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Illustration 21 November 2023

Reading Promotion Programme for the Lithuanian Diaspora has reached its midpoint

For the second year running, this autumn saw a visit by the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania to the Central Library of the City of Peterborough, United Kingdom, where on November 14th there was an event dedicated to Lithuanian culture. The visit was arranged by the Lithuanian Publishers’ Association, the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, and the World Lithuanian Community.

During the event, over 30 Lithuanian books were donated to the Peterborough City Library, a lecture “Lithuanian Literary Fugue” was held, and excerpts of works by Lithuanian authors were read in Lithuanian and English. The event was attended by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant Julie Spence, Lord Lieutenant of the County of Cambridgeshire, Nick Sandford, Mayor of Peterborough, Virginija Umbrasienė, Counsellor at the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in London, Kitran Eastman, Director General of Peterborough Ltd, Dr Jolanta Budriūnienė, Director of the Documentary Heritage Research Department of the National Library of Lithuania. The honoured guests welcomed Lithuania’s gift to the local Lithuanian community. Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Mrs Spence, particularly welcomed the fact that some of the books that have arrived in Peterborough are translations of works by Lithuanian writers into English. She said that these books will not only give a better insight into Lithuanian culture, history and people, but also into the large and active Lithuanian community living in Peterborough.

A large number of not only Lithuanians, but also representatives of various ethnic groups living in Peterborough attended the event. One of them, Faustina Yang, the leader of the Chinese community in Peterborough, expressed her admiration for the close cooperation between the local Lithuanian community and Lithuanian organisations. She said that this is a good example for other communities in the city.

The Reading Promotion Programme initiates the Lithuanian reading communities to support reading needs and a reading environment. It aims to introduce the latest Lithuanian literature, carefully selected by experts, to Lithuanians living abroad and to encourage them to read and take an interest in it. In the first year of the project, cooperation was established with a Lithuanian book club in Warsaw, Poland. Through the mediation of the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Warsaw, more than 20 recent Lithuanian books of various genres were handed over to the Warsaw Book Club.

Photo by Tony Nero