Updated: Series Of Programmes in Budapest to Mark Day of Hungarian Culture

  • 24 Jan 2024 12:18 PM
  • Hungary Matters
Updated: Series Of Programmes in Budapest to Mark Day of Hungarian Culture
The Museum of Ethnography is offering guided tours and night-time programmes in a week-long series of events marking the Day of Hungarian Culture held on Jan 22.

Visitors are offered guided tours of the temporary exhibition I find thee with God, my brother! – Gypsy stories, focusing on the work of linguist and ethnographer Kamill Erdős, on Jan 18, the museum said on its website.

The same show will be the subject of a family afternoon and the starting point of a podium discussion on Gypsy music between renowned musicians Roby Lakatos, Jenő Lisztes and Zsolt Szomora on Jan 21.

Families are invited to spend the night in the museum on Jan 26.

January 22 was declared the Day of Hungarian Culture in 1989, marking the day when poet Ferenc Kölcsey finalised the text that later became Hungary’s national anthem in 1823.

Minister Calls Culture Key for Identity, Marking Day of Hungarian Culture

Marking the Day of Hungarian Culture, the culture minister said “Hungarians have a rich tradition in reflecting what happens in the spheres of religion, the arts and sciences in the world,” in an interview.

In this spirit, János Csák called it important “to move all the tangible, intellectual, musical and literary treasures of Hungarian culture to the world’s digital network”, which he said was of as great significance for the existence and survival of the Hungarian nation as the conversion to Christianity had been 1,100 years ago.

“With ten million Hungarians living here, and altogether 15 million around the world, the task for the state and the minister in charge can be nothing other than giving backing to those who want to preserve this culture,” he told public cultural TV channel M5.

The minister said “the woke and cancel culture of the Western world” was aimed at “eradicating traditions”, adding that without “cultural spaces”, religion, philosophy, the arts and science, “culture will be lost”.

He noted that the government had spent over 1.5 billion euros on “building cultural infrastructure” between 2015 and 2023 and had supported cultural projects for Hungarian communities in the Carpathian Basin and in the diaspora.

Hungary this year will celebrate the 145th birth anniversary of writer Zsigmond Móricz, the 50th anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube and the 30th anniversary of great piano virtuoso György Cziffra’s death, said the minister.

A state award named after jazz legend Béla Szakcsi Lakatos will be established to recognise outstanding achievements in Hungarian jazz and to support young talents, Csák said, adding that it would be presented first in 2025. January 22 was declared the Day of Hungarian Culture in 1989, marking the day when poet Ferenc Kölcsey finalised the text that later became Hungary’s national anthem in 1823.

Govt Official: 'Preserving Our Hungarian Identity, Culture Vitally Important'

“Preserving our Hungarian identity and our culture is not a minor detail, but something that is vitally important, because only a community that is proud of its nation and culture can survive,” the state secretary for Hungarian communities abroad said in Dunajská Streda (Dunaszerdahely), in southern Slovakia, marking the Day of Hungarian Culture on Monday.

“The easiest way we can preserve our culture … is by making it a part of our everyday lives by enrolling our children in Hungarian schools … and observing our customs,” Árpád János Potápi said at the event.

“This is all the more important today because we are seeing a worrisome process in Europe,” he said.

“They want to settle foreign people [here], they’re tearing down millennium-old treasures and churches and they reject Christianity, the set of values that is a part of our Europeanness.”

If Hungarian cultural life stays strong, then the Hungarian community will be able “to accomplish big things in other areas, too,” the state secretary said. “Respecting and passing on our culture from generation to generation is about respecting our ancestors and ourselves.”

"Art Is Free": Day of Hungarian Culture Marked By Budapest Mayor

“Hungary’s diverse culture must be made widely available,” Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony said in a Facebook post marking the Day of Hungarian Culture.

Referring to the first decades of the 19th century, Karácsony said it had been a time when “culture ceased to be a privilege and became a public asset… That is the task now: to make it available for the masses and to present it as an experience.”

Concerning culture and art, Karácsony said: “No political power should be an unwelcome critic or, even worse, a censor… Art is free, and so are artists; in Budapest they are.”

The Day of Hungarian Culture has been observed ever since 1989 to mark the anniversary of the completion of Ferenc Kölcsey’s Hymn, the poem that later became Hungary’s national anthem, on January 22, 1823.

Csák: Day of Hungarian Culture 'Celebration for Us All'

The Day of Hungarian Culture “is a celebration for us all”, Janos Csák, the culture and innovation minister, said at a ceremony held in the basilica of the Pannonhalma Archabbey.

He said Hungarian culture was bound together by “our respect and love for God, family, homeland, and our commitment to the cause of Hungarian freedom.”

Csák noted that the Day of Hungarian Culture coincided with the consecration of the basilica 800 years ago. Culture, he said, was not only about works of art but it was a way of thinking and “our way of life”.

The minister said that culture was built across generations. “We have a mother tongue, one that is built on music and dance, and is visual,” he said.

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