- July 23, 2013
Polish rally participants create history
The 25th Tourist Rally for Poles in Lithuania was held at the Asveja [Oświe] Lake in Baluošas [Bieliszki] from 19 to 21 July and its motto was “The history is created here”. The teams of Poles from Vilnius Region took part in various competitions, as every year. There were regular supporters of the Rally as well, and there were many attractions addressed to them, too – volleyball, basketball, entertainment shows and concert in the evening, etc. People could play and have a good time till small hours.
This year Rally – as the motto of the event says – was intended to honor the people, who – 25 years ago – started this all. Thanks to these people, Polish identity and patriotism became more attractive to the youngsters. Because of this, many veterans of the event were invited: Henryk Mażul, the originator of the gathering and the author of the rally anthem, Czesław Sokołowicz, the referee for the rally’s sport events, Regina Sokołowicz, “the best rally’s wife”, Stefan Kimso, the president of football club “Polonia Vilnius” and Anna Adamowicz, the leader of the first 20 rallies.
The veterans talked about the organization of the first Rally, recalled their friends – the veterans of Rally themselves – who helped in the event creation. “We are lucky enough to be able to be a part of the first Rally and the 25th Rally, but I think, that we need to remember all those, who were present at the first one and the next Rallies. I think first of all about Aleksander Żyndul – the creator of the Rally emblem, Stanislaw Mikonis – always the best in the knowledge about Vilnius Region competition, of Zygmunt Śliżewski and Jadwiga Rachowicz. They were not able to come here this year, but we strongly believe, that they are camping somewhere there in heaven and are with us today”.
The Rally’s flag was raised as every year, and it was ran up by the representative of the winner of last year competition – “The Vilnius City Vagrants Club”. The Rally anthem was sang and the traditional presentation of the teams followed. The referees agreed that the best teams were the following three teams: “Ł3KS” (team from Ławaryszki [Lavoriškių], Kowalczuki [Kalvelių], Kiwiszki [Kyviškes], Kieny and from Szumsk), “Legion 23” (the Russian team from Vilnius), as well as “The Vilnius City Vagrants Club”. The Polish band “Horpyna” came to the stage after the first competition, and their folk tunes were warmly received by the rally’s participants. After the concert the D-Js from Warsaw were entertaining the audience till small hours.
There were more attractions on the next day. The orienteering run was held, a competition “What do I know about Tourists Rally”, relay race “Fast, faster and fastest”, a competition for the best team on the theme “At homestead”, the cooking competition “The Rally in the kitchen”, handicraft competition “The Rally in art”, and the most awaited competition “Hope for the future”, which was the competition for the Rally’s Couple. There was a big bonfire lighted up after all the events finished, and a party did not end before the sun rise.
The Tourist Rally of Poles in Lithuania is becoming more international. The Russian team “Legion 32” from Vilnius took part in it again. This time they shared the first place with the “Vagrants”. “Ł3KS” took the third place. All the teams stood out because of their charisma and unbelievable resourcefulness. Henryk Mażul – the rally’s veteran says, “there are things like cleverness, touch and commitment, which are admired most”.
The veterans emphasized that the future of The Tourist Rally of Poles in Lithuania lies in hands of young people and their commitment. “It is up to them whether the 50th gathering will take place, but we promise we will be there” said the veterans.
The young people made the majority of the attendants of the Rally this year. It is a proof that such gatherings, with the objective of meeting people, integration and active leisure of Poles in Lithuania, Vilnius Region are very popular and will be repeated many times in the future.
Co-operation: Westa Baranowska, Witalija Maciejkianiec
Photos and edition: Artur Kalczewski
Tłumaczenie by Jadwiga Granowska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Jadwiga Granowska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.