The 29th Carpathian Folk Music, Folk Dance, and Handicraft Camp started in Sátoraljaújhely, North-East Hungary on Sunday evening.
About 500 children from Transcarpathia arrived to the Rákóczi camp.
József Bacskai, the Hungarian Consul General in Uzhhorod (Ungvár), emphasized in his welcome speech that there are no obstacles for the Hungarian people of Transcarpathia. He added that they are able to overcome any difficulties, because despite their hardships, they are together at the camp, and are demonstrating the knowledge they have acquired. He was confident, he said, that they would be the children teaching the next generation in a few years or decades.
Katalin Pál, head of the House of Traditions Network in Transcarpathia and founder of the camp, said they were very happy to come to Sátoraljaújhely, as last year they could only welcome the camp participants in writing. She expressed her gratitude to her colleagues who, as she said, continue to run the camp.
She added that they were happy that there were people to pass it on to, to carry it on, and that they too could witness the “wonderful world of folk dance and folk music.” She ended her speech by saying that
they must return home being able to say that they are “carrying Hungarian culture forward unbroken.”
Csongor Csáky, President of the Rákóczi Association, said at the opening ceremony that he wished the days spent at the camp would be filled with the participants being able to live out their childhood and youth. In his welcome speech, he spoke of the history and natural beauty of the area, and described Sátoraljaújhely and the Rákóczi camp as “magical.” He added that there was a lot of Hungarian history and culture in the town and the region, and that the campers brought with them everything that characterizes Transcarpathia.
The president of the Rákóczi Association told MTI that the camp moved to Sátoraljaújhely last year because of the war in Ukraine, and this year for the second time, some 5,000 children from Transcarpathia, who are learning folk dance and folk music at home, will be able to meet in the town.
Photo: MTI/Vajda János
Having served the Hungarian community in the Carpathian Basin and further afield for 30 years, the Rákóczi Association aims to use the means at its disposal to promote the cause of Hungarian culture, language, and ethnic Hungarian communities. The Association’s activity is directed primarily at Hungarian youth.
The Carpathian Folk Music, Folk Dance, and Handicrafts Camp takes place from June 18 to 24, with instrumental, dance, and handicraft sessions, and a dance house at the end of the camp.
Featured image: MTI/Vajda János