Copyright © 1957 Lithuanian Students Association, Inc.
September, 1957  No.3(12) 
Managing Editor P. V. Vygantas


The youths of a national community in exile as the Lithuanians, find themselves in an extraordinary situation, with the task of integrating the influences of two worlds and with two different traditions on their hands. While maturing under the influences of this country and actively participating in its life, they are also expected to remain true Lithuanians and work for the eventual liberation of their motherland.

In order to discuss these particular problems and their responsibilities, young Lithuanians from everywhere in the United States and Canada met in Chicago last June 29-30. Morrison Hotel was the site for this important convention which was sponsored by the Lithuanian American Community, Inc., and the Lithuanian Students Assn., Inc., together with the Lithuanian Canadian Students Assn.

There are several other Lithuanian youth organizations aside from the. all college and university students embracing Students Asociations; these have their annual conventions and study days. The Lithuanian Youth Congress met to discuss those problems and tasks common to every young Lithuanian.

The Congress was attended by over 500 persons, including as guests some educators, scientists, and other prominent personalities of the older generation who are interested in lending support and advice to the young as well as heariing the discussion of various problems as they are seen by the younger generation. Search for understanding between generations, the problem of participation in the cultural and social life of the Lithuanian national community, and the problem of learning well the Lithuanian language were the basic topics of the Congress.

After short introductory speeches by the chairmen of the sponsoring organizations, the American and Lithuanian national anthems, and in vocational prayers, the Congress was officially opened. It received numerous greetings from important Lithuanian persons and institutions.

In the first session of the plenum a well prepared talk was given by Miss A. Krikščiūnas at out the relationship of the young person to the family. She viewed him as a younger member of a family and also as a potential member of a new family of his own. The importance of a Lithuanian family with its traditions was stressed in raising a responsible new member of the Lithuanian community.

The second talk was delivered by Mr. B. Vaškelis from Canada on the problems of youths once they reach the stage when they leave the family and start to participate in the various Lithuanian organizations. He took a look at the present activity of  such organizations and at the possibilities in the future.

In the afternoon the Congress convened in various sections, such as the Art section, Humanities and Social Science, Sports, Literature and Press, and the Physical Sciences. The discussions within the sections centered around the ways of integrating participation in the life of this country with the expectations of the Lithuanian community and the ways of drawing the very young ones into the Lithuanian national community.

On Sunday, June 30, the second session of the plenum and the closing of the Congress took place. A well-organized closing speech was given by V. Adam-kavičius who summarized the problems discussed and the ideas raised by the Congress. A number of resolutions was passed and the Congress was closed in a hopeful and festive mood. The afternoon was reserved for the Lithuanian Folk Dances Festival in which many of the young persons participating in the Congress also took part.

I. Čepėnaitė