Budapest, February 7 (MTI) – President János Áder opened the 19th Csángó Ball in Budapest on Saturday.
In his opening address, the president said that national cohesion or national culture “cannot be outdated”. “Being Hungarian is thinking in Hungarian, praying in Hungarian, being in love in Hungarian and caressing our children with Hungarian words,” Áder said.
The event was attended by US ambassador Colleen Bell, Zsolt Németh, the head of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, and representatives of ethnic Hungarian communities.
The ball, featuring folk dance programmes, concerts, exhibitions and other programmes at several venues, was organised by the Pro Minoritate Foundation and the Moldavia Hungarians’ Federation.
The Csángó community, an ethnic Hungarian group, lives in Romania’s Moldavia region, and comprises about 250,000 members. They are believed to have fled from neighbouring Transylvania in at least two bigger waves. Many Szeklers fled the forced recruitment into the Austrian military in the 18th century. About 60,000 members of the community still speak an archaic form of Hungarian.
The annual Csángó festivals seek to call public attention to the grave social and economic challenges for Moldavia Hungarians and win support to efforts of helping them survive.