(written by Mykolas Kulakauskas)
It was at the end of August 2014. I packed my bag, kissed my friends and family goodbye and set off on a 1400 kilometre hitch-hiking trip from Lithuania to Denmark, to Tvind, in the middle of nowhere. Over about four days I caught rides from around 13 cars and walked over 30 kilometres. Here I was in Denmark, one of the happiest countries in the world, with its perfect social security system, its moist weather and its short summers. It was something that I had never experienced before. And so was my new home, Tvind.
Originally I thought Tvind would be like a kind of hippie community, but I was surprised. Well, it was partly true – the part that includes the peaceful, non-mainstream ideas, the part about thinking critically and challenging the world around us. And I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that their ideas go even further. Whatever issue the people here are struggling with – well, they find a way to challenge that issue and create their own new reality.
One example is the Tvind mill, the windmill that was built by people from Tvind in the 1970’s as a protest against nuclear power (a very interesting and inspiring story by the way). Another more recent example is the Peace Conference that was held for the first time in Tvind in April and will now become an annual event. These are just a couple of the many examples about how united people can change the world. I was surprised when I found out about all the political struggles and the historical background of Tvind. Fascinating.
I can understand now that I arrived in Tvind at a very convenient time – just in time for the preparations for Tvind’s Olympic Games. The games are a yearly event with over 600 people attending (that’s right, over 600). It was a huge event to organise and we made it happen in just four days. I worked together with a lot of other people from DNS teacher training college, from the DI programs and many other places. Another example of the power of people who are united! It also gave me a very good impression of how the place and people organise themselves towards the common and how a place like this is run by everyone, all at the same time.
So I spent ten days in Tvind before leaving to start my saving-up job in another school called Bustrup, about 60km from Tvind. During those ten days I had the chance to meet, see and talk with people from different teams and programs, different cultural, national and ethnic backgrounds, and even some with psychological or physical difficulties. I wondered about how a place like this manages to connect all of these different people. And I still wonder about that. This connection keeps me motivated to do more to promote the ideas and join the struggle. Olympics proved to be a good tool for that. Before long, I had to leave Tvind to work on my saving-up job. As we said goodbye, or rather see you soon, I knew already that I would miss all these great new people…
To find out more about the DNS and DI programs, visit