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Latvians and Lithuanians – Brothers, Cousins or Strangers?
Generalizing is complicated thing. We want/ need to generalize and make some conclusion about whole nation, but all we can deal with is personalities. And one never knows if some characteristic feature was personal or cultural. If experience with members of particular culture is too narrow, then conclusions about whole nation could be wrong.
From philological point of view Lithuanians and Latvians are two nations, who speak in two last living Baltic languages – Latvian and Lithuanian. That makes both countries closer to each other, because both of them are very near in the Indo-European language tree. But still those are two different languages and ones speaker can’t understand other.
Once in souvenir market salesperson asked to me and my friend what language we are speaking – sounded very similar to Lithuanian, but shop assistant could not understand a single thing, that’s made her curious. Of course, for foreigners both languages don’t make any difference. On our first day in Vilnius we were standing in crossroads with the map and speaking in Latvian, when two tourists asked if we know where the grocery is. Seems that city plan in our hands wasn’t so clear note that we aren’t locals, because our language seemed to be Lithuanian. …
- Latvians and Lithuanians – Brothers, Cousins or Strangers?
The Historical Origins and Social Implications of the Motor-cult
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