I was born and raised in Lithuania, and I lived there for 18 years. I spent the best years of my life there. Six years ago I moved to Unites States of America. Both of these countries mean a lot to me. There are a lot of similarities and differences between Lithuania and U.S.
Lithuania is a part of the economic region, known as a Baltic Republics, extending along the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. Lithuania’s area is 65,200 sq. km. Lithuania borders are on Latvia in the north, on Byelorussia in the east, and south on Poland, and the Kaliningrad region of the Russian Federation in the southwest. Vilnius is the largest city and it is also the capital of Lithuania. The climate of Lithuania is transitional between maritime and continental. From the point of view of suitability for human health and economic activities the climate can be considered to be among the favorable ones. It is characterized by seasonal changes of temperature four times a year, by moderate heat in summer and by adequate humidity and a sufficient number of bright days. The negative features include long autumns and winters. There are 722 rivers of 10 kilometers and longer in Lithuania. Rivers and lakes in Lithuania have been long used as waterways although, with the exception of the Nemunas, they are not very suitable for navigation. There are over 3 thousand lakes in Lithuania. They take up 1.5 per cent of Lithuania’s territory. Lithuania is part of the East European Plain. Woodlands cover 28 per cent of Lithuania’s territory.
According to the data provided by the Department of Statistics the population of Lithuania was 3,751,000. More then 80 per cent of the total population are Lithuanians, but we have people living from other counties too. Mostly Russians, Byelorussians, Ukrainians, Jews and people from Poland. The Lithuanian language is the state language of the Republic of Lithuania. It is the oldest of the living Baltic tongues and belongs to the family of Indo-European languages. Lithuanian is spoken by some three million people in Lithuania and by about a million people living in other countries.
We are free country for 17 years now but before that, we were a part of Russia. Almost everyone lived poor life. Even though my parents are both teachers and worked full time it was really hard for them to take care of our family. We saved every single cent, because everything was very expensive and salaries were just funny. They spent almost everything on food and lived paycheck to paycheck. Clothes were very expensive too. You couldn’t buy what ever you wanted. I had one pair of jeans, one coat, one pair of winter boots, which I had to make them last for at least 2 cold winters. Luckily my grandparents lived in the village and they had a farm, so we used to get a lot of support from them starting with milk, eggs, potatoes, pork, chicken, vegetables and more. Every single person dreamed of the USA. Life in Lithuania is getting better and better every day. If you have an education, you can definitely live a good life there and you don’t have to struggle any more.
I remember when I first landed to NY in 2001; I couldn’t believe what I saw. I could never imagine that there is such a place in the world. Everything was so different and so beautiful starting with cities, buildings, cars, people and so much more. I’ll never forget when I saw a black person for the first time; I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. I loved everything about him, especially the color. I was so jealous and I thought to myself: “lucky he, he doesn’t have to go tanning”. Everything about US impressed me, that’s when I knew that I wanted to live here. Later traveling from state to state I started noticing not only differences of these two counties, but also similarities.