Stanišauskas: Marking streets to comfort people, and not a matter of politics

© DELFI

Recently in politics mutual apologies became fashionable, but not actually the actions to the benefit of politicians, but only for residents of Lithuania became not trendy any more. Maybe that’s why we do not do anything else but only tread water, instead of making a simple, but important for the people of the region of Vilnius decision – to allow marking streets both in Lithuanian and Polish language.

If you cool down and try to look at this situation from the side, you’ll see that it is simple and logical: everyone with his own property can do what he thinks is right. In this case, placing the table next to a street in the state language is also the inscription in Polish should be a private matter of the owner of the building.

It is interesting that when discussing the other day a very current topic, renovation of residential buildings, we are guided by the principle that building owners are individuals and they should take care of the repairs. But when it comes to what kind of signs can be hung on the walls of private homes – it becomes a matter of national importance, which for years ongoing discussion Prime Ministers, parliamentarians, ministers of foreign affairs apologize.

As a general rule, if people saw in this sense, next to the Lithuanian boards, they could put subtitles in all languages ​​of the world. And punishing anyone who marks his private property as he pleases, it is nonsense. We need to understand that the issue of street signs in another language applies only to the convenience of the local population and the state is unduly interfere.

Serious arguments against labeling streets in another language are missing. Let’s recall that in the interwar period, in one of the most difficult periods in the history of Lithuania, the Lithuanian nation-state has just formed, it was the temporary capital of Kaunas, a young state was threatened by the neighboring countries, Kaunas streets were labeled in three languages: Lithuanian , Polish and Yiddish. Then it was not a political decision, but simply matter of convenience in the world of inhabitants.

Better than anyone else, we know that each national group loves its language and cares about their culture. The whole discussion is not after all about the conversion of the Lithuanian language. This is a discussion about what may be next to the state language. In addition, the subtitles do not offend anyone, they are not prohibited or profane symbols – these are mere words in another language. Therefore, it has nothing to do with the denationalization or lack of respect for the Lithuanians.

Finally, we also need to understand that every community, living in the territory of Lithuania, is part of our civic nation, is part of the state, together they create, and despite differences in language or culture, is a historical part of us, without which we would not be together. So far, I see policy discussions for the same discussion, which is beneficial to politicians who make mischief’s between people who gather polling stations and only because such conflicts are still in politics.

Source: http://pl.delfi.lt/opinie/opinie/stanisauskas-oznakowanie-ulic-to-wygoda-mieszkancow-a-nie-sprawa-politykow.d?id=60747059

Tłumaczenie Katarzyna Dąbrowska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Katarzyna Dąbrowska the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu. 

 

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