“A celebration should bring peace to the people of good will. I believe that the whole of our community is well-wishing and if something bad happens, it is because every one of us stumbles sometimes”, said the former President Mr. Valdas Adamkus in an interview to lrt.lt on 24 December, and wished that there would be fewer of such stumbles in our lives.
How do you think a true Christmas holiday should be celebrated?
If we speak about Christmas, it has to be, above all, a family celebration, whose spirituality and love brings family members from all corners of the earth back together. People, who are not able to reunite with their families physically during the Christmas time, are trying to do that on a spiritual level.
Christmas is the time of the year that lifts us above our every day lives and brings hope. It is because this celebration is based on the widely accepted moral principles. I personally believe that this spirit of family warmth and love for your neighbour should accompany us in all our endeavours. This is the real meaning of Christmas for me.
Are Lithuanians the nation of sullen people, who do not know how to relax and celebrate?
I have heard assumptions that the Lithuanians tend to look on the dark side of life. For some reason we are not able to focus on its bright side and be happy about it. We do not know how to express our joy and pride in those who deserve it.
I have heard people say that this characteristic of ours may have been determined by our geographical position – the fact that we are located quite far in the North East. On the other hand, one must admit that on occasion we do reveal our ability to celebrate from the heart. Perhaps it is encoded in our character that we are unable to demonstrate our high spirits and happiness in public, openly spread it to our social environment.
What do you usually do for Christmas? What would you wish the others to do during this time of the year?
A celebration should bring peace for the people of good will. I believe that the whole of our community is well-wishing and if something bad happens, it is because every one of us stumbles sometimes. I wish that there would be very few of such stumbles in our lives and that no one would spoil our celebratory mood.
How do you consider the decision of the Brussels city council to cancel the traditional display of a Christmas Tree this year as an act of solidarity with the religious feelings of the city’s Muslim community?
I cannot perceive this. What right do the authorities of Brussels have to regulate in such a bureaucratic manner the way we live and celebrate? What right do they have to intervene with the moral and religious traditions that have been in place for centuries? I cannot see any logical explanation for such a decision. It goes against the very spirit of Christmas.
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