Like a Saint Relic

Most families that had immigrated before World War II, not only cherished Lithuanian language, saved, taught younger generations, but … They all understood the value of own language. Nowadays, people have tendency to think that children, who are born abroad, will never become bilingual, will not have a desire to learn their parent’s language, or even if they will learn few words, will quickly and purposely forget them. However, we also have many different stories, examples, I am very happy to be able to introduce to our readers the family of famous dancers, Darius and Jolanta Mosteika from the United States, who are visiting Lithuania every year. Their son Andrew Jason and daughter Leila Nicole fluent speak three languages. And not only speak.

The Mosteika’s arrived to Lithuania this year during the National State Day celebrations and truly enjoyed the Dance Day festivities in Vilnius. After that, their son Andrew Jason, who is only 15 years old, was born in the USA, attends school there, speaks fluent Lithuanian, took time to present his second translated book to the children. Last year he translated children’s book Planet Earth Gets Well by an American author, Madeline Kaplan. The book teaches kids about climate change, ecological issues and how to deal and help with that. This year, Andrew has translated the second book, The Seven Nights of Santa, by Dwight Ensley and Carolyn Woodruff, also from the United States.

Andrew’s grandfather, Telesforas Mosteika, was born and grew up in the Kalnujai area, that is why Andrew chose his presentation here. The Seven Nights of Santa is a holiday book for small children, their parents, grandparents, and caregivers. Today’s family units encompass a large variety of family forms. Many children do not live with both of their natural parents. This leads to much stress and dispute not only during the holidays, but in every-day life. In The Seven Nights of Santa, Captain Green Eyes resolves the issue. Both Mosteika’s children are growing up in very diverse and multi-cultural environment. Andrew specially enjoys foreign languages and has a strong desire to motivate and help others to succeed better, happier future.

“I will always cherish my Lithuanian family roots, here live so many people that are very close to me, I will never forget that. I am not sure if I will ever return to live here, but for sure I always be proud Lithuanian. In comparison to New York, Lithuania is like a tiny green island”, said Andrew during his last visit.

“We all can help each other and the country we love. I brought here another book that I have translated. I will be very happy if children will read it. “, said Andrew. And the interest was huge, parents brought kids not only from Kalnujai, but surrounding villages of Bruzdziai and Dobrastis as well.

Together with his sister Leila, Andrew not only taught local kids English, they organized different games to improve their English vocabulary.

At the end of the reception everyone received a copy of the translated book, as well as a small gift. Andrew’s grandfather invited everyone for hors d’oeuvres. It was truly a wonderful afternoon. All attendees wished them best of luck and invited to return next year with another book. Andrew and Leila kindly thanked organizers and reminded all that we are proud Lithuanians.