If you have read my previous posts, you would understand that this is precisely what my accounts are based on.
I have been to Lithuania numerous times, I have many Lithuanian and Latvian friends and a few Estonian ones. I have friends from Belarus, from Ukraine & used to be friendly with many Georgians, although I find them hard work.
I work with Slovakians, Hungarians, Romanians.
My partner is Russian, her family are from Smolensk, however she grew up in Lithuania.
Russia is too vast to understand the country, however, I understand Poland and Lithuania and I understand the mentality of the people.
Last summer, I rented a car in Kaunas and drove across the whole of Lithuania and into other countries. It was an excellent experience.
I have been to Russian nightclubs in Lithuania such as "Metelica", I never saw anything like this in Poland (although I did see a few Irish pubs)
Kaunas is the most Lithuanian city, with the smallest percentage of Russian people.
Its also probably the most hostile city in Lithuania.
People from other cities are far more friendly.
In my house, we have Russian Satellite Television, which also carries Polish and Lithuanian channels.
I'm not sure how many Eastern European citizens you have in Canada, but I can assure you, we have many different cultures and nationalities here in Ireland.
Of course, it was a big shock for me to see the truth about Lithuania, as I had heard such wild lies from the Polish. They Polish seem to think they are 'untermensch'.
Later, I learned that the Poles seem to think everyone is 'untermensch', LOL.
In truth, my Irish friends are those I know from childhood.
Otherwise, all of the people I met on a daily basis are immigrants, including my partner and my best friends (1 from Warsaw, 1 from Klaipeda).
I imagine its very difficult to understand if you've never been to this country, but I guess you could equate it to New York........a melting pot.
Its not as easy for other Irish people as it is for me, this is because I love to learn languages, so I speak some Russian and some Polish, and small bits of other languages.
The only languages you actually need to know are Russian and English.
I wouldn't have wasted my time learning Polish in the past if I had understood the importance and usefulness of Russian.
But it is also useful to know what Poles are saying about you and you get better service from Polish women when they hear you speak Polish (not so true with the men, who sometimes find it intimidating, as they have lost their advantage, however, the men always appreciate my size and my strength and ask me what do I think of Mariusz Pudzianowski, and some of the men find it amusing to hear an Irishman speak Polish - most usually ask what city I am from in Poland, HAHAHA)
The picture is something like this - the citizens of former soviet countries stick together, Russians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Estonians, Ukranians and even the Georgians (many have Lithuanian passports) because many can speak Russian, frequently, many of them have a Russian grandfather or grandmother. They also mix with Irish. Hungarians and Romanians also mix with these groups.
The Western European nations like Spain, France, Italy stick together. And of course they mix with Irish. Sometimes they mix with other groups, but much less so.
The Poles mix with nobody except the Irish.
The Russians don't like to mix with them, the Lithuanians don't like to mix with them.........generally it is only the Irish who mix with them.
Its not the rule in all cases, but it is the rule in the majority of cases.
The Poles are like the outsiders in this society in a sense. The difference is that there are so many Poles here, it doesn't really matter, because a Pole can go through a whole day here not needing to speak English.
e.g. Go to a polish shop, go to the gym with Polish friends, speak Polish with friends at work, girl in shopping centre and Petrol station will be Polish, we even have a few Polish Police now.
I do my best to change this, I am friends with both Poles and former Soviets, so I always introduce them to each other at the gym and we train together.
Once people sweat and experience pain together, they are less suspicious of each other.
Both sides have they pre-conceptions about the other, but they always throw them in the bin quickly once they met people and speak with them.
Most people are good if you give them a chance.
Exactly! But it is useful to expand one's knowledge a bit sometimes :)
Not holdng a certificate, nor have an expert qualification does not exclude one from participating in a subject.
Otherwise,.............. how would would one become an expert? ;-)
I'm more than comfortable to share my opinions and experiences, regardless of what you say, as I believe I have far more realistic impression of the reality of the situation than you have.
I have been free to form impressions and understand the truth, without any emotional or nationalist attachment.