Russian festival in Vingis Park: a day of culture or shame?

On 11 June, on the eve celebrated in Russia on Russia Day, with songs, flags and “Katyusha” in Vilnius was held a traditional festival of Russian culture. The organizers of the event noted that he became truly massive. However, in social networks for the abate discussion, worthy way in the Park “Vingis” was presented to Russian culture.

So, Vilnius actor, musician Vyacheslav Mickevičius in the social network wrote that called for celebration would be if there was music of Tchaikovsky, if I was held brain-ring in which it would be possible to guess the quotes of Russian writers, where they sold the magnets with works by Russian artists, it was possible to drink tea from a samovar and listen to the balalaika.

“This never was and never will be. And not because you know when is the day of the airborne troops, not the birthday of Alexander Pushkin, — he wrote, referring to the Russian of Lithuania. Do you know when is the Day of Victory, but do not know what lend-lease. You are celebrating the army Day, but don’t know where Gogol wrote his best works. And, more Gazmanov you like it better than Tchaikovsky. Do you celebrate the holidays exclusively militaristic. While we should be proud of quite other things!”.

On this topic in the Facebook group, uniting Russians of Lithuania, wrote and sleeps Lithuania Russian businessman Victor Vorontsov. After the holiday he even went to the Russian Embassy in Lithuania calling took place in the Park to shame. “Dear Mr. Ambassador, are writing to You in connection with the disgrace that took place today in Vingis Park and who, for some unknown reason I was called “a Celebration of Russian culture”. If You believe that “White Swan on a pond” is a part of Russian culture, it makes me sad for our diplomacy,” he wrote.

Head of the Department of Russian Philology of Vilnius University prof Paul lavrinec in an interview Delfi said that personally he did not close the mass event of this kind, but they are well within Russian traditions. “I happen to be on the first or one of the first of these Days of Russia — the Days of Russian culture in Ceramicxmm the Park, so how they are now, I can only judge on records and reviews. Performances by folk artists are often quite cute, but other music that sounds on holidays is absolutely not for me,” said lavrinc.

“Nevertheless, I believe that if there are fans of such songs, and health. Similarly, in principle, I believe that people have the need from time to time so collectively demonstrate their ethnic or national cultural identity, personally and clearly for a short time to unite, to Express their unity,” notes lavrinec. According to him, such festivals are well known and can raise objections. “Take the St. Patrick’s Day, which marks everywhere the Irish Diaspora, and the initial reason by the participants, it seems, not understood”, — expressed his opinion of the Professor.

Entrepreneur Victor Vorontsov asked the Russian Embassy, “who organized this nightmare, how much money was paid to the organizers, were the competition to host this event, do you plan some kind of reaction of the Embassy on the ugliness that took place on 11 June.” According to Victor, the holiday was worth inviting such groups or artists like Bi-2, Vyacheslav Butusov, Yuri Shevchuk, Zemfira, “Time Machine”, Garik Sukachev.

According to him, he received a reply from the Embassy stating that the event, prepared by Russian non-commercial organizations (“Slavonic Fund for charity”, etc.) with the financial support of the Russian Embassy in Lithuania, held in Vilnius for the fifteenth time and “has consistently great success with thousands of visitors — as among the Russian-speaking community, and among the Lithuanians”.

“A wide concert program includes music of various genres for all tastes. For example, this year, in addition to this you popular in Lithuania pop singer Raja and performer of Russian chanson Volkov, the audience heard the song a half-hour block of folk ensemble from Kaliningrad Rossichi (special “gift” from the Russian Embassy) and got acquainted with the work of children’s music and dance groups. Performance of the soloist of the St. Petersburg state orchestra of Russian folk instruments “Metelitsa” Barinova was received with a standing ovation and shouts of “Bravo”, which once again confirms the relevance of the residents and guests of Vilnius of such events”, — quotes the answer of the Embassy Vorontsov.

The organizer of the Day of Russian culture, Chairman of the “Slavonic Fund for charity” Olga Gorshkova in an interview Delfi said that the opinion Vorontsov offends the feelings of the participants and fans of the event. “I don’t want to participate in the discussion, which was kept biased people after 15 years since the advent of the holiday. For me an important assessment of the participants. If we are talking about tens of thousands of viewers, for me it is the most compelling argument. After all, even Vorontsov citizenship of Lithuania no, it’s biased. So pay attention to such things, it means not to respect those people who are 15 years old and love to go on this holiday,” — said Gorshkov.

“And then there is understanding two things, because there were professional teams who come from Russia and are a holiday decoration. And, in addition, it is our local teams that whole year preparing for this site, it’s the most important. They live for this. I still survive, for me it’s not the first time, but people are creative — they are quite sensitive. I hurt for them”, — said Gorshkov. She noted that the event come not only Russian, but also people of other nationalities.

“There can be heard the Lithuanian language, on the feast young people come. And all because the energy of the holiday good. If you don’t like it, I can not hold. And those who are unhappy, they let these poor money will try to spend a holiday. After all, no one fee for all the years we had not paid. In order for artists came from Kaliningrad, St. Petersburg, Moscow, I am for six months before the event, write letters to the administration. And all the gifts. All money received from the Embassy (Russia — approx. ed.), going to the infrastructure — sound, light, toilets, security, police. Without this, the event does not hold. But if I due to the fact that you insult me as the organizer, all the same will decide that this is the 15th festival was the last, it will be a very loud statement,” — said the organizer. She noted with regret that neither the Department of national minorities nor the municipality of Vilnius did not take part in funding this event.

“Me, as the representative of the Vilnius city hall and the mayor of Vilnius is difficult to objectively evaluate the quality of a holiday, leave it to comment on the more competent experts, but can add that the task of the municipality at the present time — to examine the issue of support for the Russian-speaking community as a whole”, — said in an interview with Delfi Advisor to mayor of Vilnius on public relations Alexander Kubrakov. According to him, June 15, the mayor instructed the administration to reconsider the question of financial support for the celebration of the Orthodox Christmas in the Cathedral square, as it turned out, that next year was not provided any help to the city this holiday.

“And the Days of Russian culture, the organizers organized themselves, the city releases the money only from the fees provided in this case, the organizers of the events in Vingis Park. I want to note that the organizations of national minorities, including Russian speakers, are actively involved in the contest for the support of cultural projects. In the current year the municipality gave them about 400 thousand euros,” — said Cubreacov.