My Generation, This Generation

There were two official commemorations sponsored by the Kaunas municipality on May 14.  I did not attend the first one at noon on Monday because I was at the secondary school.  I did attend the one in the evening, which was jointly sponsored by Vytautas Magnus University.  I believe that the mid-day event consisted mainly of speeches.  The evening event featured a rock concert by local young Lithuanian rock bands next to the Kalanta memorial.  A large screen displayed photographs of the demonstrations that followed Kalanta’s suicide as well as photos of Kalanta.  I spent part of the evening hanging out with several former hippies whom I interviewed last year for my research.  While the stage hands were setting up, music from the later 1960s was being played over the sound system.  At one point, The Who’s “My Generation” was playing and the hippies at the table (and I) were all singing along.  Suddenly, “My Generation” was interrupted by blaring metal music as the next band started performing.  One of the hippies pointed at the stage and said “now this generation!”  Perhaps the most interesting comment that evening was the number of former hippies who said to me that, in 1972, they could have never imagined that they would one day be sitting in the city center, listening to a rock concert in independent Lithuania.  But 40 years later, there we were.

The screen by the memorial with a photograph of Romas Kalanta.


The concert next to the Kalanta memorial — May 14, 2012


With two former hippies from 1972



About amanda

Creating academic and public environments for the humanities to flourish Researching Soviet and Eastern European history Engaging people and ideas as a writer and interviewer Traveling as much as possible View all posts by amanda

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