Lithuania is a small country, but has produced plenty of notable people in a variety of fields.
Lithuania has its share of famous people, and I think it’s always a good idea to celebrate the products of a culture. When you work in translation agencies you can often see the national pride shining through in writing as people take great pleasure in writing and speaking their native language and making sly local references in order to establish their local bona fides. Lithuanians are no different, and after a particularly inspiring day at work I thought I’d take a moment to draw your attention to some of the more famous Lithuanian people in history and in the world today.
Žydrūnas Savickas may not be instantly recognisable, unless you are familiar with the Arnold Strongman Classic, which he has won six times in a row. Savickas is the man you want nearby when you need someone to lift a car or bus off of you after an accident. He’s also set several strength records in his storied career.
Arvydas Sabonis was voted the foreign player to have the greatest impact on the National Basketball Association in 1999 and is a member of the FIBA Hall of Fame. He’s also the holder of the record for Tallest Man in Lithuania at 223.6 cm – which means basketball was probably inevitable for him.
Jonas Mekas is widely regarded as the founder of the Avant-Garde film movement, and a man who worked alongside Andy Warhol and many other famous artists in New York in the USA. He founded The Filmmakers‘ Cinémathèque in 1964, which evolved into the Anthology Film Archive.
Arūnas Matelis is a famous documentary filmmaker, best known for Before Flying Back to Earth, which told the stories of children undergoing cancer treatments, which was nominated for an Academy Award and won several other international film awards.
Juozas Statkevičius is an internationally known fashion designer who has been featured in Vogue and other major fashion magazines and his clothing is worn by the most famous and prominent women in the world, including Alma Adamkienė, Vaira Vykė-Freiberga, Princess Mary of Denmark, Bjork, Kyra Sedgwick, Naomi Watts, Nicole Richie, Audrey Butvay-Gruss, Kirsta Bard, and Svetlana Gryaznova.
It should also be noted that although not native Lithuanians, the lead singers of the rock bands The Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Killers – Anthony Kiedis and Brandon Flowers – are both second-generation Lithuanian, and proud of it. Both bands have sold millions of records internationally.
The list goes on. Lithuania has produced leading lights in almost every field, and any discussion of international achievement would have to include at least a few Lithuanians in a variety of fields to be considered at all fair and even-handed. Lithuania may be small, but it’s vibrant culture, solid education system, and long history of cohesive culture has produced some of the best minds the world has seen.
Image courtesy tenhomaisdiscosqueamigos.com