In his brief address under the festival’s arched stage at the end of the celebration, Minister of culture Indrek Saar said that as a small nation we need constant affirmation that our language and culture are vital. “The Youth Song and Dance Celebration affirmed it in the strongest and most powerful way,” emphasised Saar. “All that, first and foremost, thanks to these awesome young people – the thousands of young dancers and singers, the hundreds of musicians, who put on this party for us. Thank you, young friends!” said Saar.
As the celebration ended, the Minister thanked everyone, who contributed to the success of this major event.
“Families, communities, local governments, teachers, artistic teams, curators, all those who contributed with their ideas and help all over Estonia – without you, this event would not have been possible. You have the sincere gratitude of us all!” affirmed Saar. The Minister added that the message “Here I’ll Stay”, conveyed to the youth, developed into a clear expression from this growing generation – they want the celebrations to continue. “Knowing that is an immense source of joy, however, nothing comes from nothing. The message that the youth gave us obligates us to seriously think about what we have to do today, here and now, to keep the song, dance and instrument traditions alive,” stated Saar.
The Minister of Culture gave directors of the song, dance and traditional instrument sections Heli Jürgenson, Margus Toomla and Juhan Uppin a symbolic gift meant for all participants – a rowan tree sapling, as a sign of strength and continuity of the Estonian culture and national traditions.
On Tuesday, November 12th, the decision was announced regarding the third 2024 European Capital of Culture, which had been undecided. Based on the rules, this city is in Austria, and the winner is the small city of Bad Ischl. The other 2024 European Capitals of Culture are Tartu and the Norwegian city of Bodø.
Today in Tallinn, an independent commission of international experts decided that the Capital of Culture 2024 from Estonia will be Tartu. In addition to the Estonian city, one city from Austria and one European city that does not belong to the European Union will bear the title of European Capital of Culture 2024.