What is a century? What significance one hundred years hold in the infinity of our time? It takes one hundred years for a pine to grow, it can also be a life span of a fortunate human, who lives the life watching the changing surface of the world, while becoming more and more certain that in the run of centuries the foundation of the world stays intact.

What glued us together as a community back then in 1924, at the first Lithuanian Song Celebration, and what would still bind in 2024 - one century past, when we would meet again? We will certainly be different, yet the same – the singing and dancing Lithuanian nation, speaking the same language and cherishing the same culture.

What is a century? It is a time span needed to mature as a State, as a society, to become a flushing green forest, where every pine has its own voice. It is the voice of free and creative Lithuania. It is the voice of our memory. It is your and my voice celebrating our binding tradition and its vitality.

We, the singing and dancing people, make the living tradition that has survived through this century. We are the unique kin that meets every few years and speaks its own language. The language of this kin resembles the language of the earth – the language of the bird and the river, the culture and the memory, for our language is the one of life, spoken by all the members of the Cantor Lituanus -– song-loving Lithuanians – kinship.

The celebration of the anniversary provides an excellent chance to name our core values.

Where are we heading to by restlessly coming and coming together? What do we wish to convey by saying these meaningful and obliging words – our values?

The meaning and weight of these words seem to be growing today given the current reality of the pandemic and the war that is silencing thousands of voices.

Our values are vitality with no end. Vitality, impossible to be suppressed and forgotten for it is the one, but shared among all of us. For it is our vital capacity flowing through centuries over generations, from the memory to the future, from the home to the world, from the language to the song, from 1924 to 2024. Thus, preparing for the anniversary Lithuanian Song Celebration we lean on the key word – vitality – and invite everyone to join in reflection on our present and future existence.

Today in Lithuania and elsewhere in the world we speak of the value of life, the importance of its protection, ecology. We not only speak, but consciously choose to preserve, safeguard, reduce contamination, thus to live in favour of life’s continuity. We have finally started to understand ecology after the term’s Greek origin that is oikos – home. It is the same our home and the same topic of vitality we see today as the key gluing element.

The title of the anniversary Lithuanian Song Celebration - “May the Green Forest Grow” – codes the goal to our community, outlines our duty to acknowledge the Who and Why planted the green forest a century ago, as well as our obligation to grow it for the future generations to benefit from its shade.

Let’s meet in 2024 to sing and dance our past and our present discovering both the past and the present tenses of the key word – vitality – of a human and culture, of a tree and a bird. This word is about us. Us, as the community, the kin. Us, who make Lithuania.