Lithuania – the Market

Yep, another Lithuania post. Gosh, I’m late on these!

I thought I’d capture one of my favorite experiences in one post – just because I took so many pictures this day that narrowing it to the 18 I have here was a stretch! 😉 This particular day I did not photograph the morning. It was our trip to the genocide museum, so you can imagine the mood. What an eye opening, harrowing, and deeply sorrowful experience. And going with a friend whose family lived the stories told within the walls of the museum made it that much more real. To know that much of the painful history experienced happened actually during my lifetime – not some far off, distant past, but up to the 90’s actually – was also very enlightening…and all the more saddening to realize they still happen today in other areas of the world.

But of course, along with the deep sadness, there also is a profound sense of hope and resilience of the human spirit. All that to say, the “market” – of which I took all these pictures to follow – brought an even more vivid contrast to the day. Experiencing people’s “real lives” is always the most fun. And that week in Vilnius, a large thoroughfare was shut down for a “world market” where people came to sell their wares, sing their songs, and dance their dances (folkdancing and singing is a very large part of the culture of all of the Baltic states). We spent a short amount of time that day, and I actually made my way back to wander with my camera another day for several hours – just taking in the culture, watching the people, and OF COURSE eating the food! (The food was amazing – not very “light”, but very, very good!)

First off for my favorite type of pictures – the people. I’m not the best people photographer because I feel self conscious about photographing people I don’t know, but I tried to capture a few of them that I really enjoyed watching. It’s funny – traveling always intrigues me because of the differences, but I’m always drawn to the similarities. Love and joy are no different anywhere in the world – it’s just that we all find those things in different places and different things. Here are a few of the pictures of people that I saw at the market. (Remember – clicking on the pictures enlarges them to their full size – and they are much better viewed that way, I think!)

Cooking on the street

Dancers talking before they get ready to perform

A grandma playing with her grandchild. Nothing different here than anywhere else in the world – pure joy and love.

Kid raking in the dough playing his violin on the street

Watching the traditional folk dancing show. Just loved how this woman was so intent.

All bundled up for the “weather” – which that day happened to be much warmer than this little bundle appears to be dressed for!

Now for the “goods”. So much fun to see what people buy. I’d say the biggest “sellers” were the smoked meats – you could buy bacon by the slab, sausages off the hanging stands, and of course as much good old smoked fish as you could ever eat. And ever other stand was some sort of meat and potato dish cooking in mass quantities on the street. So much fun to see and experience…and photograph, of course:
Fresh apples

Hanging bread…common, but less common than all the meat stands!

Cooking up lots and lots…and lots!…of food!

Flowers – a very traditional gift

Fresh Hazelnuts

Street meat…one of about a thousand options

Mushrooms – in almost every traditional Lithuanian dish

Street food cooking

Smoked fish – something you see EVERYWHERE there!

Knitting. Lots of it!

Beer Snacks

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