In pictures: her 50th birthday

UTENA, Lithuania — Last weekend I was lucky enough to attend the fiftieth birthday party of an Utena woman named Danutė, and needless to say I got stuffed with good food, soused with strong drink and had a blast.

While there I recalled a bit from the first chapter of Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” which describes a wedding of Lithuanian immigrants in my former abode of Chicago in the early 1900s.

“…it is so beautiful! Bit by bit these poor people have given up everything else; but to this they cling with all the power of their souls — they cannot give up the veselija!”

Sure life can be tough here, but despite its ups and downs Lithuanians still party with an effervescent joy. With that in mind I snapped together “Happy Birthday Danutė,” a photo essay of the party and a slice of life of Lithuania in 2010.

Photo by Nathan Greenhalgh/Baltic Reports

Food prepared for the party awaits the guest. It took hours to prepare. Photo by Nathan Greenhalgh/Baltic Reports

Danutė's younger relatives welcome party guests. Photo by Nathan Greenhalgh/Baltic Reports

"Sveika!" Photo by Nathan Greenhalgh/Baltic Reports

Photo by Nathan Greenhalgh/Baltic Reports

The kepta duona is waiting. Photo by Nathan Greenhalgh/Baltic Reports

Danutė's nephew gives her a birthday present. Photo by Nathan Greenhalgh/Baltic Reports

The present was a rabbit. Photo by Nathan Greenhalgh/Baltic Reports

After dinner, everyone went outside to dance. Photo by Nathan Greenhalgh/Baltic Reports

Danutė's sister kept it lively with her accordion. Photo by Nathan Greenhalgh/Baltic Reports

Danutė lights a sky lantern. Photo by Nathan Greenhalgh/Baltic Reports

More sky lanterns. Photo by Nathan Greenhalgh/Baltic Reports

Setting the lanterns aloft. Photo by Nathan Greenhalgh/Baltic Reports

Hanging out. Photo by Nathan Greenhalgh/Baltic Reports

Men at the party heave Danutė and her chair up as a birthday toast. Photo by Nathan Greenhalgh/Baltic Reports

All photos are
© 2010 Baltic Reports. Republishing without permission is prohibited by law.

1 Response for “In pictures: her 50th birthday”

  1. Robyn says:

    You’re copy of The Jungle is still at my apartment in Chicago!!! Come back soon!!

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