Līgo 2012, the Baltic in Paris


Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians have organized a picnic in the park of Vincennes for an special Evening. Tonight is Līgo – Jonines – Saint John night, shortest night of the year and important event for the Baltic people.

After one year in the Baltic I made some emotional connections with its people. I live for sometimes in Paris and feel nostalgic on that important period of my life.

Paris has a lot of embassies and cultural centers, it motived me enough to try to keep contact with Eastern Europe. If Ukraine has for example a Cultural Center in which they organized different exposition on Ukrainian artists, it’s not the case for the three Baltic countries.

When I went to the Lithuanian embassy, in spite of painting exhibition the woman gave me an invitation for a special event with all the Baltic community.

Nice welcome

The Saint John night is an important date for these people. They were the last European region to be converted to Christianism and they continue to celebrate this Pagan event since that time.

As I saw they consider the Saint John night to be an important occasion to meet and to celebrate summer in family.

I was invited to the Ligo/Jonines night in the park of Vincennes for 19h. I came alone and I was welcome with « Bonjour » and Lithuanian vodka.

Most of the people didn’t know each others, so groups start to appear: groups of Lithuanians, groups of Latvians, group of 4 Estonians … 😀

Baltic is not only Lithuania

Among the 50 people who came, more than the half were Lithuanian, other from Latvia, a couple of Estonians, and few French; those with their Baltic wives and me.

Night and metro to Chatîllon

I could talked with young people, open mindedly and very friendly. After have start the evening with LT girls who were surprised that I could be interested in their countries, I finish the night night with a group of Latvians. We talked a lot and have shared beers. One guy, a french, is dating a Latvian since tow years and never been in Latvia… I cannot imagine how it’s possible.

I left with this small group around midnight to the metro station, and I didn’t had to buy a ticket 🙂

Final meeting

We talked a bit in the metro, and a guy got interested by our conversation. When they changed line that guy start a discussion with me. He is a German doing his Erasmus semester in Paris and he introduced me on Liepzig, German city I should visit someday!

Guillaume Speurt

Guillaume Speurt

French settled in Estonia, I have spent my last years in the Baltic States. I love photography and travelling in Eastern and Central Europe, I write this blog to relate my experiences.
Guillaume Speurt

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