From Academic Kids

Lithuanians are a nationality in Europe, mainly lives in Lithuania. They speaks Lithuanian language, a language of Baltic language group. They are predominantly Roman Catholic, their race is white. Lithuanians genetically together with Dutch and some other nationalities are one of tallest peoples in the world. The territory of the nation once was inhabitted by several Baltic nationalities (Sudovians, Lamatians, Curonians, Sellonians, Samogitians, Nadruvians and others) which over the time under the Grand Duchy of Lithuania consolidated into Lithuanian nation. Lithuanians were the last non-nomad European nation to abandon paganism. Since the time of Lithuanian Grand Duchy, the territory inhabitted by the nation shrunk - once Lithuanians made up a majority of population not only in what is now Lithuania, but also what is now northwestern Belarus, Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia, also in some parts of modern days Latvia and Poland. However, due to the view towards Lithuanian language as being unprestigious during late medieval and preffering of Polish language in the territories of Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth and prefferance of German language in territories of East Prussia, the territory inhabitted by Lithuanian-speakers shrunk. Imperial Russian occupation also helped to this. It was believed by scientists of the time that Lithuanian nation would become extinct in a few generations. In the end of XIX age there was a cultural and linguistic revival however, and some of the Polish and Byelarussian speaking Lithuanians still associated themselves with Lithuanian nation, while others did not. Lithuania achieved independence after World War 1 and this helped to consolidate Lithuanian nation, standart Lithuanian language was approved. The eastern parts of Lithuania were occupied by Poland however as Vilnius region, while the western were controlled by Germany. Later Lithuania was occupied by Soviet Union, which destroyed long standing communities of Lithuanians in Kaliningrad Oblast and Belarussian SSR. Lithuanian nation only remained in Lithuania, a few villages in Poland and Latvia and also emmigrants (who were naturalising in their new homelands). Lithuania however regained independence in 1990 (recognised in 1991) and this helped Lithuanians to get some hope. However, Lithuania became part of European Union and this (emigration of Lithuanains, immigration of outsiders, dominance of English which is starting) together with invasion of western culture might threaten Lithuanian nation once again.


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