The Lithuanians are proud of their culture and their national heritage. Visitors should take care to respect this sense of national identity. Lithuanians are also known for their hospitality and outgoing nature. They like to entertain and be entertained; singing plays a large role in family gatherings.
The predominant religion in Lithuania is Christianity, with the largest confession being Roman Catholicism.
Since 1991, the official language of Lithuania is the Baltic language of Lithuanian, a language closely related to Latvian. More than 80% of the country's 3.8m population speaks Lithuanian as their first language. Minority languages include Belarusian (1.5%), Polish (7.7%), Russian (8%). Others, most notably Ukrainian and Yiddish make up a further 2.1%.
Handshaking is customary. Normal courtesies should be observed.
Local specialties include skilandis (smoked meat), salti barsciai (cold soup), cepelinai (made from grated potatoes, with a minced meat filling), vedarai (potato sausage) and bulviniai blynai (potato pancakes). Smoked eel is a famous Baltic delicacy. Rye bread is eaten every day with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Local brands of beer and imported drinks are popular. A famous Lithuanian spirit is Mead (midus) a mild alcoholic beverage made from honey. Water supplies are generally reliable in cities, though it has a high menral content and can be cloudy. Bottled or filtered water is preferable for these reasons. If traveling in rural areas, drink only bottled water.