- The official name of Lithuania is Lietuvos Respublika (translated as the Republic of Lithuania).
- Etymology. Lithuania’s name was first mentioned as "Lituae" (the genitive form of the Latin word Litua) in 1009. According to the most widely accepted hypothesis, the name of Lithuania originated from the verb lieti (to pour). The name of Lithuania may be related to the small river Letauka or Lietauka. Or it may be related to the German word leiten (to lead, to conduct), originally meaning “warrior band,”
- History. The first settlers of Lithuania arrived about 12,000 BCE. In 3,000–2,500 B. C., the Indo-European Balts came to live here. Between the 5th and 8th centuries tribal groupings formed in the western territories: Prussians, Yotvingians, Curronians, Zemgalians, Lithuanians and Latgallians. .
- Geography. Lithuania is about the size of West Virginia. Lithuania's border countries are: Belarus, Latvia, Poland, and Russia (Kaliningrad)
- Climate. The climate in Lithuania is temperate continental. Typically there are several very hot weeks in the summer and one or two very cold weeks in winter.
- Language. Lithuanian is a Baltic language related to Latvian and Old Prussian with about 3.2 million speakers in Lithuania. There are also Lithuanian speakers in Poland, the USA, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, the UK and Uruguay.
- Government. Since Lithuania declared the restoration of its independence on 11 March 1990, it has maintained strong democratic traditions.
- Vilnius. Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, and its largest city, with a population of 537,152 as of 2013. It is located in the southeast part of the country and is the second biggest city of the Baltic states. Old town in the city is known for its beautiful architecture.
- Cuisine. Lithuanian cuisine features foods suited to the cool and moist climate: barley, potatoes, rye, beets, greens, berries, mushrooms, and dairy products. It is similar to Scandinavian cuisine but with its own features. There are similar Lithuanian, Litvak, and Polish versions of dumplings (koldūnai, kreplach or pierogi), doughnuts spurgos or (pączki ), and blynai crepes (blintzes). German traditions also influenced Lithuanian cuisine, introducing pork and potato dishes. The most exotic of all the influences is Eastern (Karaite) cuisine.
- Karaism. With only 290 adherents the Karaite faith is the smallest of the tradional religions in Lithuania. Considered by Jews to be a type of Judaism, the Lithuanian Karaism distanced itself from the Jewish religion over the centuries. Even the Nazis had a separate policy on the Karaites and this saved the community from the persecutions which the Jews had to face.
- Sports. Basketball is the national sport of Lithuania. The Lithuania national basketball team has had significant success in international basketball events. Having won a total of 10 medals in the EuroBasket, the World Championships and the Olympic Games, formerly Lithuania was even ranked 3rd worldwide in FIBA Rankings (now 4th). Lithuania has produced a number of NBA players.
- Neringa is a unique natural phenomenon. These wandering dunes were shaped for over 5000 years as the waves andwinds of the Baltic Sea drifted the sands and eventually shaped the Curonian Spit, dividing sea and the Curonian bay. This place is a protected national park and UNESCO site.
© Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption Including Neighboring Countries
FRUA is a service-marked acronym of Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption in use since 1994. It and the full organizational name, Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption, are not to be used to describe any organization or service not related to FRUA, without permission.