World Meeting of Hungarian Schools in Budapest

The World Meeting of Weekend Hungarian Schools concerned with the language teaching of Hungarians living beyond the borders and the preservation of their cultural identity began in Budapest. Some 100 Hungarian teachers are coming to the one-week event from 4 continents.

Weekend Hungarian schools operating world-wide promote the preservation of the identity of Hungarians living beyond the borders and the development of formal and informal education beyond the borders and help Hungarians living outside Hungary to re-learn and to practise Hungarian. Some 100 Hungarian teachers are coming to the meeting from the following countries from 4 continents: Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Slovenia, Austria, Holland, Germany, Romania, Sweden, Serbia, Slovakia, United States, Canada, etc.

The event was opened by Deputy Prime Minister Tibor Navracsics, who drew attention to the fact that the loss of language is a realistic threat in a number of territories beyond the borders, and weekend schools therefore take on special significance.

The weekend schools are assisted by the Budapest-based Balassi Bálint Institute and, in cooperation with Hungarian language teachers around the world, they jointly seek to find the points of reference that may arouse the interest of third- or fourth-generation young people of Hungarian descent or may help retain contact with the motherland in the case of children who moved abroad together with their parents just a few years ago. In addition to language teaching issues, attendees of the meeting will conduct a professional dialogue on the techniques of community building, cultural programmes and the opportunities offered by education via the Internet.

In addition to the some 10 million Hungarian citizens that live in Hungary, another 4.5 to 5 million Hungarians live beyond the borders around the world; most of them in the Hungarian-inhabited territories of the neighbouring countries and a further 1.5 million in other countries (in Western-Europe, United States, etc.). Mass emigrations occurred after World War II and in the wake of the 1956 revolution when hundreds of thousands of Hungarians left the country. It is their descendants who successfully maintain contact with Hungary, preserve their culture and learn the Hungarian language thanks to the weekend Hungarian schools that operate world-wide also at present.

(Press Office of the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice)

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