- November 11, 2012
Zułów-Rossa. The Relay Race of Independence Day
Polish National Independence Day has in Lithuania its ritual but very often it is limited to bringing flowers to the Mother and the Son’s Heart mausoleum. From time to time, however, new ideas concerning the holiday appear. Usually when November 11 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, Vilnius residents remember about the holiday not only after work. Sometimes the holiday is accompanied by larger projects. For example, this year it was decided to freshen up the mausoleum by adapting it to mass celebrations and, although it will be necessary to wait for the lamp posts, on November 11 the place was lit like in the 30s. However, there are still not too many initiatives that would engage young people in Polish National Independence Day celebrations. The relay race of Independence Day, organized by the Vilnius Scout Troop of St. Mary Lady of the Gate of Dawn on the initiative of Rev. Dariusz Stańczyk for many years stands out against a background of the fossilized official celebrations.
The idea to celebrate the Independence Day in a spirit of sports, physical feat and fighting with one’s own weaknesses appeared already during the time of the Second Polish Republic when a variety of races, hikes and expeditions were organized not only on November 11. After the war, in the 90’s, this tradition was revived and lately it becomes more and more popular. Zułów-Niemenczyn bike rally and sports competition were organized by Niemczyn and more and more participants from outside the Vilnius Scout Troop of St. Mary Lady, among whom are also people from abroad, specifically from Poland, enter the relay race of Independence Day. For example, participants of the International Rally of Katyń joined the relay race, creating an escort for the runners.
A year ago we accompanied the participants of the relay race with a camera when we were creating a report of the relay race for one televisions. Today we decided to refer to the archives and make an extended version of that report available to Wilnoteka viewers. This year, young collegues from our redaction participated in the eighteenth relay race of Independence Day. We hope to place in our website another report of the Dukszty-Zułów-Rossa race which this time will be much longer (150 kilometers).
Tłumaczenie Monika Rak w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Monika Rak the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.