Budapest, March 15 (MTI) – President János Áder on Tuesday presented high state honours, the Kossuth and Széchenyi prizes and the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic awards, in Parliament on the 168th anniversary of the outbreak of Hungary’s 1848/1849 revolution and war of independence.
“The rosette pinned on our left lapel has symbolised the same over the past 168 years: our desire for freedom, independence and the rise of the middle class,” Áder said.
The president expressed thanks to the awardees for “bringing their talent to fruition, seeking justice, serving life, helping the sick and those in need, caring for our soul, educating the next generation and making the future sustainable.”
This year the Kossuth Prize was awarded to 17 artists, the Széchenyi Prize to 17 personalities and the Order of Merit to 21 personalities.
The Kossuth Grand Prize, a rare honour not granted between 1963 and 2010, was awarded to poet, writer and literary translator Ádám Makkai, retired professor of the University of Illinois. An emigre of the 1956 Revolution, Makkai published, among other volumes, a fictitious story about 19th-century poet Sándor Petőfi’s “emigration” and an English-language anthology about Hungarian poetry.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán attended the ceremony.