Budapest (MTI) – President János Áder presented Hungary’s state orders as well as the prestigious Kossuth and Széchenyi prizes to recognise public personalities, artists and scientists on the occasion of the anniversary of the 1848 revolution in Parliament on Wednesday.
In his address at the award-giving ceremony, Áder commemorated heroes of the 1848 events, and referred to those developments as the beginning of a modern political nation. In 1848 Hungary “demonstrated that it has a talent for freedom, which meant a freedom for new ideas, property, and bourgeois development”.
“Hungarians achieved a miracle: they abolished privileges and opened the door wide open for development; the nation’s vitality, energy and enterprise could manifest themselves in industry, science, art, and commerce,” he added.
The president quoted 19th century poet János Arany, and said that “the homeland must be served well and wisely” through research, medical work, road construction, theatrical performances, innovation, continuing traditions, and educating the next generations. He also highlighted the awardees’ achievements, which he said could “motivate many to come up with better results”.
The ceremony was attended by House Speaker László Kövér and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Áder awarded the Order of Hungary, Grand Cross, to ship builder and navigator Nándor Fa and former Constitutional Court head Barnabás Lenkovics.
The Middle Cross of the Order has been awarded to neuro-endocrinologist Béla Halász, retired state secretary András Jávor, micro-biologist István Nász, and economics professor Ferenc Vissi, literary historian Gáspár János Groh, art historian Tamás Kieselbach, psychology professor Pál Rókusfalvy, Reformed pastor Dániel Szabó, former Hungarian ambassador Pál Varga Koritár, and philosophy historian Miklós Vető.
Áder recognised ethnographer Zoltán Kallós with the Kossuth Grand Prize.
This year’s Kossuth Prize awardees include author Éva Fésűs, rock musician Károly Frenreisz, photographer Éva Keleti, opera singer Sylvia Sass, and actor László Tahi-Tóth.
The Széchenyi Prize has been awarded to Reformed Bishop Istvan Bogardi Szabo, astrophysicist Zsolt Frei, mathematician András Némethi, music historian Tibor Tallian, historian László Tőkéczki, among others.