Lithuanian Karaim Cultural Society was established in 1988. Since then our organization has implemented many projects for preservation and promotion of Karaim culture with support of Lithuanian governmental organisations (Department for national minorities, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Culture, Culture foundation), Open Society Fund Lithuania, institutions from other countries (Swedish Institute, Uppsala university, Finnish cultural foundation, Turkish Presidency for Turks abroad), several municipalities, Lithuanian Karaim religious community, private persons, scientists.
In our activities we cooperate with Karaim communities in Poland, Russia and Ukraine, and always strive to foster our contacts with Lithuanian people and other national minorities in Lithuania. Some reflections on present situation of the community and its culture are presented in interview of Karina Firkaviciute, chair of Lithuanian Karaim Cultural Society, given to Goethe-Institut Vilnius http://www.goethe.de/ins/lt/vil/kul/mag/kuv/kvg/de10197118.htm
This is the list of main activities implemented by Lithuanian Karaim cultural society:
- 1988 – 1st public performance of Karaim folklore (Vilnius, Palace of Trade unions)/
- 1988 – 1990 – Lithuanian TV and radio programs on Karaim culture and traditions, cultural events at Vilnius House of Scientists and Vilnius Art Palace
- 1989 – 1st international congress of Karaim communities in Trakai (Karaims from Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, France).
- 1990 – visit to the 7th congress of Polish Karaims (Warsaw) – presentations, concerts.
- 1990 – 1991- studies on cultural heritage of Lithuanian Karaims, preparatory documentation for registration, revitalisation of tangible and intangible assets, including plans for restauration of Vilnius kenesa.
- 1991-1993 – works on restauration of Vilniaus kenesa.
- 1991- international scientific conference in honour of Karaim highest spiritual leader Hachan Hadji Seraya Han Shapshal (1873-1961) to commemorate 30th anniversary of his decease (Vilnius University).
- 1991 – exhibition “Karaims in Panevezys” (together with Panevezys city history museum).
- 1991- 1992 – documentary “Lithuania is not Crimea” (together with Lithuanian public TV channel).
- 1992 – restored Lithuanian Karaim religious community, registration of its statutes, election of spiritual leader, religious board of the community and president of the community.
- 1992 – conference in honour of Simon Firkovich (1897-1982), senior spiritual leader of Lithuanian Karaims to commemorate 10th anniversary of his decease (in Trakai).
- 1993 – international scientific conference in honour of prof. Ananiasz Zajączkowski (1903-1970) to commemorate his 90th birth anniversary (Vilnius, together with Lithuanian Tartar community).
- 1993 – Consecration of Vilnius kenesa.
- 1994 – publication of the volume “Kipchak Turks in Lithuania” (Vilnius).
- 1995 – 1996 – visits to Panevezys, Birzai, Naujamiestis meeting local Karaim people, presentation of Karaim culture at the municipality of Panevezys, concert.
- 1997 – celebration of 600 year anniversary of Karaims and Tartars settling in Lithuania (conference, official ceremony, festivities and concerts in Trakai, publication of commemorative coin, several book publications).
- 1998 – exhibition of Hadji Seraya Han Shapshal archive in the Library of Lithuanian Academy of Sciences (Vilnius).
- 1998 – establishment of Karaim folklore group “Sanduhac” (children and youth).
- 1999 – exhibition of Hadji Seraya Han Shapshal archive in the National museum of Lithuania (Vilnius).
- 1999 – 2001- preparation and launch of information on Karaims at Virtual exhibition of Lithuanian cultural heritage http://alka.mch.mii.lt/karaimai/index_en.htm.
- 2000 – publication of an album on Hadji Seraya Han Shapshal historical collection (in cooperation with the National museum of Lithuania, Vilnius).
- 2000 – publication of a book “Karaims in military service” (M. Zajonckovski) in cooperation with the National museum of Lithuania, Vilnius. International Karaim sport festival (Trakai). International Scientific Turcological Conference dedicated to prof. Ananjasz Zajaczkowski (Ankara, in collaboration with Turkish language institute, Polish academy of sciences, Lithuanian and Polish embassies).
- 2002 – 2003 – summer activities for children and youth in Trakai.
- 2003 – study visit to Crimea. International scientific conference “Karaim days” (Warsaw, in cooperation with Polish Karaim association). Documentary “Karaim dreams” (in cooperation with the Lithuanian public TV channel) http://www.lrt.lt/mediateka/irasas/11079/karaimu_godos
- 2003 – 2005 – project on digitalisation of Karaim video and audio archives.
- 2004 – commemoration of Mykolas Firkovicius (1924 – 2000), senior spiritual leader of Karaim community on the occasion of his 80th birth anniversary (Vilnius, The House of National Minorities). Collaboration with BBC and UNESCO in preparation of TV program on endangered Karaim language (Trakai, London). Visit of Lithuanian Karaim delegation (53 persons) to Crimea to celebrate the reconsecration of Kenesa in Eupatorium.
- 2005 – international Karaim language study school (Trakai).
- 2006 – international Karaim language study school (in cooperation with Crimean Karaim organisations, Feodosia). International Karaim language study school (Trakai).
- 2006 – 2007 – international scientific conference dedicated to 610th anniversary of Karaims and Tartars settling in Lithuania (Vilnius, together with Lithuanian Tartars association). International Karaim language study school (Trakai). Preparation and publication of our website www.karaim.eu.
- 2008 – publication of a book “Oriental people in the society of Lithuanian Grand Duchy: Karaims and Tartars” (Vilnius). International Karaim language study school (Trakai).
- 2009 – concert tour of folklore group “Sanduhac” to Turkey (Antalya). International Karaim language study school (Trakai).
- 2010 – international Karaim language study school (Trakai).
- 2011 – international Karaim language study school (Trakai). Establishment of new Karaim youth folklore group “Birlik” (Vilnius, Trakai).
- 2012 – 10th international Karaim language study school (Trakai). Activities of folklore group “Birlik” (concerts, trips, preparation of new program, costumes).
- 2013 – international Karaim language study school (Trakai). Activities of folklore group “Birlik”.
- 2014 – international Karaim language study school.
Till 2000 Karaim language lessons were organised on a smaller scale. In addition, every year some activities are presented for children on the New Year’s eve and before the start of a new school season.