Lithuania was traditionally an agricultural society,
and large families living in rural areas were once the norm. Today, however,
families are smaller, and 68% of the population lives in urban areas. In some
areas, there is a shortage of housing. Many Lithuanians live in apartments
and maintain a small cottage in the country, where they can grow fruits and
vegetables and relax outdoors.
Lithuanians tend to marry in their early twenties.
Common-law marriages, although generally accepted by society, are not regarded
as a legal form of marriage. The divorce rate is high and single mothers head
many households. Elders are treated with respect and it is not unusual for
parents to live with their adult children and help raise their grandchildren.
Nursing homes are uncommon. Young children are expected to obey their parents
and may be disciplined if they do not.
Weddings are joyous occasions. In the past, the
celebrations often continued for more than a week. All the couple's
neighbours and friends were invited. It was a custom for men from
neighbouring villages to arrive uninvited. Today, weddings are still
important celebrations and the bride and groom welcome their family,
friends and neighbours for dancing, drinks and a festive meal.
Traditionally, Lithuanian women were homemakers.
Today, many work outside the home in business or the professions.
Government-supported child-care programs have helped women enter the
business world. Women and men are considered equal in the eyes
of the law, but most Lithuanian women have full responsibility for
their homes and children in addition to their careers.
Did you know?|
In the past, Lithuanians held a wake when someone died.
For the entire night before the burial of the body, hymns and laments were
sung for the soul of the deceased.