Lithuanian Bigotry on Display

The Forward has a very sad story about a terrible custom in Lithuania. Much of my family once lived there so I cannot help but wonder if they witnessed this. This sort of behavior should never be tolerated.

“in this city, once known as the Jerusalem of Lithuania because of the breadth and piety of its Jewish community. During Carnival — or Uzgavenes, as it is known in Lithuania — Catholics from around the world congregate for a feast of foods prohibited during Lent. The festival usually involves a parade or circus, with attendees in masks and costumes. But in Vilnius — commonly known to Jews as Vilna — participants traditionally dress and act “as Jews,” a feat that generally calls for masks with grotesque features, beards and visible ear locks and that is often accompanied by peddling and by stereotypically Jewish speech.

Perhaps even more shockingly, the “festivities” extend beyond the parade itself and into a Halloween-style trick-or-treating. When Simonas Gurevicius, the 26-year-old executive director of the Jewish Community of Lithuania, opened the door to his house during last year’s Uzgavenes, he was greeted by two children dressed in horns and tails, reciting a song that translates as, “We’re the little Lithuanian Jews/We want blintzes and coffee/If you don’t have blintzes/Give us some of your money.” (It rhymes in Lithuanian.)”

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