21 October 2016

Jumped rope and then ubered to the Belarus Embassy to submit my visa application. They informed me that I needed to go to the consulate instead.

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I walked to the consulate, but the line was daunting. I surely would not have made it out in time for class. I’ll go on Monday.

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Instead, I bussed to Vokieciu Street for Mexican.

In class we learned about national minorities in Poland during the interwar period. Of her thirty million inhabitants in 1931, only two thirds were ethnic Poles. Ukrainians represented over fifteen percent of the population, their western territory affirmed Polish by the Treaty of Riga (1921). Belarusians were similarly a ‘territorial minority’, but represented only five percent of the population.

Jews accounted for ten percent of the population, but a whopping third did not affiliate religiously. They were represented in all professions and all economic classes.

After class I got coffee with Enola, per usual. We spoke at length about minority conditions in France. In an effort to promote a perverted egalitarianism, her government has refrained from collecting demographics altogether. To do so would call attention to divisions that are supposed to be irrelevant. Discussion of minorities and other societal differences is taboo- socially, academically, professionally. As such, our class is her first exposure to minority studies- it would be considered radical in France. We also discussed the minority groups and tensions resulting from the French occupation of Algeria, including the Pied-Noir and the Harki. I really enjoy our conversations.

I blogged at Olandu for a couple hours before heading to the Jewish Community of Lithuania (Pylimo Gatve 4) per an invitation from Amit. I led Shabbes and made a few remarks about the holidays. Just over ten of us in total, we were led in traditional Israeli dancing by Samek- a young Lithuanian of Israeli origin.

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He dedicated his past year to honing his skills and sharing his craft around the globe after falling in love with Israeli dancing at camp just last summer.

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After sufficiently making a fool of myself, Amit invited us to eat sushi and socialize. It was not long before I asked about the piano… I was on the keys in minutes.

Traveled home soon after. I am so impressed and humbled by Amit’s dedication to building and supporting a vibrant Jewish community for young people in Vilnius.

One thought on “21 October 2016

  1. Pingback: 06 December 2016 | The Shtetl Shlepper

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