Vilniaus Kolegija / Higher Education institution  (further VIKO) has been cooperating with the Georgian Technical University for several years. Every year, the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports of the Republic of Lithuania finances cooperation projects between foreign Lithuanian (Baltic) centres and Lithuanian scientific and study institutions. VIKO  has been participating in this activity for the eighth year, thereby strengthening its image as a socially responsible institution that nurtures the Lithuanian language and culture, while at the same time developing intercultural attitudes. This year, the main organizers and partners of the forum were VIKO, Klaipėda University, the Lithuanian Institute of Culture and the Lithuanian and Georgian Friendship Embassy established by the Georgian community in Lithuania.

The Forum of the Lithuanian and Georgian Cultures “Past Connections, Future Perspectives” was held in the Georgian Technical University Prof. Vidas Kavaliauskas Lithuanian Language and Culture Centre from 20 th to 25 th May. The forum, dedicated to the promotion of the Lithuanian language and culture and the 30th anniversary of Lithuanian-Georgian diplomacy, included presentations and creative meetings representing the Lithuanian-Georgian community, as well as joint student activities.

Students of the Musical Theatre study programme took part in the forum: Kamilė Smaidžiūnaitė, Barbora Sindaravičiūtė, Saulena Kiškionytė and the head of the Department of Performing Arts, associate professor Eglė Juozapaitienė. It was the first, but very successful, time when VIKO students went to this centre. The girls participated in creative workshops every day, sang in the forum events, which took place in the Centre, in the Georgian National Parliamentary Library, where the Lithuanian Literature Fund was opened, in the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Georgia and in the Kazbegi mountains.

On May 23 rd a meaningful discussion took place at the Lithuanian Language and Culture Centre between the LKKC alumni and representatives of the Lithuanian higher education institutions (KU, VIKO, VDU) about the possibilities and usefulness of the Lithuanian language. After these meaningful discussions, representatives of higher education institutions were warmly received by the Lithuanian ambassador in Georgia Andrius Kalindra. A special event took place at the ambassador’s residence – readings of Antanas Vienuolis-Žukauskas’ work “The Cursed Monks” in the Georgian and Lithuanian languages. The legend was read by all participants of the forum: teachers, students, the Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania in Georgia Andrius Kalindra and the famous Lithuanian actor Vladas Bagdonas.

It was a wonderful time when two different cultures merged and shared their unique traditions and values. The event was attended by professionals from various fields who shared their insights and experiences, strengthening the cultural ties of both countries. The students of the Musical Theatre study programme had a unique opportunity to contribute to the grand opening celebration with musical works. This visit contributed to the cooperation of two autonomous and independent states, strengthening cultural and linguistic exchanges. The greatest value is the established student friendship, which, we hope, will develop and strengthen not only VIKO with prof. Vidas Kavaliauskas Lithuanian Language and Culture Centre in Georgia, but also with Lithuanian higher schools, carrying out and implementing Lithuanian projects.