To answer these questions we invited refugees, asylum seekers and migrants from different places who are currently making Vilnius their home. We asked our listeners to join.
(Listen to the podcast episode above)
According to a national survey from 2013, there are people of 154 different ethnicities living in Lithuania. But it rarely feels that way. 84% of less than 3 million people in Lithuania are ethnic Lithuanians, 7 percent are Polish and 6 percent are Russian, which makes everyone else feel like minority.
And public attitudes confirm that. A recent survey, published by the Ethnic Research Institute, showed that 1/3 people in Lithuania wouldn’t rent their apartment to a Muslim. Only 1/4 believe that refugees can enrich a cultural life of Lithuania.
However, according to the same survey, most Lithuanians haven’t met any migrants from non-EU countries and therefore haven’t got a chance to know them personally. Their views were formed by the media. This event, in which people of more than ten different nationalities participated, was a rare opportunity to have a cross-cultural conversation.