January 25th is the birth date of the much admired Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759 – 1796), and this year it will be a special occasion in Vilnius. The BCCL & the community of Užupis will be unveiling the Uzupis Constitution written in the Scottish Gaelic language to mark 20 years of continuous promotion of Scottish traditions and culture in Lithuania.
Over the years the growing local interest in Scottish traditions and fundraising for charities has successfully transformed the BCCL’s annual Burns Night celebration into a highly popular event supported and enjoyed by the local business community in Vilnius. It is a wonderful and uniting tradition with no borders or politics. Once a year we come together to learn about Scottish culture, enjoy Scottish music, dance and traditions, and generously support the Chamber in its fundraising for Lithuanian charities.
Over the years a variety of musicians from Scotland have had the opportunity to perform their traditional music, and at the same time discover and fall in love with Vilnius. They become great ambassadors for Vilnius, happily sharing their positive experiences of their visit back in their native Scotland.
This year marks 20 years of this continuing tradition in Vilnius and we at the BCCL have decided to unveil the Uzupis Constitution – a symbol of a creative and independent mind – in the Scottish Gaelic language. It will be unveiled on January 25th, the birthday of Robert Burns.
What is Užupis and Užupis Constitution?
Užupis is an artistic area in the Old Town of Vilnius. Also known as the Užupis Republic it has its own version of a constitution, parliament, and so on. Since it’s also a popular area for the tourists, there’s one street with a long historical wall where the Užupis Constitution has been translated into many foreign languages and displayed along the wall, so everybody can find a version in their native language. The area also attracts foreign media. For example the BBC travel site has a nice article about Uzupis and the Užupis Constitution. Click here to read the article.
How the ceremony will look?
The official opening of the Užupis Constitution will take place outside. The visiting Scottish piper, Ross French will play, and a Scottish representative Dr. William Lamb, Senior Lecturer of the Celtic & Scottish Studies from the University of Edinburgh will read out loud the Užupis Constitution in the Gaelic language.
The National Anthems of Scotland and the Užupis Republic will be sung (outside). The official ceremony will be followed by an informal gathering, open to the public, in the Užupis Parliament (Užupis cafe) to celebrate Robert Burns’ birthday and the continuous friendship between the nations.
The Scottish traditional band Rerr Terr will play Scottish music during the evening, and complimentary haggis will be available for tasting. We welcome everyone for this celebration of Robert Burns and Scotland.
Fundraising for the Užupis Constitution in Scottish Gaelic on Robert Burns’ birthday
In order to carry out this project, the BCCL is calling for donations. The project costs are 2500 EUR. Therefore we would be very grateful for your support. No amount is too small. If you have a connection with Scotland, or if you are Scottish, and appreciate our efforts to promote Scotland through Robert Burns in Vilnius, then please contact Sandra Kundrote: firstname.lastname@example.org
We can’t promise you anything special in return, other than a big thank you, and that special feeling when every time you pass along this lovely, cobbled street in Užupis, you will know that a small piece of your heart is there.
Our BIG THANKS to our members, friends, fans – Scotland or Užupis lovers, who donated for the project already:
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