I have some favourite hashtags I use on Facebook. Here they all are, in case you’re wondering what they mean.

#markasftw

In Lithuanian my name is Markas for grammar reasons that are hard to explain to speakers of less synthetic languages like English. During my election campaign I based everything on the hashtag #markasftw to show how young and cool and high-tech I am. I was told that campaigning on Facebook wouldn’t work, but it did. Now I use this hashtag whenever I need support or I achieve something and I want to congratulate myself for being awesome.

#konservaigonnakonserv

Conservatives in Lithuania are called “konservatoriai”, or more colloquially “konservai”, like the British conservatives are called “tories”. Lithuanian conservatives are not as up-to-date as British conservatives, and they’re often doing all those oldskool conservative things like demanding strict grammar on shopfronts, worrying about hijabs and abortions, defending children from the dangerous threat of gay parades or beating their chests and declaring themselves the most amazing patriots in the universe. Whenever I see a new ridiculous example in the news, I repost it and tag it.

#siaureseuropa

This is a sarcastic tag I use when people who claim that Lithuania is all supermodern and Scandinavian do something very backwards and out-dated. This happens a lot, so this tag might be the one I use most. It means “Northern Europe”, and if you ever say Lithuania is in Eastern Europe, I guarantee you a Lithuanian will come along and say “no it’s in Northern Europe” and point you to a wikipedia page with a UN definition of Northern Europe on it. They never seem to realise that Lithuania might be northern but it’s also definitely very eastern, and the culture is not as Scandinavian as they like to claim. The Prime Minister famously celebrated overtaking Estonia in some kind of economic rankings, but when asked about legalising same-sex partnerships he said “we shouldn’t overtake Estonia in everything”. Sometimes I use this tag when something really Northern happens, to show Lithuanian readers what Northern European things actually look like.

#potato

This is a tag I borrow from a friend who uses it to end an absurd discussion about something absurd and backward in Lithuanian politics. It’s better than endlessly going on and on repeating the obvious fact that the thing is absurd and backward. It’s a reference to Lithuania’s historically starch-based cuisine and agricultural economy which only changed recently. It kinda means “we have better things to do than to argue about this stupid thing”.

#rocketscience

This is a tag I love because so often people ask me dumb questions or fail to see the obvious solutions. For example if anti-immigration people complain about Lithuania having a small economy I say why not encourage immigration, #rocketscience. Sometimes I think if I posted “1+1=2” I would get people arguing that “in Lithuania 1+1=3” and telling me I should go back to England with my decadent western mathematics.

#thisissarcasm#thisisnotsarcasm

People often misunderstand my sarcasm, sometimes deliberately. I sometimes use these hashtags to help people understand my point, but sometimes I use these tags sarcastically, to make things more sarcastic. I think being universally understandable is boring and it’s more fun to keep people guessing, to keep their brains turned on and working hard. Once you get to know me, it’s pretty easy to guess when I am being sarcastic and when I am not.

#lietuvavisiems

This is a slogan meaning “Lithuania for everybody” which is promoted by me and other liberals. It is a protest against the nationalist slogan “Lithuania for Lithuanians” which was first used by pre-war anti-semites and is currently used by skinheads, losers, xenophobes and cryptonazis. I have shouted “Lietuva visiems” at their annual parade, a young Liberal wrote an essay about the concept, and this year an immigrant from Ecuador shouted it at their parade again and was told to “go away”. My personal profile pic on Facebook is a sign I made for the Baltic Pride parade which says “Lietuva Visiems”. The normal response from xenophobes is to ask if I want “muslims coming to Lithuania and cutting my head off”, to which I answer “no”. I am pretty sure decapitation is illegal in Lithuania, whatever your religion or skin colour is, and my slogan isn’t going to change that.

I am arguing for more immigration into Lithuania, more tolerance of minorities, and a more welcoming dual-citizenship policy, so I will be using #lietuvavisiems a lot before the national elections in October. Hopefully some of the candidates will listen. See you on Facebook.

http://facebook.com/markasftw