- February 16, 2016
“The 16th of February Celebrations are Also Polish Celebrations.” The Commemoration of the Lithuanian Independence Day in the Polish Discussion Club (PKD)
“To freedom, ours and yours!” was the motto of the yesterday’s Lithuanian Independence Day party, organized by the Polish Discussion Club (PKD) in a metropolitan Piano Man pub.
Polish beer and sauerkraut stew was served to the participants of the meeting. Among others, Filmik, a rapper from Vilnius singing in Polish language, singer Rob B. Colton and a famous Lithuanian bluesman, Aleksander Bełkin, played during the evening celebrations.
Polish and Lithuanian activists, who for many years has been working on Polish-Lithuanian reconciliation, attended the party.
Each one of them gave a commemorative speech. “Polishness and freedom are two inseparable matters” Andrzej Pukszto, the chairman of PKD, referred in his speech to the words of Czesław Okińczyc, a signatory of the Lithuanian Independence Act.
“Political freedom is actually only real freedom’s surrogate” said professor Bogusław Grużewski, the head of the Institute of Labour and Social Study. As Grużewski added, political freedom means almost nothing if there is no freedom in human’s actions. “I wish that there were more free people in our country and more of real freedom, which cannot be destroyed by any occupier, or poverty, or any political aggression. Real freedom of the spirit is indestructible” emphasized Grużewski.
In his speech, Audrius Matonis emphasized that mutual history, which some political disagreements try to overshadow, connects Lithuania and Poland. “I promised that my toast would be short, that is why I am fulfilling my promise. Three words will constitute this toast – to double V!” said the journalist and the head of the Lithuanian National Television news service.
Alvydas Nikžentaitis, the head of the Forum of Jerzy Giedroyc, reminded that Stanisław Narutowicz, the first Polish President Gabriel Narutowicz’s brother, signed the Lithuanian Independence Act using Polish letters. “The celebrations of the 16th of February are also Polish celebrations” emphasized a Lithuanian historian.
“I give my best wishes on the occasion of the 16th of February because it is one of the most cheerful celebrations. Everyone for whom Lithuania is important, regardless the nationality, met today. The most important is that we are together” said in the end Saulius Galdikas, the founder and owner of Piano Man pub.
Translated by Marta Didyk within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.