Friendship and Spending Time with Friends in the City in Lithuania and Bulgaria

  • Žilvytis Šaknys
Keywords: friendship, gender, holiday, leisure, regional identity, Sofia, Vilnius


This article seeks to compare friendship bonds formed and maintained in two EU capital cities. There is an analysis of how people of various ages in Vilnius and Sofia perceive friendship, their assessments of friendship between people of different genders and how friendly bonds are maintained during leisure time and celebrations. The research revealed a similar concept of friendship in both cities. People in Sofia are more inclined to spend their leisure time with friends in the outdoors, while relatively more Vilnius-residents complain about having too little free time, which limits their opportunities to meet with friends after work, on weekends, or even during the holidays. When analysing how friends spend time together during celebrations, the greatest differences were observed in mass celebrations. State and traditional celebrations are marked in Vilnius, while in Sofia public traditional celebrations are rarely marked. In Sofia, unlike Vilnius, they are celebrated by going  to the hometowns of parents or grandparents (or to villages and towns not far from Sofia if there are no older-generation family members), in this way forming and maintaining friendly relations with people originating from those places.