何でもリトアニア from スウェーデン


by traku7
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<   2005年 06月 ( 2 )   > この月の画像一覧

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リトアニアの首都ビリニュスの過去と現在の姿を収めた写真集。リトアニア語と英語の対訳になっています。





Vokieciu Street and neighbouring areas
写真右側の本には第二次世界大戦中ユダヤ人ゲット-のあったヴォケチゥ通りとその近辺の写真がおさめられています。当時からの建物は多く残っていますが、今は綺麗に改装されて昔ユダヤ人ゲット-であったことを連想するのは難いのですが、この写真集には同じ風景の別世界を垣間見ることができます。

Uzupis and neighbouring areas
左側は旧市街のちょっと外れを流れるVilna川の向こう側の地域の写真が収められたもの。因みにUzupisとはリトアニア語で川向こうと言う意味で、ソ連時代にも改革の手がつけられずにそのまま放っておかれたため、古きよきヴィリニュスの姿が現在も残っています。

2冊とも過去と現在を比較するように多くの写真が載っていて、「ああ、こんなに変わったのね」と時代の移り変わりを目で見て感じます。特に、自分でも思いたる景色があると、自分がその場にいた時のことを思い出してちょっとノスタルジックに浸ります。
[PR]
by traku7 | 2005-06-09 19:01 | Books
Since independence in February 1991, one can say that the economy of Lithuania has developed steadily. Privatization of the large, state-owned utilities, particularly in the energy sector, is nearing completion. Overall, more than 80% of enterprises have been privatized. The old command economy has been transferred to a market economy by the helps of foreign government and business support. Lithuania conducted most trade with Russia but trade is diversifying with a gradual shift away from the former Soviet Union to Western markets. Unemployment dropped from 11% in 2003 to 8% in 2004. Lithuania has gained membership in the World Trade Organization and joined the EU in May 2004. Judging by the figures in reports it looks like Lithuania has succeeded to transfer itself from communism to a possibility to get into the West. But the figures tell just an aspect. There is something left behind the progress.

My Lithuanian friend Edita is from a small town which is located north in Lithuania. I visited her hometown several times in the special occasions like Christmas, Easter and a summer holiday. The population of the town is around 500 people. There is one small grocery store and nothing more. People there are self-sufficient for food. They grow vegetables, berries and fruits and keep cows to supply milk and chickens mainly for eggs. In the village there is a wide two-story building once used for school students as a dormitory. They stayed there during the summer and picked apples in the apple garden as labor service. But nowadays it is just an abandoned house. Before the main industry here were dairy products but not anymore. During the Soviet era Moscow decided and ordered Vilnius what to do. Therefore under the Soviet Union the social system worked better and everybody had a job. There were 2 more shops in the town and there was much more of liveliness in the town. Just looking at a fact book Lithuania looks like climbing up the ladder but at the flip side of the coin small villages which are less important for the central business are being forgotten and it doesn’t reflect the figures in the reports.

Furthermore young people are lured by big cities and it accelerates the rural exodus. For example Edita’s youngest sister Simona, now 14 years old, told me that the life in the village was nothing but boring and wanted to live in Vilnius. There is a great contrast between city life and country life hence I understand why youngsters like her want to live in the city. As a consequence only old people will be left in villages and the villages are dying out gradually.

People in the West tend to take Lithuania’s joining the EU as a sign of being successful to transfer the country into being a member of the developed countries away from poor communism. But some people, especially old people, feel that the life in communism was better than now according to what I heard. On the other hand my friends from Vilnius University are playing an active roll in the business world. They are energetic and very positive about changes. I wish people like them are going to lead Lithuania and I’ll be very glad to see the country be glorious!
[PR]
by traku7 | 2005-06-01 05:43 | リトアニア再発見(英語コラム)