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Bishop's Stortford mayor joins Lithuanian community for Easter celebrations





The mayor of Bishop’s Stortford joined the town’s Lithuanian community for an authentic Easter celebration.

Cllr Dave Anderson was welcomed by Easter granny, a traditional character who brings presents for children and plays a variety of games.

He was shown the way chicken eggs are decorated for Easter, using beeswax, onion skin, flowers, grass and other natural ingredients.

From left, 'Easter Granny' Agne Stempliene, treasurer of Bishop’s Stortford Lithuanian Community (BSLC); Alvija Cerniauskaite, chair of the Lithuanian Association UK; Cllr Dave Anderson, mayor of Bishop’s Stortford; Viktorija Stanciukaite, chair of BSLC; and Ruta Cereskeviciute, secretary of BSLC
From left, 'Easter Granny' Agne Stempliene, treasurer of Bishop’s Stortford Lithuanian Community (BSLC); Alvija Cerniauskaite, chair of the Lithuanian Association UK; Cllr Dave Anderson, mayor of Bishop’s Stortford; Viktorija Stanciukaite, chair of BSLC; and Ruta Cereskeviciute, secretary of BSLC

He also enjoyed Lithuanian folk dancing and played the strongest egg game, in which competitors try to break the shell of their opponent. Cllr Anderson came second, beaten only by a one-year-old boy called Jonas.

There was also an Easter egg rolling game and the chance to taste traditional Lithuanian food including pan-fried potato pancakes and split yellow peas with bacon.

Cllr Anderson said: “I love embracing a variety of cultures and getting to know other countries' traditions.

Cllr Dave Anderson and Lithuanian children decorate eggs
Cllr Dave Anderson and Lithuanian children decorate eggs

“I'm glad the Bishop’s Stortford Lithuanian Community group creates an opportunity for Lithuanians to get together and keep their traditions alive.

“I have learned so much about Lithuanian Easter traditions and I want to thank the Lithuanian community for giving me this opportunity and inviting me to celebrate Easter with them.”

Guests at the event, attended by around 100 people, also included Alvija Cerniauskaite, chairperson of the Lithuanian Association UK on her first visit since the town’s group was launched in January.

Her gifts included a book for the children’s Sunday school and the association’s official flag.

Cllr Dave Anderson plays a traditional egg rolling game for Easter (63340305)
Cllr Dave Anderson plays a traditional egg rolling game for Easter (63340305)

She asked the mayor to take good care of the community.

Viktorija Stanciukaite, chair of the Bishop’s Stortford Lithuanian Community, said that its main objectives were to foster the language, culture and traditions of her home country.

She said: “I am beyond delighted about the enthusiasm and participation of Lithuanians living in Bishop’s Stortford and surrounding towns.

Cllr Dave Anderson takes part in a traditional Lithuanian game (63340294)
Cllr Dave Anderson takes part in a traditional Lithuanian game (63340294)

“Our community’s aim is to create a good image of Lithuania by presenting our customs and traditions to the wider society of Bishop's Stortford.”

Currently, the association’s main activity is a Sunday school for around 24 children aged three to 10 every second and fourth Sunday of the month at Little Hadham Primary School.

Cllr Dave Anderson enjoys traditional Lithuanian folk dancing (63340303)
Cllr Dave Anderson enjoys traditional Lithuanian folk dancing (63340303)

Viktorija added that the association was always seeking new opportunities to engage with local organisations and projects to promote diversity and cultural awareness.

Cllr Dave Anderson competes in the strongest egg competition (63340301)
Cllr Dave Anderson competes in the strongest egg competition (63340301)
Cllr Dave Anderson with the Easter bunny and Easter Granny Agne Stempliene (63340292)
Cllr Dave Anderson with the Easter bunny and Easter Granny Agne Stempliene (63340292)

* Send your club news and photos for publication in the Bishop's Stortford Independent via email to newsdesk@stortfordindie.co.uk.



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