Being Hungarian is not a question of origin, but rather a commitment to a culture that has thrived for centuries. On the second day of the Seventh Friends of Hungary Conference, guest speaker Árpád János Potápi, State Secretary for National Policy, explained in detail how Hungary is a cultural nation, built on centuries of hard work including we can all be proud.
The host of the conference and chairman of the Friends of Hungary Foundation, Prof. E. Sylvester Vizi, again introduced the members to the Secretary of State, who spoke about the history and origin of the concept Hungarian national policy, as well as the current state. Hungarian identity and the Hungarian diaspora.
Division forces Hungary to endorse national policy
After addressing the many members who were listening from places like the Rocky Mountains, the Canary Islands and at home in the Carpathian Basin, Secretary of State Potápi began his presentation on Hungarian national policy.
Hungarian national policy is a unique concept that has emerged over the past 150 years, following the Austro-Hungarian compromise of 1867. It was during this time that the Hungarian state made Hungarian identity so much at home and abroad a subject of discussion in the National Assembly.
Although the initial plan to bring the Moldovan Hungarians back to Hungary failed, the government was able to install thousands of Szeklers from Bucovina in Hungary. Although this was an impressive milestone, Hungary was essentially forced to push its national policy even further after World War I.
We can only really start talking about national policy when we lost the world war and in 1920 the Trianon diktat of peace was imposed on us, which reduced the country’s territory to less than a third of its size. area.
Trianon ended up removing almost half of Hungary’s population from Hungary. Regardless of what was done during that time for them, everything had to be relaunched after the fall of the Iron Curtain, when Hungary regained its agency in its entirety.
Hungarian history shaped by all its nations, says Secretary of State Potápi
Hungarian history is the story of all the nations that once shared a homeland in Hungary and built it together, the state secretary for Hungarian communities across the border said in Zagreb on Wednesday. Addressing representatives of the Hungarian community in Croatia at an exhibition on Hungarian-Croatian history, Árpád János Potápi said that all those […]continue reading
It was after regime change that Hungary began to institutionalize national politics, with an important milestone in 2001, when Hungarians abroad were legally recognized by the state as Hungarians, granting them similar privileges. to citizenship.
If in 2004 the referendum to give Hungarians abroad dual citizenship failed, it was finally adopted in 2010 with the election of a Fidesz government. Equal status for ethnic Hungarians abroad, as well as national political events, such as National Cohesion Day on June 4, were adopted.
“This government thinks in terms of nationality, no borders” – Interview with Péter Szilágyi
“The main objective of our policy for Hungarian communities abroad is to keep Hungarians living in these countries in their homeland, to prevail there and to preserve their Hungarian identity,” says Péter Szilágyi, ministerial commissioner responsible for communities Hungarians abroad. Trianon means something different to a Hungarian than to a Romanian or a Slovak but […]continue reading
Fidesz’s legalization of voting rights for all ethnic Hungarians turned out to be to its advantage in 2014 and 2018, when the overwhelming majority of Hungarians outside Hungary voted to elect the current ruling party. The Secretary of State thanked the Hungarians for their continued support.
Hungarians abroad as ambassadors of Hungary
There are currently around 12.5 to 13 million Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin and around 2 to 2.5 million Hungarians in the Diaspora, including those who do not speak Hungarian but identify with nationality.
Potápi said that while it is important to identify with a Hungarian identity, Hungary places particular importance on the language, as it is what allows people to fully embrace Hungarian culture.
Our priority is to defend and strengthen the Hungarian identity, one of the main foundations of which is the Hungarian language. (…) The link with the Hungarian nation is not a question of origin, but rather a commitment to a culture.
Hungary is a cultural nation that “we have all built and created together over the centuries.” The Secretary of State emphasized how proud something as simple as a church renovation can be of the ingenuity of one’s ancestors.
It cannot be ignored, said Potápi, that in recent years the framework of the national political system could increase tenfold.
There are hardly any settlements in the Carpathian Basin where the Hungarian government has not contributed in one way or another to development, whether in terms of building schools, renovating cultural buildings and history or support for local organizations.
Secretary of State: Kőrösi Csoma program gives new impetus to the diaspora
The government’s Kőrösi Csoma Sándor program has become a success among policies for Hungarian communities abroad in recent years and has given new impetus to Hungarian life in the diaspora, the Secretary of State for Communities said on Tuesday. Hungarians abroad in the Prime Minister’s office. János Árpád Potápi said in a statement […]continue reading
Significant amounts of financial support are also allocated to diaspora communities, helping the diaspora to pursue its goals of strengthening the global Hungarian community and Hungary’s image internationally.
We often say that those Hungarians living across the ocean or in Western Europe, whether they like it or not, are all Hungarian ambassadors, because through them comes the people’s interpretation of what the Hungarian.
Professor E. Sylvester Vizi spoke about Katalin Karikó, the Hungarian biochemist through whom billions of doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are produced. His daughter, Zsuzsanna Francia, is a two-time Olympic rowing champion.
Potápi pointed out that Francia had already received a mother-baby package from the Hungarian consulate for her newborn baby, and that Karikó is perhaps the most famous Hungarian today.
The Hungarian nation is increasingly cohesive, and as the pandemic situation has complicated the opportunities for connections between Hungary and the Diaspora, Potápi hopes that these links will continue to grow, especially by allowing young people in the Hungarian Diaspora to come together. to travel to Hungary.
“The Hungarian nation can only survive if each part survives”, VII. Friends of Hungary Conference
Hungarians are a ‘global nation’, which means that the survival of Hungarian national identity depends on the survival of Hungarian communities around the world, both in the Carpathian basin and in the Diaspora, while a Hungary strong and assertive is fundamental as a base to support those who live outside the borders of the country. It was the focus on the first day […]continue reading
Before Foundation members started their second day of workshops, Professor E. Sylvester Vizi concluded their discussion with the Secretary of State by noting that, hopefully, the Friends of Hungary Foundation will be able to meet in person in September.
All photos are from Tamás Komporday / Hungary today