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January 3, 2020            

Merry Christmas from NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Lithuania!
Credits @ NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Lithuania

Eddy Travels Closes $500k Pre-Seed Round To Scale Its AI Travel Assistant

Eddy Travels, a Lithuanian led AI-powered travel assistant, has just completed its first investment with a $500,000 pre-seed round. The round was led by Techstars Toronto, Practica Capital and Open Circle Capital, and included angel investors from the US, Canada, and the UK.

Designed to simplify the trip planning experience, the digital travel assistant is available in the most popular messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, Viber, Line, and Slack. Travelers can send both text and voice messages to Eddy Travels and receive the best flight offers in seconds.

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News from Global Digital Innovation Competition -Two Lithuanian Startups on the Winners’ List

The end of 2019 brings great news to Lithuanian developers of digital solutions: two projects from Lithuania have won this year’s World Summit Awards.

WSA’s Grand Jury experts, representing different regions of the world, met in Tunisia to carefully evaluate the projects that reached the finals of the competition. The winners were selected out of 131 finalists, the top 5 digital solutions in 8 competition categories. And among these 40 best in the World digital innovations, two projects represent Lithuania: ChestEye CAD (“Oxipit”), as winner in the category of Health and Well-being, and BitDegree (“BitDegree”), as winner in the category of Learning and Education.

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Vilnius Airport marks New Year with a record: the capital’s airport serves 5 million passengers in 2019

On the last day of 2019 the number of passengers travelling via Vilnius Airport exceeded 5 million. This number signifies the biggest flow of passengers in the history of the airport, serviced by the airport per one year.

“We are very more than happy to end the year having reached the result, which is of high significance for us and enables us to plan the new scopes of the activity further”, stated Dainius Čiuplys, the Director of Vilnius Airport.

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Kaunas moves forward on ‘Science Island’

The authorities of Kaunas, Lithuania's second-biggest city, have secured a construction permit for a science promotion centre project, Science Island, and plan to start building next year.

SMAR Architecture Studio's project ‘The Sun Never Sets for Science’ was picked as the winner of the 2017 architectural competition to present an idea for a science promotion centre.

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Alternative Christmas courtyard in former 100-year-old Lukiškės prison
|        Credits @ Go Vilnius

Die Zeitzeugin Irena Veisaite: Übe keine Rache

An interview with Irena Veisatė in Der Tagesspiegel about her newest book, Thomas Mann Culture Center in Nida among other things.

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Birchwood Press
10:48 PM - Jan 1, 2020

Zemaite, available January 1, 2020 on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online How did a penniless nineteenth-century farm woman with an alcoholic husband, seven children, and little education, living in a rural backwater of the tsarist Russian empire far from any centers of culture, manage to become the initiator of literary prose fiction in the Lithuanian language and write six volumes of stories, plays, and letters? Not only that, but she also distinguished herself as a feminist activist against patriarchy, especially the centuries-long tradition of arranged marriages. During World War I while based in Chicago, she traveled the United States for five years, giving speeches from Illinois to New Hampshire to advocate for relief for the famine and suffering in her war-torn country. The writer Julija Žymantienė, popularly known by her pseudonym Žemaitė (meaning a woman from the Lowlands of Lithuania), lived from 1845 to 1921. Her works became classics of Lithuanian literature not only because she was the first writer of prose fiction whose prime motives for writing were secular and social rather than religious or didactic, but because she also committed herself to fighting for human rights throughout her lifetime. Although she is primarily associated with feminism, she had an innate and pervasive feeling for all kinds of injustice. Beyond her concerns of making life better for women, she always felt compassion for the serfs (men, women, and children) in her surroundings as well.

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Anniversaries of Vilna Gaon and Marija Gimbutas included into UNESCO list

The anniversaries of two people from Lithuania have been put on the UNESCO list of anniversaries for 2020-2021, the Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO said.

2020 will mark the 300th anniversary of Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon Zalman (1720-1797), the Gaon of Vilna.

The inclusion of this anniversary was backed by Belarus, Poland, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, the UK-based Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies, the Lithuanian commission said.

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10 Christmas Traditions That Every Lithuanian Can Relate To

Lithuanians are crazy about Christmas and everything that comes with this wonderful holiday! Even the grumpiest people have smiles on their faces and forget about the cold weather and short days. There are plenty
of unique traditions that every Lithuanian can relate to, some of which are centuries old. One thing is for sure, though—Christmas in Lithuania would not be complete without them!

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Sutartinės & Flamenco, Valencia 2019, Seguiriya+Čiūto
 Credits @ Sutartinės-Flamenko Youtube

Until January 27
Community Origami Installation “Folding a Human”

400 paper-men clung together into an integral human, walking bravely into the city on a community mission. Kaunas Picture Gallery is inviting you to celebrate the first step of this human‘s journey. Origami paper-men were folded by the volunteers from “Women‘s Helpline” and elder women club “PRIEmenė“, along with the participants of an open folding workshop.

Find out more

January 16 - 19
Vilnius International Short Film Festival

Vilnius International Short Film Festival is one of the biggest short film festivals in Baltic countries, presenting the newest and best short films from all around the world.

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Miglė Anušauskaitė (on the left)         |        Credits @

Found in Translation

A Lithuanian cartoonist and translator travelled to New York to find missing sections of young Jews’ autobiographies, hidden in Vilnius during the Second World War.

Miglė Anušauskaitė, a heavily tattooed, thirty-one-year-old Lithuanian cartoonist, is not Jewish. But in 2015, after winning an award for a comic book she created, she used her prize money to start studying languages, including Hebrew. Her Hebrew teacher worked at the Lithuanian national library’s Judaica Research Center, and asked her if she wanted a job. “I still don’t know why,” Anušauskaitė said. “But I was interested.”

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Highlight of the Week
Monument of Jonas Basanivičius dressed in a tie to celebrate the EC presidency of Croatia

Photo credits @ Jurijus Azanovas / MFA

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