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Lithuania

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Susannah Dingley
579861.  Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:00 pm Reply with quote

On this day (6 July) in 1253, Mindaugas was crowned King of Lithuania. July 6 is the country’s so-called Statehood Day.

This is something I learned on “University Challenge” this evening.

 
GL5
580775.  Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:27 am Reply with quote

Lithuania apparently has the highest overall suicide rate of all countries in the world (a fact mentioned on one particular QI episode). However, in the case of suicide rates among women only, Lithuania comes fourth (behind Sri Lanka, Japan and China).

Source: http://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide_rates/en/index.html

 
zomgmouse
581133.  Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:03 pm Reply with quote

Jascha Heifetz was born in Lithuania (then part of the USSR) but emigrated to the US aged 7.

 
Susannah Dingley
581163.  Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:20 pm Reply with quote

zomgmouse wrote:
(then part of the USSR)

The USSR did not come into existence until 1922, and Lithuania did not become part of the USSR until 1940. Heifetz was born in 1900.

Al Jolson was another famous Lithuanian. And Phill Jupitus must have some Lithuanian blood because he “represented” Lithuania in the Euro edition of QI (Series E Episode 5).

 
suze
581399.  Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:57 am Reply with quote

Yes indeed; his father's parents were Lithuanian. While Jupitus would work as a Lithuanian surname, the family states that the name was originally Šeputis.

 
Susannah Dingley
581427.  Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:36 am Reply with quote

I see. Thanks.

Two more interesting facts about Lithuania derived from stuff mentioned on Monday’s “University Challenge”:

  • Vytautas Landsbergis was the head of state of Lithuania when the republic unilaterally declared independence from the Soviet Union in March 1990. The Kremlin’s response was to cut off gas supplies to the capital Vilnius. Lithuanian independence was nonetheless recognized by the Soviet Union in September 1991.

  • The Lithuanian language is closely related to Latvian; both belong to the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family. The branch also includes Old Prussian, extinct since the beginning of the 18th century.

 
GL5
581458.  Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:19 pm Reply with quote

Susannah Dingley wrote:
zomgmouse wrote:
(then part of the USSR)

The USSR did not come into existence until 1922, and Lithuania did not become part of the USSR until 1940. Heifetz was born in 1900.

Zomgmouse is probably referring to the Russian Empire rather than the USSR. Lithuania had been annexed by Catherine the Great in 1795; it became independent in 1918 following the Bolshevik Revolution.

 
Bondee
581589.  Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:42 pm Reply with quote

The most beautiful woman I've ever met was from Lithuania.

 
zomgmouse
581745.  Thu Jul 09, 2009 7:04 pm Reply with quote

GL5 wrote:
Susannah Dingley wrote:
zomgmouse wrote:
(then part of the USSR)

The USSR did not come into existence until 1922, and Lithuania did not become part of the USSR until 1940. Heifetz was born in 1900.

Zomgmouse is probably referring to the Russian Empire rather than the USSR. Lithuania had been annexed by Catherine the Great in 1795; it became independent in 1918 following the Bolshevik Revolution.

Probably.
I really should have been thinking more, and not typing hastily. Drats.
What I meant was that the USSR (when it formed) had been extremely displeased with Heifetz for leaving.

 
jdean
613274.  Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:55 am Reply with quote

Laba Diena!
Lithuania was the last country in europe to adopt christianity as its official religion some time in the first half of the 14th century.
Iki!


Last edited by jdean on Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:27 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
Curious Danny
613309.  Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:02 am Reply with quote

It was also the largest country in Europe at that point i believe, as the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

 
suze
613328.  Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:27 am Reply with quote

I think that depends on how one defines "Europe", and also on how one defines "country".

The Grand Duchy of Moscow (as it was until 1547) was surely larger, and I suspect that the Holy Roman Empire was as well, if one considers it to have been "a country".

But for sure, the claim is made and is at the very least defensible.

 
Curious Danny
613336.  Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:42 am Reply with quote

It was on the QI Game.

 
suze
613352.  Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:27 pm Reply with quote

[looks up script]

Ooh, so it was! It was the first game, and I only worked on the second one, so at least it's not down to me!!

But since it was, it deserves to be checked out properly, and either confirmed as correct or otherwise. Consider it as on my list!

 
jdean
613367.  Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:13 pm Reply with quote

The Grand Duchy Of Lithuania, or the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuainia as it was also known was indeed vast. It streched from modern day Estonia all the way down to the Black Sea coast and was, for a time, the most stable political entity in europe. It incoporated all of modern day Poland, Belorus and the Ukraine.

 

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