Minister of Culture Indrek Saar (SDE) thanked the participants and organizers of the 12th Youth Song and Dance Festival on Sunday. In a short address at the end of the festival, Saar pointed out that as a small people, Estonians needed confirmation that their language and culture was strong enough to remain.
“The Youth Song and Dance Festival confirms this in the strongest and most powerful way. And all this thanks to the cool young people, the thousands of young dancers and singers, and hundreds of musicians who are making this festival for us,” Saar said.
He added that this year’s motto, “Here I’ll stay”, was the next generation’s clear word that the great festivals would continue. “This knowledge is tremendously rewarding, but nothing can come from an empty place. What we hear from the young has to make us think seriously about what we need to do here and now to continue our singing, dancing, and musical tradition,” the minister said.
Song festivals have been a symbol of Estonian culture and independence since the 19th century. During Soviet times, the communist state hijacked the traditional gatherings for its own propaganda, but never succeeded in supplanting the tradition’s most important songs and symbols.
Editor: Dario Cavegn