Lithuanian communities are growing all over the world! Our biweekly newspaper, Tėviškės žiburiai writes about Lithuanians establishing a new, official community in the Cyprus. Apparently there were Lithuanians here since the 1990‘s, but there was no unified community. Writer Dalia Staponkutė, one of the first Lithuanians in Cyprus, remembers that she was the only Lithuanian there when she arrived at the end of 1989, and now she sees on the Facebook page „Lietuviai Kipre“, that there an amazing 5564 of them. The numbers vary depending on the source, but the Lithuanian Embassy in Athens confirms that there are 760. On November 4th of this year, 26 Lithuanians gathered for a founding meeting in Nicosia. They are mostly younger, averaging 35 years of age, and arrived in Cyprus over the past ten years to work in various fields of law, marketing, engineering and tourism, as well as hairdressing.
The second conference of Lithuanians in Greece and Cyprus was called November 9-11 in Heraklion, Crete. The Director of the Foreign Affairs Ministry‘s Department for Lithuanians in the Diaspora, Marijus Gudynas, spoke at the meeting, informing attendees about political guidelines for Lithuanians living abroad. With 2019 being the year of World Lithuanians, he invited everyone to join in celebrating it. He also spoke about preparation for the referendum on retention of Lithuanian citizenship, which will be held at the same time as the next presidential election.
The leader of the Lithuanian Community of Crete, Audrius Morkūnas, organized a viewing of the film „Tarp pilkų debesų“ (Among Grey Clouds), an excursion following the path taken by Marshal of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Mikalojus Kristupas Radvila Našlaitėlis over 430 years ago in Crete, a community banquet and a concert by the folk-rock group „Žalvarinis“ from Lithuania, as well as a panel discussion on community life and events. The conference was organized by the Lithuanians of Crete, the Greek Lithuanian Community and the Lithuanian Embassy of Greece.