Uzupis District: Neverland for those who don’t want to grown up

There are many places that can hit you hard, so evocative to remain impressed over the years.

One of these places is the Republic of Uzupis, Vilnius.

uzupis vilnius
Uzupis district

We did not even know about its existence before we left for our road trip, before we gathered information about Baltic capitals.

But what is it?

Uzupis (which in Lithuanian means “on the other side of the river”) is, as you have inferred from the name, the neighborhood on the right side of the Vilnia River.
Historically, it is a high-density area of Jews
After World War II this area was almost completely private of all its inhabitants. The immediate consequences were the degradation of the neighborhood and a series of uninhabited buildings that during the Soviet domination were filled with homeless, prostitutes and troubled people.
Uzupis thus became the most problematic part of the Lithuanian capital.
This was until 1990, the year of independence.
Then there was a reversal trend: low prices favored the purchase of estate by artists and intellectuals who were also deeply attracted by the bohemian and run-down atmosphere.
The area began an upgrading process that ended with the creation of the Republic of Uzupis on April 1, 1997 thanks to the mind of the poet, musician and film director Romas Lileikis.

He chose a hymn, a president, created a small army and a flag. The popularity of the republic has recorded a huge increase: the values of brotherhood, tolerance and compassion overwhelmed not only the district, but crossed borders and oceans to reach people of the caliber of the Dalai Lama who is now a proud honorary citizen.

Angel in the main square of Uzupis, Vilnius
Angel in the main square of Uzupis, Vilnius

The Constitution

Translucent tables translated into different languages and hung on the walls of a street of the republic report the rights, duties and values of the citizens.

Constitution of Uzupis

1. Everyone has the right to live by the River Vilnelė, and the River Vilnelė has the right to flow by everyone.
2. Everyone has the right to hot water, heating in winter and a tiled roof.
3. Everyone has the right to die, but this is not an obligation.
4. Everyone has the right to make mistakes.
5. Everyone has the right to be unique.
6. Everyone has the right to love.
7. Everyone has the right not to be loved, but not necessarily.
8. Everyone has the right to be undistinguished and unknown.
9. Everyone has the right to idle.
10. Everyone has the right to love and take care of the cat.
11. Everyone has the right to look after the dog until one of them dies.
12. A dog has the right to be a dog.
13. A cat is not obliged to love its owner, but must help in time of nee[d].
14. Sometimes everyone has the right to be unaware of their duties.
15. Everyone has the right to be in doubt, but this is not an obligation.
16. Everyone has the right to be happy.
17. Everyone has the right to be unhappy.
18. Everyone has the right to be silent.
19. Everyone has the right to have faith.
20. No one has the right to violence.
21. Everyone has the right to appreciate their unimportance. [In Lithuanian this reads Everyone has the right to realize his negligibility and magnificence.]
22. No one has the right to have a design on eternity.
23. Everyone has the right to understand.
24. Everyone has the right to understand nothing.
25. Everyone has the right to be of any nationality.
26. Everyone has the right to celebrate or not celebrate their birthday.
27. Everyone shall remember their name.
28. Everyone may share what they possess.
29. No one can share what they do not possess.
30. Everyone has the right to have brothers, sisters and parents.
31. Everyone may be independent.
32. Everyone is responsible for their freedom.
33. Everyone has the right to cry.
34. Everyone has the right to be misunderstood.
35. No one has the right to make another person guilty.
36. Everyone has the right to be individual.
37. Everyone has the right to have no rights.
38. Everyone has the right to not to be afraid.
39. Do not defeat.
40. Do not fight back.
41. Do not surrender.

It is one of the most beautiful constitutions ever written. Few words and so many feelings make it so close to anyone reading it.
We have tattooed it on our hearts.

Uzupis District: Neverland for those who don’t want to grown up ultima modifica: 2017-11-11T22:10:28+00:00 da Travelholicsouls

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