlier in February, the Council decided to present a resolution to the Lithuanian parliament’s Sports and Youth Commission asking for revision of sports legislation to introduce the term ethnosport and its description, and establish its place in Lithuanian heritage as a traditional cultural form, and ensure its representation in the Sports Council of Lithuania and in educational and social contexts.

Council president Dalia Urbanavičienė noted that traditional games and sports are acknowledged by law in many countries, and are registered by UNESCO as intangible cultural properties. The Council hopes that once established by law, promotion of ethnosports will be ensured, together with the necessary funding and other support.

Until now,  only enthusiasts have been interested in traditional Lithuanian sports, with games funded by private supporters. Government support is vital, said Lithuanian Ethnosports Committee Chair Stanislavas Bajurinas.

A legal definition will also enable the understanding of how it differs from other areas of sport.

                                                                                            News and Photos from the Council for the Safeguarding of Ethnic Culture

Examples of traditional Lithuanian sports