Friends of Lithuanian Ballet Celebrate their 25th Anniversary
The Friends of Lithuanian Ballet (FLB) in Australia (Lietuvos Baleto Bičiuliai) were founded in 1998 to help Lithuanian Ballet and School dancers & choreographers with awards and various projects.
Friends of Lithuanian Ballet celebrated their 25th Anniversary Jubilee on Sunday, March 5, 2023 with a Cultural Afternoon (Linksmas Kultūros Popietis) at the Latvian House in Strathfield, with generous support by the Sydney Lithuanian Club and the Australian Lithuanian Foundation.
Ramona Ratas, President of FLB, welcomed the gathered audience and briefly summarised the work of FLB over the last 25 years, while the President of the Australian Lithuanian Community of Sydney, Jurgita Černauskaitė, congratulated FLB on their work.
The highlight of the event was the four dances by guest DanceSport artists from Melbourne, Dr. Rasa Ruseckaitė and Paulius Petraitis.
An edited video by Saulius Stepulis of Rasa & Paulius dancing can be seen by clicking the image below:
The compére for the event was Max Shaw and other performers included the virtuoso accordionist Genadijus Savkovas, who also accompanied his granddaughter Lada Tomkus singing 2 songs. Beautiful tap dancing by Jessica Shaw was enjoyed by all. A Lithuanian Ballet Gala 2021 video, edited by Saulius Stepulis, was much appreciated by the audience.
The program, according to the many received comments, lived up to its title - Linksmas Kultūros Popietis. The drawing of the door prize the beautiful donated print Matador by Sydney Lithuanian artist Leeka Kraucevičiūtė-Gruzdeff finished the program.
Independence Day Cruise
Lithuanias independence was re-established after 50 years of Soviet occupation on March 11, 1990.
Sydney Lithuanians celebrated the 33rd Anniversary of Reestablishment of Lithuanias Independence on March 12, 2023, with a harbour cruise on Sydney Harbour on the ferry John Cadman. The harbour cruise was generously supported by the Sydney Lithuanian Club. On this occasion money also was raised to support Ukraine.
A link to an edited video of the event by Faustas Stančiauskas is below: (Click on image to watch)
World Cepelinai Day
World Cepelinai Day in Sydney
The World Cepelinai Day this year was on Sunday February 5, 2023. In Sydney it was hosted by the Committee of the Australian Lithuanian Community of Sydney to outstanding success.
Cepelinai is a Lithuanian favourite dish potato dumplings with meat, mushrooms or other fillings. It was all hands on deck to cook 500 cepelinai, to serve more than 200 guests in three sittings. All that hard work was worth it, as a most enjoyable day was had by all!
An edited video of the event by Skomantas Duoplys is below: (Click on image to watch)
Australian Lithuanian Days 2022
Edited videos of XXXI Australian Lithuanian Days (ALD) 2022 are now available from the following links: (Click on image to watch)
Australian Lithuanian Scouts Regional Camp (Užupis Stovykla):
Recollections of the Freedom Defenders Day, January 13:
The Sydney Lithuanian Information Centre (SLIC) is very grateful to Saulius Stepulis for filming and producing these videos, which have required many, many hours of editing work.
Many thanks, Saulius!
Sydney Lithuanians Celebrate Christmas
with an Early Traditional Kūčios (Xmas Eve Feast)
With Christmas 2022 approaching, the younger generation of Sydney Lithuanians celebrated the traditional Lithuanian Christmas Eve Feast, known as Kūčios, a week early on Saturday December 17.
The Kūčios was celebrated in the open air in the picturesque Manly Dam Reserve, on the banks of the heritage-listed Manly Dam in the northern Sydney suburb of Manly Vale. In attendance was Father Juozas Deveikis from Melbourne, who earlier had celebrated Mass for Sydney Lithuanians at St. Joachim`s, Lidcombe.
The co-ordinators for this years Kūčios were Jurgita Černauskaitė, President of the Lithuanian community of Sydney, and Saulius Stepulis. A great afternoon and evening were had by all. Traditional Lithuanian Kūčios dishes were enjoyed. The dress code was white, so the function was Kūčios en Blanc.
What a wonderful and innovative new way of combining Lithuanian traditions with those of Australia in Australian nature! All in all, a very successful and most enjoyable function!
At the Kūčios.
Seated at the front table, the first three in the photograph are (L-R) Fr. Juozas Deveikis, Saulius Stepulis, Jurgita Černauskaitė.
Photo courtesy Saulius Stepulis
Independence Day Celebration in Sydney 2015
Sydney Lithuanians celebrated Lithuanias Independence Day ("Vasario 16") on February 15, 2015. The celebration began at the Sydney Lithuanian Club in Bankstown with Mass and then was followed by a Celebration Concert, organised by the Committee of Australian Lithuanian Community of Sydney.
The guest speaker for the occasion was Romas Cibas, President of the Lithuanian Community Publishing Society, which publishes the weekly "Mūsų Pastogė". The celebration concert was enlivened by the artistic endeavours of the Sydney Lithuanian Community (please see the programme below).
Please enjoy the lovely video of the concert produced by Dr Vida Viliūnas from Canberra: https://vimeo.com/126119411
Snapshots of the Celebration Concert
Book Launch of Kur Mano Tėviškė? by Marija Grabauskaitė - Augustinienė
The author talks about her book
The book presentation was organised by Danutė Skorulienė. It began with the author being introduced by the comp?re for the afternoon, Jadvyga Burokienė. Then followed a foreword by the author herself, who had made a special trip from Melbourne to present her book to an appreciative Sydney audience. The author came from Melbourne together with the soprano Birutė Kymantienė, who sang a number of songs in keeping with the theme of the book, which features the authors life experiences from birth as a deportee to Siberia, return to Lithuania and then settling in Australia.
Excerpts from the book were read by Irena Dudaitienė and Aida Zastarskytė - Abromienė. An interesting short documentary film, originally shown on SBS TV in 1996 about Genocide in Lithuania, set the mood for the afternoon.
Folk Art Group Dainava from Lithuania
Enlivens Independence Day Celebrations in Sydney
Lithuanias Independence Day was celebrated by Sydney Lithuanians on February 19, 2012. The celebration began with Mass at St Joachims Church in Lidcombe, and then continued at the Sydney Lithuanian Club in Bankstown.
For this years Independence Day occasion the Folk Art Group Dainava from Alytus in Lithuania presented an outstanding concert at the Club, which attracted a record audience and uplifted the spirits of all those present. The soloist during the concert, Rasa Juzukonytė, also sang during Mass, accompanied on the organ by the accompanist of Sydneys Lithuanian choir Daina, Wojciek Wisniewski.
The Dainava group with Sydney hosts. (On the left) Director of the group Romualdas Ambroževičius and Dr. Ramutis Zakarevičius,
president of ALC Sydney. (In the centre) Soloist Rasa Juzukonytė and Ramona Zakarevičienė, ALC Sydney committee member.
Photo courtesy Mūsų Pastogė
The Dainava" ensemble is an outstanding group from Alytus in Lithuania. They have performed in many concerts in Lithuania and internationally and have represented Lithuania in World Expositions - EXPO 2005 in Japan, EXPO 2010 in China - and again will represent Lithuania in EXPO 2012 in South Korea.
The Australian tour of Dainava" began with a concert in Adelaide on February 5. Then followed concerts in Geelong, Melbourne and Canberra, before the final concert in Sydney on February 19. All of its concerts in Australia were dedicated by Dainava to the occasion of Lithuanians Independence Day of February 16. On that date 94 years ago Lithuania re-established its independence after a century of Russian occupation.