- April 26, 2013
March on the Day of the Polish Community and Poles Abroad
After three years of a break, the march on the Day of the Polish Community and Poles Abroad comes back to the streets of Vilnius. The previous march in Lithuania took place in 2009. The Board of the Association of Poles in Lithuania had proposed to organise the march again.
On Saturday, May 4th, Lithuanian Poles from various regions of the country went through the streets of Vilnius. The organisers encouraged all those who were willing to take part in the march to join.
The march started at 11 AM on the square near the Seym of the Republic of Lithuania, then it went along Gediminas Avenue, Vilnius Street, German Street from the Gate of Dawn. After the march, at noon, at the Gate of Dawn a holy mass was said. During the march, as an element included in the celebration of the Day of the Polish Community and Poles Abroad, the Day of the Flag of the Republic of Poland and May 3rd Constitution Day were celebrated. Members of various branches of the Association of Poles in Lithuania participated.
—The march is very important for Poles living abroad. It is organised to integrate people, to celebrate together. Celebrating the Day of the Polish Community and Poles Abroad proves that there is a relation between a country and Poland. The most conscious and organised Poles from the whole Lithuania will arrive to celebrate – said Michał Mackiewicz, the chairman of the Association of Poles in Lithuania and an MP to “Kurier”
The chairman has pointed out that the Day of the Polish Community and Poles Abroad, celebrated on May 2nd, is a chance to think whether being a Pole is a reason to be proud. May 2nd was a working day, so the decision to move the celebrations to May 4th was taken. Using the scheme from the previous years, the march in which representatives of all branches of the Association, as well as members of other organisations and non-associated people took place.
–We invited everyone to celebrate the day. Poles are very attached to traditions, they cultivate old customs, and this celebration allowed us to continue this tradition – said Michał Mackiewicz.
When we asked a student of the Vilnius University about it, she said that one feels the attachment to a tradition best during celebration of holidays.
—The whole world celebrates the Day of the Polish Community and Poles Abroad and this is a day of all Poles living abroad. Every Pole who lives outside Poland should participate in a march. We have to show how many of us are there and that we are united! – said Joanna, the student.
THE FEAST OF THE POLISH COMMUNITY and Poles Abroad
May 2nd is celebrated as the Day of the Polish Community and Poles Abroad. The name “Polish Community and Poles Abroad” refers to all those who live outside Poland and they have kept, regardless of the place of birth, the knowledge of the Polish language and the feeling of being connected to the country. For today, it is 20 million of Poles and people of Polish origin. The biggest Polish communities abroad can be found in the United States, Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine.
Tłumaczenie by Emilia Zawieracz w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Emilia Zawieracz within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.