Vilnius: ”Invocation” was declaimed in 27 languages

Reading of the "Invocation" in Pac Palace in Vilnius, fot. Frątczak

New record was set in Vilnius: „Invocation” opening lines of Adam Mickiewicz poem „Pan Tadeusz” were declaimed in 27 languages. The idea of celebrating the 180th anninversary of the first publication of Polish national epic poem was first suggested by the Vilnius Tourists Guide Club and then supported by the Museum of Adam Mickiewicz and Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Vilnius. In the old Pac Palace ”Invocation” was read by the ambassadors, members of diplomatic posts and foreigners who are residents of Lithuania.

”All ambassadors accepted our invitation with great pleasure. Only Japanese Ambassador was invited today early morning, just in time when we managed to get the Japanese language version of the ”Invocation” . Diplomats also need to entertain sometimes and so they treated it as a fun but also as a very insightful experience. It is important to note that context plays a crucial role here as well. Actually, all the invited quests- ambassadors, diplomats and foreigners, were uttering following words ”Lithuania, my country…” in their own language. It gives rise to the promotion of multiculturalism, it promotes Lithuania as a country and promotes national languages – said Jarosław Czubiński, Polish Ambassador to Lithuania.

The poetry evening began with the performance of the Song and Dance Esemble ”Zgoda” as they demonstrated ”Polonaise” composed for Wajda’s film by Wojciech Kilar. One of the first guests who declaimed the ”Invocation” in Polish language was Polish Ambassador. Then he was followed by ambassadors od Austria, Japan, Finland, Belgium and Netherlands who read the epic poem in their mother tongue respectively. Opening lines of Adam Mckiewicz national epic poem were read also by the members of diplomatic posts from China, Italy, Great Britain, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Spain and Romania.

Priest Nguyen Hoan from the archdiocese of St John Bosco in Vilnius, presented the Vietnamese language version of the poem, Istvan Kvik, director of the Roma band ”Sare Roma” demonstrated Roma language version, then it was followed by the Esperanto translation performed by the Alicja Dzisiewicz, senior curator of Adam Mickiewicz Museum in Vilnius, Fania Brancovskaja recited poem in Yiddish language and Kamil Kłyskiński II Secretary of Polish Embassy in Lithuania presented the Kashubian language version. Unfortunately, person responsible for Hebrew language version didn’t arrive.

Of course, as most beautifully and poignantly ”Invocation” sounds in Polish language, but as Jarosław Czubiński pointed out, every language has its own melody and that is why words which are familiar to every Pole-uttered in 27 languages sounded differently. “Roma language version of ”Invocation” was phenomenal. Performed in the Estonian language, it had completely different sound, it was very solid and serious. Spanish version ran across like the Pamplona Bulls, whereas the Russian version carried quite opposite tone, when contrasted with the Spanish or Italian lightness. Every performance was original. I was delighted with the melody and sound of the Macedonian language- I’ve heard a lot of similar words”- said Jarosław Czubiński.

Reading of the ”invocation” in 27 languages will be reported to the Lithuanian Guinness Book of Records. The second part of meeting had completely different character: all quest could chose and read their favorite part of „Pan Tadeusz” poem. Soon after that it was read by actors from Polish Theatrical Studio in Vilnius, guides, teachers of Polish schools and journalists.

„We remembered about this special date- 180th anniversary of the first publication of ”Pan Tadeusz”. Since the beginning of June, 2014, we were showing the city around and reciting the fragments of ”Invocation” to all our tourists . Vilnius is a place, where words of great poet Adam Mickiewicz come to mind immediately. We’ve planned a feast of tourists guides and to our amazement it turned into beautiful meeting, of which attention was focused on the 180 anniversary of the publication of ”Pan Tadeusz”. We assumed at the very beginning that ”Invocation” will be read in four languages i.e Polish, Lithuanian, Russian and Belorussian- and what we have now is 27 language versions! It is way beyond our expectations and we are extremely happy that our idea, fostered by the Polish Embassy in Vilnius, soon became reality- said Barbara Ogonowska, president of the Vilnius Tourist Guides Club.


Tłumaczenie by Anna Potoła w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, Translated by Anna Potoła within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights,

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