The Roma community “has lived among us for centuries”, and, as Hungary’s Fundamental Law states, is a part of how the Hungarian nation was formed as a state, Gergely Gulyás, the prime minister’s chief of staff, said on Thursday, opening an exhibition of Roma who fought in the 1956 anti-Soviet uprising and became role models of the country’s democratic transition.
“When we speak about the Hungarian nation, we also speak about the country’s Roma,” Gulyás said at Budapest’s Bálna culture centre.
Addressing the opening, Attila Sztojka, the government commissioner in charge of Roma relations, said: “Only those who put the thriving of their community before anything else … become heroes. Our heroes, who as Roma have also nurtured their Hungarian ethnicity, are our role models.”
The exhibition was shown in 25 villages, towns and county seats in the past six months.