Responding to the invitation of Visaginas Europe Direct Information Centre, the Austrian choir of elderly, titled Schirmitzbühel, visited Ignalina and Visaginas (Lithuania).
In Visaginas, the Austrian elderly participated in Rudeninės, the International Festival of Ethnic Culture. The choir was warmly greeted by the audience, especially after the Lithuanian song Mūsų dienos, kaip šventė was performed in fluent Lithuanian. In the Festival’s fair, the Austrians presented their ethnic heritage.
It is interesting to note, that the choir is conducted by a 26-year old Visaginas-born Julija Domaševa, who, in the framework of the Erasmus Programme, 4 years ago went to University of University and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria. In one year she learned Austrian and continued her studies. Currently, Julija is studying the Masters’, and is heading, as she says, a sweet choir of grannies and grandpas.
“Despite the respectable age of my chanters (some of them are over seventy), they show no lack of persistence and joy to sign”, – said the young choir mistress.
“The example of Julija shows that a young person may leave, get educated and return to her homeland – Lithuania – with the fruits of her labour”, – rejoiced Indrė Gruodienė, Head of the Europe Direct.
The elderly from Austria were not only entertaining with their songs, but also they visited the National Park of Aukštaitija, and the Old Museum of Beekeeping in Stripeikiai.
In the bakery Romnesa, the guests baked a traditional tree cake and sang a song to the staff in gratitude. The Austrian elderly learned in Lithuania to dance traditional dances, weave ethnic ribbons, churn butter and bake bread.
The Austrians said, that on their way to Lithuania they felt uncertainty, insecurity, but, having seen the Lithuanian countryside, and having talked to the local people, they felt spellbound, and promised to recommend everyone they meet to come to Lithuania.
Last year, all across Europe, the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations was celebrated. The ED project presented above is an example showing that a young girl from Lithuania, who left for Austria, had organized the local elderly, and, driven by the civic passions, had brought them to her hometown – Visaginas.
Link to the news in Austria on the event: