Silenai
Silenai
Silenai
Silenai
Silenai
Silenai
Silenai
Silenai
Silenai
Silenai
Silenai
Silenai
Silenai
Silenai
Silenai
Silenai
In search of the past. Children of Silenai.

Photography is evolving at amazing speed and because of it our community is becoming very advanced and skilled technologically. We have a huge potential to commemorate what will not occur later in even more advanced and more metropolitan community. That is purely invaluable. One of the Lithuanian photography classics even made a remark – there is nothing left worth photographing after people started to be so touchy and aware of their personal privacy rights. Our cities became very similar worldwide, similar copied objects, full of faceless and isolated people who are closed, superstitious and too aware of everything that surrounds them.

But who can say, there are no places anymore where being natural and ordinary still comes naturally, where bare feet and wide smiles are exactly the same as it was five decades ago. There is still a lot to photograph, the only problem is inability to find it, see it. One of things worth another look is our Lithuanian villages. We are not talking about the villages which were built during the Soviet reign in so common soviet masonry but about the old, authentic and unique places where you can make yourself believe that you came back in time.

Silenai is the small and very authentic village very close from the Lithuanian capital Vilnius. It is a place where summer is still barefooted and so familiarly careless. It is believed that the village is around 500 years ago and its biggest wealth is the small but cosy church of the St. Virgin Mary. Not very far from it there is a very small ancient spring believed to be miraculous for the deceased people. Here we met not only old people but young families whose kids are still enjoying the real summer. This is a story about the happy and friendly children of Silenai.
Silenai
Silenai
Silenai
Silenai
Silenai
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Silenai
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Silenai
From the diary

As soon as we arrived in the village a small dog with a name of Charlie met us in the main street made from cobbles. Walking around the village we met some local people. They were sitting and chatting in the porch of the old house.

They met us very friendly and were quite used to meeting visitors. Tourists often come here to visit either miraculous spring or the famous mound that is not too far from Silenai. They gave us some tips where to go and what to see. We had a great time talking but the main enchantment were the kids running all around. They were taking us to show every yard in the village and constantly asking a lot of questions in Lithuanian and Polish languages, while laughing and pushing each other to get all our attention.

Imperceptibly we lost the sense of time. We got into the feeling that we travelled back to 1950s and just small details put us back in our time frames. Children were happily posing in front of our cameras and soon became so manic that they ripped to pieces the flower bush next to the neighbour house. Later one of the kids went so mad he started to run around with a big branch and that was the moment when we thought it might be worth to slow down on this rampage.

Children would not be children. They soon asked us if we had any chocolates or candy, so we took a little time off and went to the local shop about 3 miles away. (Yes, that’s the closest shop they have). It took us around 15 minutes with a car to come back with a big bag of ice cream. We were greeted with a big present. In the main village yard on the sandy pavement we saw our names scratched in big letters. As soon as they saw us coming they started to run along the car and came all the way to the church fence to meet us. We got the amazing feel that someone is waiting for us here already.

Children were occupied with ice cream and we were drinking coffee and chatting with their parents when the rain suddenly started. We were invited to come inside the small old house to hide from the rain where we were seated and offered some sandwiches and another cup of coffee. Then one of the elders showed his old photos and told a bit about himself.

When the rain stopped and the sun was getting down. We went outside to get last pictures and to play in rain swamps. Some children were checking their baby teeth, some were climbing on the front porch and some were checking if one of them could fit in the barrel. Everyone was busy, we had a good laugh just watching them and frantically clicking our shutters. When it was time to say goodbye we asked everyone to get in front of a big gates next to the house and to pose for the last picture. It was all smiles and happiness in this last shot, remembering what a fun day it was.

After couple of weeks we came back there and were greeted like real friends. Children were very happy to see us and the photographs we promised to develop for them in the reminiscence of that happy summer weekend.