An overview of the news from Biržai Region Museum "Sėla"
The Esperanto language is a language for international communication. The boom of learning this language came to Lithuania from Europe in the interwar period (1918–1940). The history of learning Esperanto in Biržai can be traced back to the name of Biržai Gymnasium teacher, traveller Liudas Alseika. In 1923, he organized the Esperanto language courses at Biržai Gymnasium, which were attended by people from our region, who later became famous Esperanto specialists.
In the virtual exhibition “The Esperanto Language and Its History in Biržai” you will get acquainted with the history of the Esperanto language and people from Biržai region who have popularized Esperanto not only in Lithuania. You will find some information about Liudas Alseika and the famous traveller and writer Antanas Poškas, gymnasium students from Biržai and their teachers: Viktoras Januškevičius, Jurgis Kutra, Stasys Paliulis and others. You will see a collection of dictionaries of the Esperanto language published in various years, textbooks by Lithuanian and foreign authors, periodicals “Litova stelo” (“Lithuanian Star”), and some calendars. You will be able to examine some photographs, greetings, letters and manuscripts in Esperanto from the interwar period.
The meeting with Arūnas Gelažninkas, who is known as the fastest Lithuanian motorcycle rider of Zigmas Dakar Team, his family, relatives and friends took place in Biržai Region Museum “Sėla” on 24th February 2020.
Those who did not participate in the meeting with the fastest Lithuanian motorcyclist are invited to visit the Sports Exhibition hall of the museum and have a look at the sportsman’s trophies exhibited there.
The largest tourism fair in the Nordic countries, MATKA Nordic Travel Fair 2020, took place in Helsinki, Finland from 15 to 19 January 2020. The museum officer Lina Kuncytė presented Biržai Region Museum "Sėla" in the fair.
Valdemaras Serapinas, the ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania to Finland, invited the Lithuanian participants of the fair to a reception at the embassy.
During Biržai Jewish History and Culture Week (13-16 June 2019), a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust was unveiled in Pakamponiai Forest. The participant from the UK, Michael Kretzmer, made a video about the events in Biržai and Plungė. You can watch it here.
On 12 October 2019, Juozas Januševičius, a restaurator from Klaipėda, handed over to Biržai Region Museum "Sėla" a picture of a restored Biržai Castle that was painted by by the painter Egilas Skuja. The staff of Biržai Restoration Unit donated the picture to Klaipėda Restoration Unit to commemorate its 15th anniversary, on 23 January 1987.
The staff members of Biržai Region Museum “Sėla” S. Kubiliūtė and E. Lansbergienė went to Toronto to commemorate the 100th anniversary of birth of the priest Petras Ažubalis and on their way back, they brought these precious documents last October. Realizing that the documents were of great importance to Lithuania, Dalia Ažubalienė, the relative of the priest, asked to bring the documents to Lithuania still without knowing where they must be kept. This summer D. Ažubalienė came to Lithuania, had some consultations and visits, and finally decided that the Lithuanian Central State Archives are the best place for the document to be stored.
The Baltic Unity Day was celebrated in Biržai, on 20-21 September 2019, with many honourable guests from the Parliaments and ministries of Lithuania and Latvia, as well as people from Latvia and Lithuania, and local Biržai citizens.
There was a great amount of action for everyone: to participate in educational activities demonstrated by the old Baltic artisans, play numerous games and listen to the concerts of the Lithuanian and Latvian performers on the grounds of Biržai castle, to watch documentary films in the building of Biržai regional park administration.
An exhibition of the works of the Latvian painter Gerderts Eliass from the archives of Jelgava History and Art Museum of Gederts Eliass was opened in Biržai Region Museum “Sėla”.
The final events of the day were the performances of Baldone and Vecumnieki Youth Symphony Orchestra “Draugi” (Latvia) and the State Song and Dance Ensemble “Lietuva” (Lithuania) in Biržai Cultural Centre.
The official regalia passed to the representatives of Kuldiga, the organisers of the next Baltic Unity Day in 2020.