The new Swedish ambassador to Lithuania Lars Wahlund the Head of Promotion Robin Rinaldo was welcomed to the Faculty of Philology by the Dean Prof. Dr Mindaugas Kvietkauskas, the founder of the Centre for Scandinavian Studies and head of The Institute for the Languages and Cultures of the Baltic Assoc. Prof. Dr Erika Sausverde, head of The Institute for Literary, Cultural and Translation Studies Assoc. Prof. Dr Inga Vidugirytė-Pakerienė, head of the Department of Lithuanian Literature Prof. Dr Brigita Speičytė and head of Centre for Scandinavian Studies Assoc. Prof. Dr Ieva Steponavičiūtė-Aleksiejūnienė.
Standing from the left: Assoc. Prof. Dr Ieva Steponavičiūtė-Aleksiejūnienė, Assoc. Prof. Dr Erika Sausverde, Swedish ambassador to Lithuania Lars Wahlund, Dean Prof. Dr Mindaugas Kvietkauskas, Assoc. Prof. Dr Inga Vidugirytė-Pakerienė and Prof. Dr Brigita Speičytė.
During a round table meeting, new avenues of cooperation and cultural exchange were discussed between the Embassy of Sweden and the Faculty of Philology. One of the proposed fields was fostering interest in the Lithuanian diaspora research in Sweden and vice versa, as well as advancing the teaching of the Lithuanian language in the Swedish educational system.
The meeting was followed by the Ambassador Mr Wahlund's guest lecture to the Centre for Scandinavian Studies students. We present the highlights as told by Swedish language lecturer Erik Svenning:
The ambassador met the Swedish and Finnish students at Vilnius University on the 18th of October. He gave an overview of Swedish history from the Middle Ages, via the exceptionalism of the 20th century, to today’s heterogeneous Sweden. The room was packed with students who after his speech bombarded the ambassador with questions. Ranging from personal questions about what books he reads and what little town he was from, to the burning of the Coran and the recent gang criminality in Sweden. It was a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, and we concluded that the students and the ambassador would soon meet again and continue to get to know each other.