At the initiative of Vilnius City Municipality, installations with words of a unique context are shining in many streets of the Old Town. The words that encrypt a diverse urban identity represent openness to different cultures, attitudes, and personalities.
Science and studies are inseparable from language sensitivity, language mastery and understanding, the formulation of one’s thoughts, and the ability to communicate them to others. The language of science and terminology is formed at the university; definitions, dictionaries, and semantic structures are born, for the revision of which years and careers are dedicated.
The history of Vilnius University is closely related to multilingualism. The basics of Lithuanian writing were developed here alongside to Latin and Polish languages. Here, the Lithuanian language began to become not only an everyday language but also a scientific language. Lithuanian words were added to the dictionary.
During this festive period, together with the Presidency of the Republic of Lithuania located in the neighbourhood, we invite residents of Vilnius and visitors to visit Universiteto Street and get acquainted with the fragments of a poem by Nobel Laureate Czesław Miłosz dedicated to the memory of Konstantinas Sirvydas.
Sirvydas is a symbol of multilingualism and multiculturalism. He is considered to be the best Lithuanian language expert of the 17th century and is the author of the first Polish-Latin-Lithuanian dictionary, which commemorates the 400 anniversary this year.
As we celebrated a holiday season, which is full of hustle and bustle, stop for a moment and look at the language through the intellectual eyes of Sirvydas. Take in these words:
They caught and owned it. On the lips of time. The word.
Heard as a child by the native river
– and see the returning images of childhood, which reflect the most important memories, the first fragile sensations, warm stories, and meaningful words that shape the way of life later.
Listen to your thoughts:
Academia Societatis Jesu [...]
I open the dictionary as if invoking spirits
– look back at the university and see the vocabulary that has existed for centuries, containing the knowledge that is gradually accumulating and deepening, demonstrating our cognitive and creative powers, educating people who are sensitive to language, the world, and each other.
With these lively words, Vilnius University congratulates the townspeople on the holiday period and wishes to remember the importance of the right word and sensitive language in creating a festive mood, maintaining contact with close people, and nurturing the foundation of the state – community spirit.