Katalin Novak - Photo: Facebook

President Novak marks 1956 anniversary in Melbourne

"Hungarian is the language of freedom," President Katalin Novak told a commemoration of Hungary's 1956 anti-Soviet revolt organised by the Hungarian community of Melbourne on Sunday.

Marking the anniversary of the failed revolution on its eve, the president said “October 23 is the greatest holiday of the [Hungarian] diaspora, a day to celebrate and also to mourn.” “We celebrate our national identity, a love of freedom, Hungarians’ inevitable unity beyond borders . and we mourn for those that sacrificed their blood and life for freedom, mourn the physical distance between us . families torn apart and unwelcome emigration,” Novak said in her address.

Freedom, the president suggested, “must be fought for day by day”. “It is our duty to work for what the heroes of 1956 fought for: a free and strong Hungarian nation,” she said.

Novak noted that during her Australian visit she had first visited the Hungarian community, adding that during her term she would visit all large communities of the Hungarian diaspora. She also added that she was scheduled to inaugurate a church and community centre in Brisbane in a few days.

Concerning the Hungarian language, Novak said “those that know the essence of Hungarian will never give in to oppressive dictatorships”. “Hungary has never been a hotbed for dictatorship, it is a country where totalitarian regimes have never been able to solidify”.

Referring to the wars in Ukraine and in the Middle East, Novak said Hungary condemned the attacks by Russia and the Hamas organisation and was working to avoid escalation. “We stand by the innocent victims and peace because Hungarians want peace,” she added.

After the commemoration, Novak recognised Marcella Paska, folk dance instructor and head of the Hungarian Television of Melbourne, with the Bronze Cross of Merit of Hungary for her support to the Hungarian communities and Hungarian culture in the State of Victoria.

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