Photo: MTI

Commemorations held on National Day of Cohesion

National self-awareness and hope gave strength to Hungarians trapped outside the country's borders after the Treaty of Trianon, state secretary of the Prime Minister's Office Peter Szilagyi said at an event marking the National Day of Cohesion, the anniversary of the post-WWI Treaty of Trianon, in Porva, in western Hungary, on Saturday.

They held out hope that “our mother tongue, traditions and culture will not only be part of memory, but the reality of everyday life,” he said.

Since 2010, the government has been working to fulfil this hope, to make it possible for Hungarians abroad to prosper in their homeland, and to strengthen the Hungarian identity of their communities, he added.

Szilagyi recalled that on June 4, 1920, tens of thousands of people gathered in mourning clothes, the bells rang, factory alarms went off, the traffic stopped. Under the decision of the great powers, more than three million Hungarians were stranded outside of the country’s borders, he added.

Thirteen years ago, the decision was taken that “we will not allow national borders to separate us from our compatriots,” Szilagyi said. Thanks to the government’s support to Hungarian schools abroad, 300,000 children a year receive quality education in their mother tongue in the Carpathian Basin and elsewhere in the world, he said. The government also provides support to students studying in public education in Hungary so that they can visit the Hungarian-inhabited areas of the neighbouring countries at least once, Szilagyi said. “We must address the challenges of the 21st century as a strong nation”, Katalin Szili, chief advisor to the prime minister, said at another event marking the National Day of Cohesion, in Malinovo, in Slovakia, on Saturday.

In the 103 years since the adoption of the Treaty of Trianon, Hungarians have proven that they are a united nation despite the dividing borders, Szili said. At the same time, neighbouring states must be made aware that the goal is not to change the current status quo, but rather to achieve a kind of cooperation that could create a possible new centre of gravity in today’s Europe, she said.

It must be shown, she said, that the Europe that we envision is not based on cosmopolitan thinking and outdated internationalism, but on what will mean national sovereignty and a Europe of nations in the future, Szili said.

“If we talk about Trianon today, we must focus on what we can do amid the current challenges to be a strong resource for this Europe as a strong nation,” Katalin Szili said.

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