The regions of Lithuania are divided on the basis of their ethnography. This is in stark contrast with the usual division of regions for administrative purposes.The basis of division of the various regions by ethnographic parameters is due to the fact that each of these zones is different from each other with respect to their respective population and culture. All these Lithuanian regions have their own dialects spoken by the native population of the province. These dialects are variations of the language. Each of these zones have a distinctive folk culture as well. These regions have a varied topography and are home to diverse species of flora and fauna. None of these regions have ever been an administrative unit apart from Samogitia.
Amongst all these regions, a part of the region of Sudovia lies in Poland while the other half lies in Lithuania. There are five ethnographic regions in Lithuania which are as follows:
Aukstaitija in Lithuania is considered to be the largest region in the country. The region stretches over the eastern, northern and central portions of the country. The region derived its name from the native word called aukstai, which literally means lofty or high. The region comprises of a number of highlands and that perhaps accounts for its name. The region of Aukstaitija is covered by dense cover of forests. There are a number of lakes scattered through out the region. It is flocked by tourists during the summer months. But in spite of the influx of a large number of people, it has still managed to retain its natural beauty and charm. The region is also the home of the largest lake in the country. It is called Druksiai. The deepest water body of Lithuania is also located in Aukstaitija. The region wears an extremely rural look. It is more of a small peasant village. The population of the region till very recent times followed their traditional practices. One such customary practice was the one that called for the distribution of the land of a farmer amongst his sons. Most of the villages of the region are known as ‘ethnographic’ villages owing to their distinctive ethnographic character. These villages still retain their age old charm. The region is also known for its numerous tourist attractions. There are several museums in the region and the ones for bee keeping and horse are widely known.
Dzukija in Lithuania is located in the southern fringes of the country. The region derives its name from a slight deviation in the dialect of the region. It is a common practice in the region to use the alphabet ‘z’ after a consonant. The longest river in Lithuania flows past river Nemunas. The region shares its borders with that of Belarus and Poland. A large portion of the region is covered by with dense forests. The region is known for the mushrooms that are grown here during the summer and autumn season. During these two seasons the local population of the region are engaged in the picking of mushrooms. They are often joined by inhabitants of other regions as well. Dzukija in Lithuania comprises of a number of towns. Most notable amongst them is the old spa town of Druskinikai. The town is called so because of its extraordinary if not magical healing properties. The water of its springs is believed to contain medicinal properties. This was fact was acknowledged as early as 1794 and the town came to be known as the spa town and was also declared as a health resort. People visit this town to get well in the natural surroundings. The region is also the home to a number of natural reserves which include diverse forms of flora. It is the home to the Dzukija National Park.
Samogitia constitutes one of the regions in Lithuania. In the past, Samogitia was one of the administrative units within the erstwhile Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Samogitia covers an area of 21,000 square kilometers. There are a number of districts in the region including Telsiai, Taurage, Kaunas, Klaipeda and Mazeikiai. The majority of the population of the region uses the Samogitian dialect. The inhabitants of the region still adhere to their traditional lifestyles. They are one of the several ethnic groups in Lithuania and they strive to retain their indigenous language and culture. The region uses three variations of local dialect. On the basis of these variations, the region can be demarcated into three main divisions. The people of Samogitia who inhabit the districts like Akmene, Kretinga, Skuodas, Palanga, Mazeikiai, Telsiai and Plunge are known as northern Samogitians. The southern Samogitians comprise of the inhabitants of Silale, Kursenai, Taurage, Raseiniai, Varniai and Kelme. The people of the districts of Priekule, Silute, Klaipeda are known as the western Samogitians. The history of the region of Samogitia can be traced back to as early as the 13th century. The Samogitians are believed to be the descendants of the Baltic tribe. With the formation of the region the people of the Lithuania living at the banks of the River Nevezis came to be known as the Samogitians.
Sudovia as it is popularly known is also called Suvalkija and is one of the regions in Lithuania. The capital of the region is the Marijampole town. The largest town in the region is Kaunas while Marijampole is the second largest town. A part of Sudovia is in Lithuania, while the other part is in Poland. It occupies a section of southern Lithuania. The part of the region which occurs in Poland is called Suwalki.It is one of the chief cities in Poland occupied Sudovia It is located very close to the Polish border. Sudovia constitutes one of the smallest ethnographic zones of Lithuania. The population of the region of Sudovia generally use the Sodovian dialect. However, sections of the population of the surrounding regions namely Samogitia, Aukstatija and Lithuania minor also use the Sudovian dialect. The population of the region are believed to be the descendants of the Balts tribe. It belonged to the group of people from East Baltic. Earlier a large part of the region was under the Polish- Lithuanian Commonwealth. It came under Lithuanian control following a treaty with Russia. Sudovia is part of the five ethnographic regions that constitute Lithuania and perhaps the smallest of them.
Zemaitija occupies the western part of the country of Lithuania. The region’s history dates back to as early as the 13th century. The available accounts the show the mention of the region at this point of time. The population of Zemaitija in Lithuania are known for their hard working nature. Telsai is one of the cities in the region of Zemaitija. It was once the capital of the region. It is a small little settlement on the banks of a lake. The peasant population of the town takes great pride in the serene atmosphere of the town. The region is famous for the Alka Museum which houses a rare and impressive collection of historical and archaeological relics. The art collection at the Museum boasts of both Western European and Lithuanian art. It also provides one with an insight into the diverse flora and fauna of the region. Since the Lithuanian regions are divided on the basis of ethnography, the museum also includes other aspects of cultural life such as rural lifestyles, folklore and literary works. The Plateliai lake occupies a central location in the Zemaitija region. It is located in the middle of the national park. The region has been the site of various archaeological excavations as well. Zemaitija in Lithuania is famous for its dairy products. It is the producer of a milk product known as Kastinis. The population of Zemaitija accepted Christianity much later than the people of the other regions.
The regions of Lithuania are divided on the basis of their ethnography. This is in stark contrast with the usual division of regions for administrative purposes. There are five ethnographic regions in Lithuania.
The basis of division of the various regions by ethnographic parameters is due to the fact that each of these zones is different from each other with respect to their respective population and culture. All these Lithuanian regions have their own dialects spoken by the native population of the province. These dialects are variations of the language. The various regions in Lithuania are Dzukija, Sudovia, Aukstaitija, Samogitia and Zemaitija. Each of these zones have a distinctive folk culture as well. These regions have a varied topography and are home to diverse species of flora and fauna. None of these regions have ever been an administrative unit apart from Samogitia. Amongst all these regions, a part of the region of Sudovia lies in Poland while the other half lies in Lithuania.