Culture & Immersion

How to be Lithuanian: Eat, Smoke, Drink & Play

God knows why you chose to take up this mission, learning how to be Lithuanian. But you’ve already committed yourself by reading this far. Nope, no going back… It’s your duty now, might as well throw away your Miller Lights, doobies and Mickey Dee’s, ‘cuz we do it different. We have black bread, basically non-alcoholic beverages made from black bread and lots of potatoes, so grab your hoe and shovel, we’re getting Lithuanian!

Lithuania is a big farm with two very large farm cities (the capital Vilnius, and Kaunas) and some farm ports, and yea… the rest is legit farmland. To put Lithuania’s size into perspective:

Lithuania vs Netherlands size comparison

That’s right, we got more farm space than the Dutch!

And some more perspective, Netherlands has a population of roughly 17 million. Lithuania? Less than 3 million (and shrinking unfortunately…). Now you have two options in learning how to be Lithuanian. Either take up your shovel, sunflower seeds and cigs and embrace the farm life, or grab a beer and cigs and disguise yourself as a city farmer… dweller… what-ever.

So let’s get to training! First things first, you’ll have to learn how to make a coffee the Lithuanian way. We don’t need none of that French press baloney, we got it figured out.

Here’s how you Make Coffee the Lithuanian Way

Learn how to be Lithuanian

That’s right, get the grinds, put em in the cup, add the hot water and hallelujah, I’m ready to start my day! And if you think your old country does coffee better, then talk to the cow because he’s the only one that’ll hear it.

How to Eat Lithuanian

Now it’s time to talk food. You’re hungry and I know I’m hungry. You have many options: potato pancakes, potato zeppelins, potato casserole, oh and you can even get some fried potatoes.

Potatoe pancakes, an example of how to create everything out of potatoes

Potatoe pancakes, an example of how to create everything out of potatoes

How to be Lithuanian: Foods

Oh yea and we also have bacon fat!

From now on when you go grocery shopping this is what you’re going to buy (buckwheat grains, cabbage and herring not pictured). If you’ve only ever known American milk, you will be blessed with the best tasting milk that not even Germany can compete with! So embrace those utters, especially if you’re out on the farm. You won’t find any cows and pigs here treading in their own poop their whole life like they do in the United States.

Since you’re eating, you have to keep that mouth wet and what better beverage is there to do the job than Gira. That’s it in the photo above. Also known in Russia as Kvas, it looks like beer, it’s made like beer, but it’s not beer… It’s a very low alcoholic sweet drink made from black bread, fruits, berries and caraway seeds.

How to Play Lithuanian

Don't be a Durnius

Don’t be an idiot!

To play like a Lithuanian you must play our card game Durnius which translates to idiot. It’s a game popular amongst all post soviet states which can be played with a regular deck of cards with anywhere from 2-5 people. To learn the rules of Durnius either google it or ask any Lithuanian and they’ll teach you if you offer them a beer. Just remember. In Durnius there are no winners, only idiots…

How to Smoke Lithuanian

Unfortunately when it comes to Lithuania, smoking cigs = super popular and smoking pot = up to €300 if you get caught and dealers are f*cked. I don’t get how our backwards government works here yet but when it comes to marijuana, Lithuania is as well informed about it as Donald Trump is on global warming, or anything political really… But when you get all your news about drugs from the cows your milking you can’t really blame them for not knowing.

With that said, if you do attempt to find pot here, use code words and never mention it on Facebook. A little bird told me that they track fishy Facebook messages among users that trigger specific words about pot. Don’t know how true it is, but regardless this is not Berlin. You can’t smoke it where you want it.

How to be Lithuanian

So now that you know what to eat, drink and not to smoke (in public) it’s time I teach you how to be Lithuanian. If you’re going to be Lithuanian you must learn how to swear like one. I won’t teach you any nasty words like fuck, shit or cunt. Nope, words like that don’t exist in Lithuanian. Instead they use mostly Russian swear words to convey those expletives. But you’re here to learn Lithuanian not Russian. Instead you better learn to start calling people bull frogs, grass-snakes and these:

How to swear like a Lithuanian - hedgehog

“I hope that a hedgehog sprouts out when your pooping!”

Disclaimer: these are actually very, very old swear words. You’ll likely never hear these in real life. You’re more likely to hear kurva, or whore, but that is as rude as I’ve ever heard in actual Lithuanian. Instead they’ll mix Russian swear words in with the Lithuanian.

How to swear like a Lithuanian - mushroom ears

“So that your ears get clogged with mushrooms”

Swear like a Lithuanian - dog's behind

“Oh you dog’s behind!”

Unfortunately I can’t give you the personality breakdown of the stereotypical Lithuanian, you’ll just have to improvise using your own personality. On a whole Lithuanians are not as friendly as your average Mexican (I think it has to do with the summers lasting 4 months and the rest being a stinging winter), but we’re not as closed off as the Germans. With that said that’s no reason not to force a greeting out of your grumpy neighbor and reflect that sun off your glimmering smile!

I apologize that I cannot fit a whole guide on how to be Lithuanian in 900 words but with this knowledge I believe you can go out into this country of farmers and… farm, I guess…