It was a beautiful warm summery evening when, last year, I attended (as a spectator) an event organized to promote Lithuanian culture within foreigners living in Lithuania.
Poetic Umbrella (Under Lithuanian Culture and Language Umbrella, to be correct) is an initiative organized by Balturka, where foreigners are reciting poems and singing songs in Lithuanian language.
I decided I wanted to make it this year.
The decision came from several reasons.
Lithuanians are deciding many important things during those days. They are headed to the second turn of Presidential Election, they will soon elect their representatives to the European Parliament, not to forget the two referendum questions that recently passed away, unfortunately without bringing any useful result, one being upon Lithuanian citizenship.
I live here, I took part to municipal election in Vilnius and, more importantly, I am building my family here, planting my roots and making plans. My identity is slowly evolving and I would not feel totally accomplished being a foreigner forever.
This led me to a simple cue: I have to work on my knowledge and use of Lithuanian language.
Now, learning Lithuanian language and showing appreciation for the place that hosts your dreams is not something one can do singing a song, but I believe this little step is headed towards the right direction and could help both me and any other foreigner seeing himself through my words, to make it.
Learning this song meant for me sitting down with a notebook and, firstly, translating the whole lyrics.
To make it I mainly used this site, an Italian-Lithuanian dictionary I have at home and Lithuanians all around me.
I got stuck when the chorus goes “lai prabėgs nebegrįš jos”, but a great friend of mine explained me the whole thing (thank you, Egle, the long story here).
Now, since I struggled finding translated lyrics for Lithuanian songs I wanted to perform (finally one made it to the performance), I have decided to post my very personal translation of Vytautas Kernagis song “Mūsų dienos kaip šventė / Our days (are) like a feast” (you can find it here).
Below you will find this beautiful song sang by his author Vytautas Kernagis and played by Dainos Teatras, into the now abandoned Trade Union Palace of Vilnius, during their last concert, in 1991.
I would be glad to know after reading this post you put on your headphones and listened to this beautiful song, finally understanding what is the meaning of lyrics.
Baol is on Facebook and Linkedin and after learning Lithuanian there is a trip planned to Mars to be done!