True Lithuania

Is Lithuania a new country / nation?

No. On the contrary, Lithuania is among the world's oldest countries.

Lithuania was established at least in the 13th century, making it much older than all the current American and African countries and many European countries. In the 15th century, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was Europe's largest country.

Moreover, the Lithuanian culture is indigenous and it predominates in the area for at least 4000 years, which is much longer than many other current cultural majorities not only in Australia (~200 years) or America (~500 years), but also Europe, where such cultures as Spanish or the French had formed only some 2000 years ago.

Establishment an expansion of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the 13th-14th centuries, superimposed on modern European state boundaries. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Why do some foreigners believe Lithuania is a new country?

Lithuania has recently suffered a long period of occupations and foreign domination. It has regained independence most recently in 1990. This makes some foreigners believe that this was the first time Lithuania came into being as a separate country. However, this is far from the truth. There were two earlier periods Lithuania existed. The first one went on for centuries until 1795, when the Grand Duchy was conquered by the Russian Empire. Still, Lithuanians sought to restore the Grand Duchy and revolted multiple times. Eventually, Lithuanians restored a much smaller state. Even this Republic of Lithuania is, however, already over 100 years old, as it was established in 1918 and continuously existed since then according to the international law, despite being occupied in 1940-1990 (see the misconception "Lithuania was Russia" for explanation).

Is the "Lithuania is a new country" myth insulting to Lithuanians and why?

Depends on the exact claim. Some claims, e.g. claim that the Lithuanian nation was established in 1990, may seem somewhat insulting but, in general, this is not a major faux-pas unless coupled with "Lithuanians were Russians" or similar tenets.

Article written by Augustinas Žemaitis

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