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Budapest, November 15 (MTI) – As much attention should be paid to Hungarians living in diaspora communities as to other parts of the nation, the state secretary for Hungarian communities abroad said on Tuesday, marking Hungarian Diaspora Day.

Regarding the diaspora, a “paradigm shift” took place in 2010 due to a change in government policy, Árpád János Potápi said in a speech held in the House of Hungarians in Budapest. It declared that Hungarian communities stand on an equal footing wherever they happen to be, and in order to preserve the Hungarian nation as a whole, the survival of each and every member must be supported, he said.

He noted Hungarian government efforts over the past years to provide financing in order to keep organisations and institutions of Hungarian diaspora communities “as fortresses”.

Such institutions and organisations Potapi mentioned include colleges, vocational schools, kindergartens and education centres in Transylvania, Vojvodina, southern Slovakia and western Ukraine.

Potapi further noted the Sandor Petofi scholarship launched by the government last year with the aim of strengthening the identity of ethnic kin in shrinking communities of the Hungarian diaspora. Like last year, the grant this year has been awarded to 50 recipients who will travel to diaspora communities to build social networks, he said.

The Hungarian parliament declared November 15, the birthday of Gábor Bethlen, “the greatest prince of Transylvania during its golden age”, as Hungarian Diaspora Day.

Potapi last year noted that more than one million people, half of Hungarians living abroad, live in diaspora communities.

Source: MTI

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